There may be somebody I malign when I say no one leads so exemplary a life that there is no part of it he or she would not be unwilling to share with someone ... but I doubt it. I need scarcely scratch the surface of my life to encounter things I would as soon share with no one, let alone speak of mucking around in archaeologic trenches systematically backhoed through it. But conditions change and I am willing now to let fall slack the veil I wrapped around what once were secrets of the deepest dye, to let a little light bring out the shapes of things too often left in shadow. What were the earliest shadowed spaces? That of the colored half-light underneath the blanket, or that beneath the bed? That of the stuffy darkness in the closet behind the clothes, or that behind the stairs on the way to the basement? What does it matter? All of them were shaded. Which came first? The mutual sharing of pubic anatomies with Carol Lewis in the blinkered light beneath the baldachino of the bushes; or the pants-down hanky-panky with Sonny Schwartz in the leaden demi-jour of the old gray Army blanket? With Denny Ring the making of plans and marshaling of stones to throw at Harry Puerto Rico in the shuttered murk below the porches; or the rending with my brother of all our books in the street-light shattered darkness of our bedroom after the light was out? Who cares about primacy? Each adds detail to a pattern of secret deeds committed in forgiving darkness, shaded from the eyes of parents, janitors, and other keepers of the norms ...
They see so well, they of the normative eyes: where can we hide, we of the deviant behavior?i Where can any of us hide from all of our eyes? We can look back – way back – to the peccadilloes of childhood and have a laugh, say yeah that’s how it was, with the secret clubs and the mingling of blood and the fooling around and the learning and the feeling and the hidden smoking and drinking behind the garage, but ... we can’t look much closer back and do anything but worry. Under strict interpretation of the laws in most of the fifty states a lot of adolescent – don’t even talk about adult – learning and growing and fooling around is also ... felonious. It’s almost magical sometimes how you can be, what? not two months older than your lover, but you’re an adult and your lover’s a minor and somehow THAT is no longer fooling around but a felony rap and a different life – not that anyone’d ever bring charges, except sometimes they do, or their parents do who never liked you in the first place, or your parents do who never liked your lover, or others do who just happened to have their eyes glued to that great big telescope of norms. And it’s not just a question of the law, but of all the actions and attitudes and opinions of the others with whom our lives are mingled. My first arrest for drunken and disorderly behavior wasn’t a tenth as painful as coming home late, night after night, to fight with my father about where I’d been and what I’d been doing, giving battle in that ageless contest between his norms and my life, which it seemed at times I could only live ... in the shadowed spaces.
The doings? Different at different ages, in different situations, for different sexes, for different folks, in different times, in different places.ii Some are just silly, like licking plates tongue-clean or wiping with the wrong hand or chewing fingernails. Some might be laudable in certain circumstances – like studying – but not with this crowd or that friend. Others, at least to these or those, are damning, like reading pornography or voting Republican or having homosexual relations or going to church. And some are outright criminal, like dumping toxic wastes in the woods of Vermont or simple murder for simple gain. There are all shades of behaviors in the shady spaces: all secret, from someone, from many, from all.
And there are all shades of shady spaces. Any space can be shadowed if the time is right. When the family’s gone, the couch in the living room – home office of normative behavior – can encompass ... a wide range of special effects. But there are also spaces that are always shadowed, by nature, by location, finally by association.iii They’re the deeper recesses of abandoned lots cut off from view by screens of kudzu or the ramparts of long forgotten dumps; they’re the jungles of ailanthus that spring up along the embankments of the switching yards beyond the station master’s view; they’re the forest and the grass that flourish in the piece of land devoid of access except through someone’s yard, that are encouraged on the margins of open water that run with sewage during heavy rains, that thrive in the bottoms of unworked quarries; they’re the spaces underneath the bridges, spotted with guano and bereft of greenery or curtained with trees and cool in the summer; they’re the odd corner of the park or the state institution, the part of the federal lands just beyond the hole in the fence, the whole of the dying estate too large to be patrolled by the caretaker’s wife. They’re the places you think about going to let your dog run, the places you stay away from if you know what’s good for you, the places you have to go to to roll a drunk or meet what passes in these days for hobos. And they’re the places you go if you want to find ...
