so the really useful thing about a blog is that there is a direct place to write what you're thinking. not a field note, because it didn't happen in the field, but a note on my own process. it's a little disjointed and that's how this project is for now.
1. i read an article this summer about bees in the new yorker. it said a lot of interesting things, but the most curious to me was that when bees build a hive, the entrance/exit is always the same size. this is because there is a certain proportion of space to bee that causes them to feel safe or comfortable. i would posit (along with many urban designers and architects -- any suggestions??) that humans also have this need for appropriate scale to our bodies and it makes us feel disjointed when we don't. (ever feel wierd when you walked across an empty parking lot?? ever wonder why??) children probably know this best, with their instinct to cozy into small spaces and tents and things. in putting myself outside of my "bee space," in a place designed foremost for locomotive engines and not humans, i spend a lot of time "feeling wierd."
2. this project is about marginal space. it feels good and rather academic to say that we can know the things that are included in a place by searching its margins. but is it true? maybe.
in this project, one of my advisors suggested that i am exploring "late capitalism" by moving through the landscape of "early capitalism."
3. i am taking a *fabulous* sociology methods class, which is really helping me think about what i can and cannot find out through this type of research. it being a soc class, however, i am required to come up with an all-encompassing question for my project. i came up with this:
how has the built landscape and transportation economy
of the capital corridor railroad influenced or produced the communities around
it's a good question. solid. but it also makes me wonder if one can do research with no question at all -- not just "exploratory research" (the thing you do before embarking on your project) but a whole project.