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Where the Ball Drops

Days and Nights in Times Square

2007
Author:

Daniel Makagon

Where the Ball Drops

A compelling look at the people and action of America’s most famous street scene

During the 1990s, Times Square changed its colors, from a notoriously seedy urban center to a family-friendly, corporate-sponsored entertainment district. Daniel Makagon captures the competing social and cultural fantasies, the everyday events and historical visions that have given shape and meaning to Times Square. Where the Ball Drops reveals the changes wrought by the contemporary urban revitalization.

This is the best book I’ve read about the recent changes in Times Square and what they mean.

Luc Sante, author of Low Life

A street-level portrait of Times Square’s people, Daniel Makagon’s work includes artfully rendered interviews, dialogues, and reflections. Where the Ball Drops reveals an ongoing urban drama that thrives on the contradictions of public and private life, on individual desires for belonging and anonymity, and on a sense of place and placelessness. It is one of the most complete, nuanced, and ultimately convincing accounts to date of the changes wrought by contemporary urban revitalization.

Awards

National Communication Association’s Critical/Cultural Studies Division Book Award winner

Where the Ball Drops

Daniel Makagon is assistant professor of communication at DePaul University.

Where the Ball Drops

This is the best book I’ve read about the recent changes in Times Square and what they mean.

Luc Sante, author of Low Life

Daniel Makagon presents a skillful ethnographic interpretation of how ‘competing fantasies about the meaning and material reality of Times Square, which are advanced through various rhetoric visions, are affirmed, challenged, and, at times, undermined by the practices of everyday life.’

Cultural Studies

Daniel Makagon’s Where the Ball Drops is a fine work of urban ethnography that captures Times Square and New York City at a key state of its ambitious revitalization program of the 1990s. It offers one of the more complex, nuanced, and ultimately convincing accounts to date of the change wrought by the new urbanism.

Space and Culture

An engaging urban case study. The insights of the communication scholar are seamlessly woven into this well-written study.

International Journal of Communication