... discarded underpants. Once you start looking for them you find them all the time. Discarded underpants: white jockey shorts, about size 32. Jockey shorts exclusively. Invariably white. Never smaller than a 26, rarely larger than a 34. They’re laying there just off the rarely used path or mixed up with the leaves under the bushes at the end of the log or crammed down among the pieces of broken concrete. They may not be like new, but they’ve been bleached by the sun and washed by the rain and they’re as clean as anything in the world. And as innocent. I first noticed them in the early ’70s when George McCleary and I taught a short course on Worcester, Massachusetts, water. We walked what seemed like every piece of open water in the city, some of it none too easy to get to, much of it in shadowed spaces. In six weeks of casual encounter we came across a dozen pairs of pants, not looking for them, just tripping over them. In following weeks I tripled that number in other shadowed spaces without much effort. They were all over the place. Some had been there forever, some had been discarded just the day before. Rarely was there more than one to a site. Later I would occasionally come across a new pair where once there’d been another, though I still don’t know where the first ones went. The part of the city didn’t matter: east, west, north, south, rich, poor, old, new, up the hill, at its bottom – was the space shaded from the normative eye? – that was all that seemed to matter.iv
In Raleigh, North Carolina, with even less systematic investigation I doubled the number again. Seventy-five pairs of underpants! Students helped, reporting the site and size and sometimes brand of the occasional discovery. Carter’s seemed more popular here in the South, Fruit of the Loom in Worcester. But south of LA in a maze of shaded niches beaten into the scrub below the embankment of the Amtrak San Diegan, I counted fifteen brands of underpants; and back by the railroad tracks behind the Biltmore in Santa Barbara I even found a pair of silk Yves St. Laurent’s. But mostly they’re Fruit of the Looms, Jockeys, Carters, along the bluff above the Bow River in Calgary, or in the jungly growth down along the Connecticut in Brattleboro; beside a bench in the Ramble in New York’s Central Park, or in Chicago’s Jackson Park under the shrubs along the Lagoon. Everywhere the sizes are much the same, an average 30-32, and so are the sites. In residential neighborhoods of tone, among the heavy shrubs along the top of shoulder-high retaining walls, there beside the squashed Bud cans and empty packs of Marlboros, there’ll be a pair or two, as in the empty housing on the other side of town with its boarded windows and notices of condemnation. There are also shaded places without their complement of jockey shorts. Among the litter of ill-used heavy coats, of knock-down grills of refrigerator shelving and the marks of ancient fires, of newspapers, of color spreads from Hustler, Penthouse and other brands of commercial porn, of Richard’s bottles and cheap meat cans, you’ll find ... no underpants. Few underpants, in fact, with any sign of wine.v
Precisely. What are these pants doing here anyhow? Why are men and older teens scattering perfectly sound jockey shorts around abandoned lots and under bridges? It’s not as if they’d been swimming and left them to dry. It’s not like throwing away your handkerchief or ... dropping a shoe. You have to take off your shoes and take off your pants, strip off your shorts, and put the pants and shoes back on. It’s not something you do in two seconds out there among the waste and the weeds, the snakes and the trees.
And who will tell? I mean, if you could talk about it, would you be out there throwing away your clothes? In Five Years, Paul Goodman wrote:
Fear of the laundry: fear of the wives and the mothers, the normative eyes with the normative hands that normatively do the wash, carefully screening each pair of pants for comely stains – can anyone believe this of the laundress of a small hotel? of a harried mother? of a wife with other things to do? But such is the lens of paranoia our deviance presents our souls to use – and yet who knows? Perhaps there are such guardians of the norms.vii
And yet these are but traces – innocent themselves. What act so horrible could they betoken to justify the loss of pants? In Goodman’s case:
Though it’s not just a matter of a crumpled front among the shiftless. In his Collected Poems, Goodman has written of a source of fear more powerful:
with a long face an kickin at a stone,
no one to play with, nothin to do,
same as yesterday an forty year on.
