Tuesday, April 07, 2009

Buzzing with the Mormons

I didn’t need a planning and development professor and a spatial information design professor, producing a study called “The Geography of Buzz”, to tell me what I already know – that our Lincoln Center Neighborhood is one of the most hyper-buzzy places in the world. That is rather why we chose it, despite its reputation as not-so-trendy, and as overly heterofamiliar (Maclarendale, as I like to call it.).

What is interesting about the study is how its co-authors, Elizabeth Currid and Sarah Williams fed their matrix to get that result. They considered photos of parties and events as an indicator of buzz-worthiness. They used Getty Images, assuming that if a picture was for sale, buzz would have driven it.

Hmm. This provokes some questions.

Who is doing the buzzing in our neighborhood? I don’t think it is that ubiquitous fourteen year old girl who is the target of television commercials. I don’t think it’s the gym-built circuit boy a few blocks down in Hell’s Kitchen.

I’m afraid the paprazzi might have missed the Mormons who are buzzing in our backyard! You see this study relied on the mainstream news media for its information. A medium that is imploding as we speak, and certainly will not be the best future buzz-indicator. Currid and Williams ought to expand their study to include Flickr, Twitter, Facebook etc in order to really hear the buzz of the endless stream of Mormons who ask us to take their picture with their temple (across Broadway from Lincoln Center) in the background. Those photos end up in buzz-generating circulation on the net, and not for sale.

Also, consider the buzz generated when Joe posts a photo of fifty gay men enjoying a Sunday afternoon on “Bear Hill” in Central Park. That type of photo ought to be included when determining how the buzz-traction on the Bethesda Terrace stands up against that on the red carpet in front of the Kodak Theater.

Meanwhile, even though surrounded by Mormons and strollers, and with C reminding me that I once said that I would never live anywhere in Manhattan except the Upper East Side, and despite the death rattle of our Balducci’s, we get down to buzziness with a perfect score on foot, and I hope that all those Mormon families who asked me to take their picture in front of the temple – and did not bother checking it immediately in the viewfinder – will not be too disappojnted with the wonderful souvenir images of their sensible footwear and sturdy ankles.


TED said...

"Provokes." Excellent.

R J Keefe said...

I can't imagine you two living on the Upper East Side. It would turn you into the Collyer Brothers!

Stash said...

two blocks from my apartment is a mormon temple.


it looks nothing like its more (in)famous parent in SLC.