Earlier this week I published an essay in the Dirt newsletter about the cultural role of geography as content in the post-pandemic era. My primary example of this was Dimes Square, a Manhattan micro-neighborhood that has essentially memed itself into existence—a relatively ordinary stretch of a few gentrified blocks in Chinatown whose online presence has imbued it with a powerful aura. Just this week, at least three other articles about Dimes Square were also published, suggesting that the topic has suddenly become ripe for discussion. The response to this new flood of commentary, which is essential to the neighborhood’s very existence, was a collective groan, suggesting that the topic is in fact overripe, and it is this tension that makes Dimes Square the perfect Twitter topic: People are ashamed to talk about it while simultaneously finding themselves unable to stop, scolding one another for amplifying a topic that seems fake but becomes more real every time someone else weighs in. As the momentum grows, this discourse becomes a truck with failed brakes, careening down a mountain road as bystanders watch in horror.
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