Peel the bark off a white pine branch,
the color’s pretty and smooth to the feel,
whittle a propeller to turn on a nail
in the whistling wind, when the wind will.
Mom is off with one of her beaus,
Sis is gone to work all day,
if the neighbors knew the thoughts I have
they’d beat me up and put me away.ix
Norms in action can kill ...
Yet that’s the point. Norms that can’t kill, at need, or beat you up or put you away – in your room for the afternoon, grounded for the week, incarcerated for the year – norms that can’t be enforced, by the force of opinion or the force of arms, don’t amount to much as norms. Yet though together we create and maintain these norms, as individuals each of us is deviant. It doesn’t really matter what happens in the empty lots. It’s enough that one of us – or two or three together – did a thing that he or she feels certain falls – rightly or wrongly (for though we create the norms together we also interpret them alone) – outside the class of things permissible in public, outside the class of things the normative eye – his or her own included – would never blink at. Yet it was done, joyfully or compulsively, whatever it was, as a necessary movement in the endless dance of reconciliation between ourselves as selves and our selves as social beings, between our strident demands as a people for our rights as individuals and our strident demands as individuals for our rights as a people.x
Shadowed spaces: stages for the dance. Are Raleigh and Worcester, Calgary and Chicago, Santa Barbara and New York, typical? I don’t know. But given the casualness of the investigation, a pair of pants per every five or six thousand people is a wildly conservative figure for the number of jockey shorts drying in the sun across America. At the going rate for Jockeys or Hanes this works out to around a hundred and fifty thousand dollars a year, scattered in the empty lots, underneath the bridges, at the bottoms of the tired quarries. It’s a little thing – nobody’s profit margin – but telling. After all, this is but one of many signs, one left only by the specially proud or the specially clean or the specially cautious, the most minor token, as it were, of the boundless demimonde of shady behavior. And yet, merely indicative though it is, already it grows possible to think of tying price tags to the shadowed spaces. xi
Who among us wears no sign of these twilight places? The tokens remarked in Meredith Wilson’s The Music Man include rebuckling knickerbockers below the knee, nicotine stains on the index finger, dime novels hidden in the corn crib, the memorization of jokes from Captain Billy’s Whiz-Bang, and the use of “swell” and “so’s your old man.” As surely as dwindling supplies of underpants designate habitués of empty lots, so these stigmata branded the votaries of pool, a simple-minded game for bums. Inevitably:
What was it about the pool hall, about its smoky shuttered darkness broken only by the lamps above the tables, that made the normative element – in each of us – shy away as if from a hobo jungle? I use the past tense, as though all this were a thing of the past, but as recently as 1967 the Wisconsin Supreme Court quoted The Music Man extensively to support its contention that pool halls were ...dens of iniquity.xiii The justices must have found the musical unusually somber. More recently – 1978 to be precise – a Kennebec (Maine) County Superior Court upheld the right of the Augusta City Council to not renew a pool hall’s license on the grounds that “harmful tendencies” were associated with such businesses. When the Maine Supreme Court overturned this ruling the pool hall’s lawyer observed that: “... what’s significant about this decision is that it’s one of the first we’ve seen in the country that rejects the old idea there’s something inherently wrong or evil in pool halls.” xiv
Was it the idleness alone? Was it the frittering away of time, the fact that the kid playing pool was not getting dandelions pulled up, not getting the screen door patched, not pounding beefsteak, not pumping water? Or was it that without entering the pool hall there was no way of seeing what went on there – there in that alien place – no way of insuring the maintenance of decent behavior, no way of penetrating the blurry murk of cigarette smoke curtaining the window? Anything could happen, libertine men and scarlet women and rag time, shameless music – that’s it, of course, shameless! Shame: the face of deviance blushing under the unblinking gaze of the normative eye: no eye, no shame, no shame, no ... decency.
