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Space: The Final Frontier

Space_2I had an interesting chat with my father recently. Some odd days ago I was talking about a play I was in, and without  thinking I rattled off the word "space" in reference to just about everything.

"We're looking for a more convenient rehearsal space." "Barrow Street Theatre is an excellent space." "My friend lives in a converted space." "Spaceballs, what a great movie." etc.

My father replied:  "When did everything become a space? I remember when Theatres were Theatres and Apartments were Apartments."

Though I'm no linguist, the  evolution of the lexicon is clear to me. Space in New York is  more precious than it was 30 years ago, and  is less sacred as a result.  A theatre may be a theatre today, but tomorrow, it could be a cannibal cult hangout. This decade has  seen hipsters living in churches. Concerts atop public pools. Museum Raves. Sand dunes in bars. Sometimes you dont know whether you're inside or outside. But you don't question Space. You are simply grateful to be in one.

The complete takeover of the word "space" is testament to our ailing standards.  Low budget theatre productions take just about any surface area they can get, be it heated or not, be it 2x2, be there a giant f*cking piano in the middle of the room when you don't need one,  be there jangly belly-dancing classes next door,  be there incompetent reception, be it your mothers walk-in closet. We still look around and say "Wow. A space. I've really made it."

I can only speak for New York City, but  I would be curious to know if the vocabulary has changed in other cities. I also wrote this awhile back, which is a more formal spacerant with actual examples, heaven forbid.

--Halley Bondy

Pictured: What would YOU do with this space?

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