Tuesday, April 28, 2009


            The objective of our project is to bring forth the issues that are experienced by the people in our community.  We want to help the student body understand the diversity of our neighborhood and become more aware and in-touch with our surroundings.  We chose C-Town as our location because it reflects the diversity of the area and bridges the gap between the university and the Spanish community.  It sits right on the border of Rutgers and Locals. 

            Our first step in diving into C-Town and its roots was to go there and observe.  We began to look at each individual and analyze their every move to learn more about them.  How they arrived at C-Town, how they were leaving, items they bought, who was with them etc.   When we first walked in, a poor African Amercian woman approached us.  At first I thought she was just being polite as she complimented me saying I was beautiful, but then I realized her true intentions.  She asked me for money.  Once I realized she was only flattering to me to get my money, I became insulted.  This moment meant a lot to me.  It showed me the ignorance of both her and I.  Because I was a white, young, college-looking student, she assumed I had money to give her.  Out of every single person in C-Town at the moment she judged me and decided that I was the most likely to give her money.  Then just a few days later I thought of this woman again.  I was walking through C-Town thinking of items I needed, or wanted.  I picked up anything that caught my eye and even called my friends to see if they needed anything, money didn’t even cross my mind, that is, until I left.  I thought of that woman again and how she showed her ignorance when she judged me asking for my money, and I showed my ignorance walking in there and not even thinking twice about prices or valuing the fact that I had money to spend.  I didn’t think of what it would be like to be someone else’s shoes and not have enough money to buy the things I want.  This is when I realized that putting a spotlight on the diversity and differences amongst our community would be a very affective project, at least for me if not for everyone.

            We began to interview people hoping we would find out intriguing facts, but this did not work at all.  Not one person wanted to talk to us no matter how hard we tried.  I realized that the reason for this was because we were very much separated from the people we were trying to talk to.  We could not relate, at least we did not see any relations on the surface.  When I approached one woman, it quickly became apparent that she did not know what I was saying.  She was a young Spanish mother with two young children and did not know how to understand or speak English.  In a grocery store with all English labels and announcements in English, it must be very hard for her to manage.  She sent one of her sons to get her husband when I approached her because he spoke better English, although he only knew a few words.  At this point I knew that this life inside C-Town needed to be exposed, so we went to work.

The first step was to break into groups and within those groups have people inside C-Town and people outside.  The people outside have a map that shows where all the grocery items are located in the store.  They also have a grocery list of the person they are being.  They will be given a circumstance, such as a budget or time constraint to help add to the reality of this persons life.  The grocery list is going to be in Spanish to show the language barrier between the people that shop there and the place itself.  They will be talking through their cell phones and working as a team with the people inside to find these items.  Once they find the items, there will be a note card giving a small explanation of why it is this person wants this item, and therefore shedding a little light on who this person really is.  When they find all the items they will meet outside and answer a set of questions as a group.  These questions will provoke thought and hopefully provoke emotion.  

There will be three layers to this project.  The first layer of the project is the people outside acting as "computers" researching the difference and variety of C-Town. This shows the detachment.  The people inside will actually be experiencing this.  During this first layer, the students will be using cell phones and maps to find the grocery store items.  The second layer is the people outside have the grocery store list in spanish and are trying to relay the message to the students inside.  During this, the students will have to try and overcome the language barrier.  Finally, the third layer is when the entire group comes together to talk about the person they just became.  They will then answer the questions I spoke of earlier.  During this they will be relating and dealing with the reality of C-Town and the issues that pertain to it.  
In the beginning of this project I didn't feel like I had any relations with C-Town, but as time went on and I spoke with more people there it finally hit me, the people in C-Town were my ancestors, they were Grandparents.  My grandparents on both sides of my family were immigrants from Italy.  They came to America without a job, a place to stay, or any money.  They did not know how to speak English either so finding a job or a place to stay became that much more difficult.  I then began to truly relate to the individuals in C-Town such as the woman that could not speak English with her two kids.  Those two kids could have been either one of my parents as their parents tried to support them.  I felt like I learned more about myself through this experience and learned to appreciate my grandparents more.  The things they went through to try and make a life for my family is exactly what the local people of New Brunswick and the minorities that shop at C-Town are doing as well.  This was how I was able to relate to this project.   Some of the readings incorporated into this project were Critical Vehicles, Mapping the Homunculous, A Different City for a Different Life, Locative Arts, and Site Specific.  Critical Vehicles expresses the life of immigrants and the difficulties they go through which was a major aspect of this project.  We wanted to expose the life of these immigrants and the troubles they are experiencing.  Mapping the Homunculous describes that maps are the oldest form of understanding comprehension.  We used a map to help the students in their efforts of finding the grocery items. A Different City for a Different Life helped explain the construction that has taken place and continues to take place in New Brunswick.  The construction of Rutgers University has taken away from the original community of the locals and will continue to do so.  It is evident that eventually, Rutgers will have completely taken over the city of New Brunswick.  Right now the community lies between and intertwines with Rutgers, UMDNJ and Johnson and Johnson.  Locative Arts relates to asking the students to find the note cares that are in C-Town and communicate their experience through cellular phone use.  Locative art is located between communication, networking, landscape working, and environment.  Finally, Site Specific expresses how work can only be done of a site at that specific site, which is why our project and the experience takes place within the walls of C-Town.

