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“Shinjuku: The Phenomenal City”

MoMA - The Museum of Modern Art

Land in Shinjuku, a busy transportation center in Tokyo, may be the most expensive in the world, costing up to $200 a square foot. Shinjuku is one of the places where they invented the professional subway packer—a uniformed employee who throws his weight into making sure that every car is filled to capacity. In the large entertainment and shopping districts that surround the rail center one may see a giant gorilla clutching a plastic hamburger, a huge, science-fictiony crab in front of a seafood restaurant, and plastic leaves and blossoms that are changed to match the seasons.

These bits of information come from a curious show at the Museum of Modern Art intended to investigate the consciousness a cityscape like Shinjuku fosters. The show consisted of maps of both above and below ground areas, a group of cubes with pictures on several sides (suggestive of a poor department-store window

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