Pool halls. Billiard parlors. Massage parlors. Shooting galleries. Bars. Gay bars. Porn stores. Movie houses. Rec halls. The alleys behind the houses. The school yard after school. The playground at night. The corner drugstore. The university student union. The university student union? In the winter of 1967-68 the Clark University (Worcester, Massachusetts) student union was invaded by teenagers from a nearby high school. They wanted to sit at some tables, drink Coke, smoke cigarettes, and talk – a lovely combination of sins ... The kids hadn’t spent enough for the drugstores, so they’d thrown them out of there. The kids hadn’t moved enough for the cops, so the cops kept them off the streets. These kids loved the student union when they found it. No parents. No nosy friends. Ashtrays on the tables. Subsidized drinks. A very loud jukebox. And bathrooms! A very nirvana of shady places except that the Clarkies didn’t want their space “dragged down by high school kids.” So they got the campus cops to keep the kids moving back out the doors. It got pretty complicated for a while: the kids’d move in, the campus cops’d move them out, the city cops would meet them at the gates and send them right back in! Where in the name of winter can seventeen year olds who aren’t in any trouble and aren’t ethnic and aren’t very poor and aren’t very rich – where can they go to smoke and talk? The corner drugstore did I say? They can’t even hang around on the corner, that nubilate intersection of obscurities, doubly cursed by the bane of idleness as well, a twining of perversities whose only possible brood could be deviance.
The corner ... In an important early article on crime and space, Leonard Duhl featured a photograph of six young men well but quietly dressed standing on a corner looking across at a billboard advertising Vincent Price in House of Wax. The caption read: “Delinquency starts here.”xv Talk about mass hysteria! In whose idle brain is the devil playing? On the corner, where the passers-by avert their glances, where the normative eye blinks and blinks again, out under the sun in the middle of the foaming swirl, here again anything can happen, anything be hatched. The fear of idleness is the fear of the place of deepest shadow, the whirling mind behind the steady stare. In tonight’s paper – in last night’s paper, in tomorrow’s paper – I read of a free hip-hop party to be thrown from ten (in the morning) till seven (in the evening if you can believe it) by a goodhearted Raleighite: “I see a bunch of kids hanging around street corners every day – I’m just trying to find something for them to do.”xvi
Will no one believe, despite the idle past alive within them, that something’s going on on that corner, that something’s going on on that stoop, that something’s going on down there in the gutter. Maurice Zolotow put it this way:
Under the boardwalk, out of the sun ... But also under the sun beneath the blanket. I don’t know anymore how it is on the great public beaches, but it wasn’t so long ago that the cops and the guards applied their rules, whatever they were – hands and heads in sight – and kept love off the beach. At the slightest suggestion of darkling dalliance they’d prod and poke the blanketed bodies – still after O! so many years the blanket! – into the light of the normative day. And into the somber gloom of the booking room of the nearest jail. No joke:
Still, the law is there and so’s the pressure and the arrests are real enough. The potential is horrendous: in North Carolina nude bathing could cost you $500 and up to six months in jail. No one’s been arrested, but the law is some measure of the threat to the normative part of us of going nude ...xix
Of going nude, of having sex, of smoking, of being idle, of picking wildflowers, of going to the bathroom, of picking your nose, of licking the plates, of farting, of looking at yourself in the mirror, of crying: laws and social conventions, implicitly conveyed or explicitly taught, can describe the range of permissible behavior and proscribe the rest, but the ends of the curves, however shaped, do not disappear with the passage of the bill or the quiet shaking of the head. The ends of the curves – on some of which we all must find ourselves – go out of doors into the abandoned lots or into the broken buildings around bus stations or wait until no one’s looking or dive beneath the blankets or crawl beneath the bushes or find a quiet spot beneath a bridge or on an empty distant strip of beach or in a hollow space among the pines in the tenth-growth woods straggling at the edge of nowhere. They are important places, the shadowed spaces, a geographical subconscious without which it’s impossible to even think about non-normative