This is a brief response to Emily Raboteu’s Playgrounds I have know, a creative essay on different perspectives of New York residents and how this perspective changes with age.
The Map by Molly Royand the stories of Emily Raboteau shift in her experience of New York City both focus on parks and public spaces and how they shift over time to meet the needs of each author; weather through juxtaposition or a shift in experience. Both focus to an extent on the disparities and competitive nature of the New York school. In a quote from her map preface Roy states “…their parents regard life as a brutal competition and anxiously try to keep their children ahead in the race with in-utero enrollments in the preschools that set them on the long road to elite success…” This quote paired with her map shows the juxtaposition of those institutions with extreme wealth and power blocks from places in the public sector. Raboteau discusses a similar topic when she is looking for a school for her child and finds herself experiencing the competitive atmosphere she had heard so much about. She confesses when talking to a neighbor that; “I haven’t yet studied the thirty-two zones of the department of education’s map, which looks an awful lot like gerrymandering, nor discusses that our school district is the most populous in the city…’ This worried conscious of a mother focuses on the comparative aspect surrounding public and private resources in the city. Both women find themselves tracing the cities inequality through their experiences and find new ways that shift their perception about the city that call home.