This project truly opened my eyes to many things that I was always ignorant and oblivious to.  It helped me feel my roots of where I came from and understand the hardships that my family went through just so that I could live the life I do. I enjoyed doing this and am looking forward to what else I can be exposed to through everyone else's projects tomorrow.

Sunday, April 12, 2009


well today was easterrr and i spent it with my family it was really nicee.. it was nice to be home and see everyone including my extended familyy that i dont really get to see too often =).. well i hope everyone had a good easter! and if you dont celebrate easter than i hope you had a good weekend!! haha goodnight!

Thursday, April 9, 2009


well last weeks project i found to be very werid.. i was very out of my comfort zone because we had to follow someone around for a few hours..someone we didnt know.  I did this girl that lives in my dorm that i dont talk to but i see around.  I followed her from our dorm to the post office, to au bon pain, to brower, and back to the dorm.  I felt really weird because i think she knew i was following her.. not good for the reputation! haha well anywayy i made a power point of my following but i cant upload that to blogger.. so im going to upload the pictures to flickr and they will be in my slide show =)

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Thursday, February 19, 2009

A Different City for a Different Life

1)  Do you feel that newly built towns are based only off of traffic circulation and household comfort?

2)  Does your home town fir these criteria or stray from it?

3)  Do you believe newly constructed neighborhoods leave no room for leisure and play?

4)  What would be your ideal neighborhood that you would have liked to grow up in or would like your kids to experience?

5)  Do you think efficiency of the new neighborhoods or leisure of the old neighborhoods is more effective?

Introducing Cyberspace

1)  Before reading this article, what was your original perception of cyberspace? Was your definition changed or enhanced after reading?

2)  In the passage, the author relates the human brain and the internet.  Do you think the internet sharpens our brains and increases intelligence or gives us a crutch to lean on that in the end makes us no longer require brain use and makes our brains less of a powerful machine?

3)  The author of this passage states that virtual reality is mainly used in the military.  Has the new technology of virtual reality really improved American military?  IF yes, in what ways has it improved it?

4)  It is said that cyberspace is creating a placeless world.  In what ways is this happening?

5)  How do you personally interact with "cyberspace"?  Are there any consistent patterns of your daily life interacting in cyberspace?

Wednesday, February 18, 2009


I found todays class to be very successful.  I finally figured out what a heterotopic space is.  The definition Hana gave in class today really made sense to me, it is a place within a place.  Such as our "cave" in the library, or the library itself because it is an archive of things dated from many different times that all come together in one single space.  The example she gave of the mirror I found very interesting.  When you look in a mirror and see yourself, what your seeing isnt really where you think your seeing it.  Obviously, when you look in a mirror the person you see looking back is not there but within yourself, it is only a reflection.  So the place that you look at in the mirror is considered a "placeless place", better known as a utopia.  This aspect of the mirror is what makes it so interesting to me.  It is both a utopia and a heterotopia, becaue the "placeless place" is located inside another place, the actual confines of the mirror.  It seemed hard to grasp at first but im really happy Hana described it today the way she did because I no longer feel lost but more on top of what we are really talking about in class.