behavior, a spatial underworld twined throughout the environments of other actions. In these places proscription is proscribed, and the relationships between the one and the many and the done and the not done are worked through and out with consequences as unforeseeable as the locations of the places themselves, inevitably tripped over in the doing and the looking and the feeling and the learning that specify the character required. Important places, the shadowed spaces, and complex and tricky. They can’t be made. They can’t be planned. They can’t be staked out and signed and known. They have to be ... left over, they have to ... over-looked, discovered by happenstance, found in need, cajoling even as cajoled.xx
But though they can’t be made, the shadowed spaces can be unmade, wiped out, destroyed, made useless, impotent and truly empty ... and with ease. Unintended screens are ugly in the eyes of many: scrub trees – got to go; long grasses – must be cut; derelict buildings – need to come down; old blankets – should be thrown away; urban streams – ought to be covered; empty lots – could use better fences; distant beaches – require a road; and downtown has simply got to have an ordinance or two to keep the billiard parlors, corner stores, and porn shops out of business. Direct assaults, these, and brutally effective: but they’re spit-balls and paper airplanes compared to the insidious machinery of zoning, zoning in and zoning out, zoning for homogeneity and the consequent loss of a richness of niches, zoning for single uses, sleeping here and playing there, working and shopping somewhere else, the powerful lamps of the shopping center parking lots shining on the shuttles, islands in the sea of rushways and their well-mown berms, like the tidy houses and their well-mown grassy lakes multiplied to other oceans with their lack ... their lack of screens and shade, their lack of curtained shadow, their lack of hiding places, of long grass and ungraded ground, of places shielded from the noonday planner’s sun. No nooks and crannies – no edge effects – for if there are no ways to make them there are so many ways to make them not: the control and planning of large spaces by central authorities or single teams, the bulldozing of not really ancient buildings for parking lots, the replacement of undeveloped woodlots by grass-fringed playgrounds, the destruction of a neighborhood – or two – for a housing project or a high speed highway.xxi
The consequences? I don’t know what the consequences are. People will find places – even in parking lots at noon they will find places – to do what they have to do, to be what they have to be. But is there any reason it has to be so god-damned hard?xxii Totalitarianism creeps on cat’s feet till it pounces for the kill. Then the shadowed spaces are the only place of refuge. They’re the only place of refuge ... now for those parts of all of us, those parts of each of us, at whatever age, that can’t quite buy the current order. Some of this is growing up, some of it is ageless being, some of it is unending change.
Change ... Blowing in the wind? Perhaps. But certainly it’s candles ... lighted in the shadowed spaces. xxiii
[Note: This paper was originally prepared for the International Symposium of Selected Criminological Topics, University of Stockholm, Sweden, August 11-12, 1978, which was sponsored by the International Sociological Association’s Research Committee for the Sociology of Deviance and Social Control, the Scandinavian Council for Criminology, and the American Society of Criminology. At the request of Paul and Patricia Brantingham, the paper was recast as a more formal analysis of the shadowed spaces, and a formal typology of screens was developed. In this very different form the paper was published under the title, “In Defense of Indefensible Space,” in Paul J. and Patricia Brantingham, eds., Environmental Criminology, Sage Publications, Beverly Hills, 1981, pp. 77-95. The paper in your hands has never been published, though it has been regularly photocopied and widely distributed.]
i While I wish the kinds of behavior embraced by “normative” and “deviant” to be construed as broadly as possible so that “not pushing your little brother” is normative and “pushing him” is deviant, I wish also to restrict the usage to notions about the way behavior “out to be” without respect to the way behavior actually is. Thus, even though “everybody does it” I wish to regard “cutting in line” as deviant with respect to the norm that “everybody has to wait his turn.” In this situation, of course, “everybody does it” indicates as surely as anything that everybody doesn’t. There is nothing unusual about this usage, but I though it best to make it explicit.
