Polar Terrace by Talia Schaer

During two weeks of observations I found two very different uses of the terrace. One time there were two men on the hunt for drugs and the other time were groups of friends using the terrace to hang out.

On October 12th myself and Jake headed down to the terrace at 6:30pm to observe the terrace. Nothing was happening and we thought it would be another uneventful night. We were so far off.

At 6:45 two men came to the terrace. One was on his burner flip phone while the other looked around on the terrace. Both were in Nike tracksuits, and the man looking around on the terrace seemed wary of Jake and I at first. He kept moving the corners of the benches around, and Jake and I soon realized he was looking for his stash. Fast forward to 7, his friend was off the phone and helping. They moved our trash can with the painting of a dog and found what they were looking for. They both left the terrace, but on opposite stairwells, leaving Jake and I to wonder what the hell just happened.

Next week on the 18th Jake and I went back at 5pm to the terrace. We had no clue what to expect that time, more guys hunting for their stash, locals just hanging out, or maybe no one at all. But we were met with two groups of people hanging out at the terrace by the time we got there.

There was a group of two girls taking pictures, who stayed there for another fifteen minutes. The other group of two were smoking a cigarette and had a dog with them. They stayed for 23 minutes before leaving. They were all just enjoying the fresh air and mild weather of the evenings. Then at 5:30 and 5:47 a guy comes by to dump some dirt over the ledge of the terrace. Maybe he was working on a garden, but who knows for sure.

But what I learned was the duality of the terrace. There are people who go there for a nice relaxing time, and the hidden drug culture of the terrace. It is a place to meet with friends, have a drink or smoke a cigarette, or it is a place where your secret business can thrive.

(Pictured Below: The set up of furniture both weeks and how they change and the man searching.)

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