|A small selection of cellular phone sites throughout Philadelphia. Top to bottom, left to |
right: Washington Ave around 22nd St.; off 5th St. north of Spring Garden; 6th St at Spring
Garden -- note the rectangular transmitters on the roof of the building and Verizon's large
tower in the background; transmitters on top of St. Peter's Church of Christ at Kingsessing
Ave. and 47th St.; North Broad St. near Erie Ave.; South Philadelphia near Front St.; South
Broad St.and Tasker St. with cell site directly on top of an apartment building; Spring Garden
between 3rd St. and 4th St.; off 13th St. just north of Washington Ave.
(for a larger version of the image, click here
As the utility of cell phones increases, especially as they become mobile, pocketable, Internet-ready computers, the web of infrastructure required to keep these devices connected (I hesitate to even call them phones since they multi-task so extensively) increases. To have a signal strong enough to check one's email or location requires a cell site close nearby, wherever and whenever that location is. Consequently, these in-between, interstitial non-spaces, wedged in at the edge of a major freeway off-ramp for instance, or on top of an apartment building or church, become integral to all of our everyday lives. When people rely on an always-on connection to a communication network, the geography of these spaces of radio-signal transmission become as important as the asphalt and concrete geography of the city.
There is plenty to write about this, so stay tuned and I will make an attempt this summer to post more often...thanks for reading.