ii Examples of each of these might be: little kids may not eat in the living room, while adults occasionally must (as when entertaining the boss with pre-prandial drinks); sexual intercourse between unmarried people is liable to sanctions, as is a failure of sexual intercourse between married people (as, for instance, grounds for divorce); males may bare their chest, females may not; some people refuse to sing in public – even in groups – and restrict their singing to the aurally shadowed shower, whereas others have no such compunction; sex is more “sinful” in the daytime than the nighttime; and sex is okay in the bedroom but outrageous on the kitchen floor. All these variations could have been wound around drinking (or any other theme): kids can’t drink, adults are pressured to; bartenders shouldn’t drink, patrons must; males drink boiler-makers, females pink ladies; some people feel they can’t drink in public (so they nip at home), others that they can’t drink alone; drinking in the early morning is verboten, but drinking in the late afternoon nearly de rigueur; drinking in church is sacrilegious, not drinking in a bar absurd. The point is that the norms are extremely flexible instruments of social control, modifiable by a thousand different things.
iii A formal description of shadowed spaces would constitute a spatial mapping of the labyrinths of deviance, from the momentary screen placed by a child between him and his mother while he bops his younger brother, through the construction of semi-permanent screens like club and tree houses, to the utilization of permanent shadowed spaces (like cemeteries at night – worth a paper in themselves) or the exploitation of rights of privacy granted to otherwise open spaces (like bathrooms or bedrooms). Critical determinants are impulsiveness, duration, and magnitude of deviance. Footsies at dinner can be screened by the table, a nocturnal fling can be hidden by the party-host’s bedroom door, but a full-fledged affair demands a permanent nest. The possibilities for geographical analysis are manifold.
iv Indeed, it is not clear to me that the fundamental force involved is a function of any given society, but of all societies, by their very nature. This is not to say that certain forms of deviance – murder for gain, rape, robbery – are not the result of specified forms of social organization, such as capitalism. They probably are, at least to a certain extent. On the other hand, deviance per se is purely the product of norms themselves, which in turn are nothing but the codifications of aspects of world view, itself inherent in society qua society. Shadowed spaces are probably geographic properties of all societies.
v Frankly, though I go beyond my data here, my supposition is that the underpants I’ve found were the properties of older adolescent boys (supported by the 30-32 inch average waist) trying to conceal their sexual activity (probably masturbatory?) from their mothers. But wine drinking (especially of the ilk of Richard’s) is not an adolescent sin, nor are the two activities broadly compatible. However …
vi Paul Goodman, Five Years, Brussel and Brussel, New York, 1966, p. 129. This is a collection of notebook jottings covering a five year period in Goodman’s life.
vii On the other hand, I knew kids in junior high school who could steal shirts and throw them dirty in the hamper at home without an eyebrow being raised within fifteen miles. Were their mothers so oblivious? Or was the laundry done by the maids or the laundry service? Such fragmentation of the washing chain results in a serious loss of control over this entire domain of life.
viii Goodman, op. cit., p. 76. This was later turned into “The Ballad of the Truck by the River” (Paul Goodman, Collected Poems, Random House, New York, 1973, pp. 184-85) in which the racial and class overtones of the encounter are squarely faced. Narrated by the black, the point is made that he can’t wash his pants, in the end, because he has no job, itself the result of “dis yere Jim Crow,” the effects of which are in some way ameliorated by embracing Goodman. This is more than reminiscent of Whitman’s embrace of the “evil prostitute,” so powerfully scourged by Lawrence (D. H. Lawrence, Studies in Classic American Literature, Doubleday, Garden City, 1951, pp. 187-191).
ix Goodman, Collected Poems, p. 285. Goodman’s poetry constitutes one of the finest descriptions of the shadowed spaces.
