Infrastructures and Spectacles of the Global
DOI link for Infrastructures and Spectacles of the Global
Infrastructures and Spectacles of the Global book
In 1920, Thomas E. Rush, Surveyor of the Port of New York, remarked that “[y]ou may not like New York; [. . .] you may not, to your knowledge, ever purchase an article from or sell articles in or to New York; nevertheless, in the things you wear, the things you eat and drink, the pleasures you enjoy, the books you read and the moving pictures you see, you are being infl uenced by what happens there. Every improvement which cheapens the cost of goods handled through this port increases the price of what you sell and decreases the cost of what you buy” (Rush 1920, 6). This statement holds true today. Given razor-thin inventories and minimal redundancy in the supply chain, any type of friction to cargo fl ows is perceived as a threat to the functioning of global production networks. Yet, while New Yorkers at the time might well have been aware of the importance of the port for their and the United States’ economic wealth and well-being-after all, in 1920 all port functions were still located on the inner-city waterfront-maritime infrastructures and their economic role have become invisible to most of those visiting and living in postindustrial global port cities in North America today.