x When I want to play my record player loud I refer to my rights as an individual, but when I want my neighbor to play his record player quietly I refer to the neighborhood’s rights as a people. Trivially put, this is the tension that fuels the ballet, much of which is danced in shadowed spaces.
xi The price might be a little steep, though the number of pants may be underestimated. Hanes tend to run about 3/$5.29 when not on sale. [This was in 1978 remember.] Jockey brand shorts – which never go on sale – run about 3/$7.50. J. C. Penny sells its polyester/cotton house brand at 3/$3.99, though it frequently discounts them another dollar. Jockey shorts thus range between one and two-and-a-half bucks for the kinds of brands found in the lots, though they tend toward the cheaper end. The class (income) implications of this are unknown. Still less well understood are the reasons for the utter dearth of boxer shorts. This might also indicate a class variable of some kind (or age?). [And this definitely changed: as over time boxer shorts became more popular with kids, they began to show up with much greater frequency in the shadowed spaces.]
xii From the song “Ya Got Trouble” in Meredith Wilson’s The Music Man.
xiii According to a story in the Raleigh Times, June 7, 1978, p. 11-B.
xv Leonard Duhl, “Urban Design and Mental Health,” Journal of the American Institute of Architects, March 1961. The article was either early or important solely in the context of the architectural establishment. The March 1961 issue was a special one devoted to urban design.
xvi According to a story in the Raleigh Times, July 10, 1978, p. 1-C.
xvii From a wire story by Maurice Zolotow that appeared in the Raleigh Times, July 1, 1978, “Act II,” p. 20.
xviii From a story in the Raleigh Times, July 10, 1978, p. 8-A. Note that the stories I’ve been using come from a single (small) paper within a month’s period.
xx One of the points that would have to be addressed in a formal description of shadowed spaces is the extent to which they elicit the behaviors involved rather than being sought out as spaces in which to carry the behaviors out. While I reject out of hand the idea that the shady spaces constitute the primum mobile, I do accept the idea of some sort of mutual push and shove, the undirected steps taking the body to the sort of space which further channels latent intentions, in turn prompting further search, and so on, and so on.
xxi I have made a highly similar case to that made here with respect to playgrounds, which generally reduce the richness of any environment for play, while resulting in an increase in violent, antisocial behavior that takes place in plein vue of the normative eyes of teachers, fellows, and others. See my “Design Despite Information: The Case of Playgrounds,” Industrialization Forum 8(1), 1977; and my “Free the Children! Down with Playgrounds!” McGill Journal of Education, Fall 1977; and Robin Moore’s “Anarchy Zone: Encounters in a Schoolyard,” Landscape Architecture, October 1974.
xxii On the other hand, there is no reason to make it as easy as the high-rise, elevatored, double-loaded corridor buildings of low- and middle-income housing make it. These bêtes noirs of Oscar Newman – “whose elevators, fire stairs, hallways, and roofs are freely roamed and rules by criminals” – cannot be readily differentiated from my bête noir of the brilliantly-lighted, shopping-center parking lot. Both are simplistic architectural solutions to irrelevant problems with highly deleterious impacts on human behavior. It might not, in fact, be too incredible to suggest that “criminals” control high-rise housing project buildings precisely because the only potential shadowed spaces available are the buildings themselves. At the bottom, Newman and I would find ourselves in agreement: highly centralized environmental control (by bankers, planners, housing authorities, architects, real-estate speculators, or governments) inevitably leads to impoverished environments incapable of supporting human life. On the other hand I find many of Newman’s suggestions as horrifying as the problems they were designed to solve, and I cannot but wonder at the ultimate naïveté of his refusal to examine the relationship between the criminals he abhors and the society responsible for the projects. But see Oscar Newman, Defensible Space: Crime Prevention Through Urban Design, Macmillan, New York, 1972.
xxiii Let the society that litigates against pool halls be reminded of its admiration for the martyrdom of Anne Frank – and the resistance in general. Without the shadowed spaces … quoi?