For my latest assignment in AP Human Geography, I had to write a journal with ten entries about places that I went to over Thanksgiving break. These places had to be everyday places that I might visit. For example, I had to write about restaurants, movie theaters, gas stations, grocery stores, schools, etc. I also had to write a cultural analysis for each of these places that I visited. I had to look at the types of people there, the music playing, and the such. This project took a lot of work, but it was just as interesting to look deeper into the cultural aspects behind the places that I see everyday.
P.S. I only have pictures for some of the places that I went to.
Entry 1: Pappadeaux
Time: 7:20-8:45 (1 hour, 25 minutes)
Pappadeaux is a very culturally infused restaurant with New Orleans themed food and a building that reminds me of something you might see on a street corner in New Orleans. The music playing is primarily Jazz and Blues music, which has ties to the city. The employees are very friendly and are great at convincing you to buy something more expensive. The customers are mostly families with adolescent age children that seem to be enjoying themselves and the food. There is a underlying smell of seafood that is hard to notice, but enough to get you hungry for some shrimp. After some observation, there is an overwhelming amount of folk culture based on tradition from New Orleans. The food, music, and architecture of the restaurant creates an illusion of being in New Orleans and experiencing what you would in the city.
Entry 2: Roswell Bicycles
Type: Sports Shop
Time: 2:15-2:40 (25 minutes)
The first thing you could notice when you entered the store was the smell of rubber floating in the air. The employees behind the counter greeted every customer that came in and there were a few workers walking around answering any questions people had. There were a few tvs set up around the store that were broadcasting football games and speakers were playing music that I knew from the radio. The bike repair area was in a separate room and there were a few older men there having a friendly conversation about bicycles. This repair operation was very smoothly and had a sort of homey feeling to it. In conclusion to the observations, Roswell Bicycles has an interesting combination of pop culture in the music they played, brands they carried, and sports shown, but the scene of repair shop and the friendly employees retains that folk culture and the connection to the local community.
Entry 3: Jimmy John’s Gourmet Sandwiches
Type: Fast Food Restaurant
Time: 6:40-7:05 (25 minutes)
Being in the location right next to a college dormitory, this Jimmy John’s consisted of what were all college age employees who greeted us as soon as we entered. There were no other customers there at the time which was probably because all the students, which makes up most of the population, had left the town for Thanksgiving break. The restaurant was very clean and smelled like fresh ingredients, and they were playing pop music that you would most likely hear on the radio. The employees were having a conversation about Photoshop and using it in some class at school. The most interesting thing about Jimmy John’s is all of the signs that they have on their walls. They all say some clever remark that provide some entertainment while eating your sandwich. After observation, Jimmy John’s effectively encompasses the pop culture of the college town and the norms of the area.
Entry 4: Thai Emerald
Time: 7:20-8:35 (1 hour, 15 minutes)
Thai Emerald is an authentic Thai restaurant that is located near Roswell High School. As I walked in the door, smells of spice and curry overwhelmed my nose and made me think I was entering some spice market in Asia. The waiters, dressed in an embroidered outfit, and the architecture of the restaurant with statues and candles created an authentic atmosphere for the Thai cusine. There was a huge party of about 25 people that were celebrating a birthday and enjoying themselves a lot. The food was great and effectively encompassed the Thai spirit in the spices and curries used. Looking back after observations, Thai Emerald used a lot of the folk culture from Thailand in their food, building, clothing, and atmosphere to create an authentic experience.
Entry 5: The El Felix
Time: 1:15-2:00 (45 minutes)
The El Felix is a Tex-Mex restaurant located at the Avalon. There menu consisted mostly of Mexican based foods and they brought you tortilla chips with two different salsas. Looking around the restaurant, I saw mostly families enjoying themselves while eating out for lunch. The employees were very friendly and came around every so often to check on us and ask if there is anything we need. The entrees all had spanish names as they tried to keep the original names of the dish, as it would be found in Mexico. After some observations, The El Felix retained the folk cultural aspects of the authentic Mexican dishes, but also tied in the pop culture of music and clothing.
Entry 6: Regal Cinemas Avalon 12
Time: 10:20-1:00 (2 hours, 40 minutes)
The Regal Cinema 12 is located at the center of the Avalon and is the main attraction of the area. They were playing pop music in the lobby and there was a church breakfast taking place. The people that were there for the breakfast were mostly older people with a couple families in the mix. The employees that were checking tickets were teenagers that seemed tired and did not seem like they wanted to be there. I went to see the new James Bond movie, Spectre, and there were only a few other people in the theatre. The previews that played before the movie encompassed the popular upcoming movies that everyone “needs” to see. In conclusion to the observations, the Regal Cinema 12 at Avalon really incorporates pop culture to its daily business schedule through music, movies, and clothing.
Entry 7: Milton High School
Time: 8:15-3:30 (7 hours, 15 minutes)
Milton High School is located in the city of Milton and consists of students primarily from ages 14 to 18. Most girls are wearing leggings or skinny jeans with a flannel shirt and most boys are wearing jeans with a hoodie or sweatshirt. A lot of the students walking to class are listening to music, be that alternative or popular. As well as, you can find students that are on their phones throughout the entire school. The school has an interesting Greek/Roman sense of architecture when it comes to the columns out front and it. In wider observation, Milton High School retains some Folk Culture with its architecture, but includes a lot of pop culture through its students.
Entry 8: Home
Time: 9:45-10:00 (15 minutes)
My home is the location of most of my cultural influence as it is the place where I have been and am currently being raised. The main language of my house is English, but occasionally my Dad will teach me some phrase in Hungarian or tell me some fact about Hungarian. It smells like pumpkin pie and some floral candles as my mom is preparing for Thanksgiving lunch. There is also some classic rock music being played from the garage where my dad is working on some project. There are a wide variety of foods eaten in my home including a Hungarian Goulash, which is a traditional beef stew from Hungary. After observations, my home consists of a great amount of both folk culture and pop culture in the music, food, clothing, and manners.
Entry 9: Northern Tool
Type: Shopping Area
Time: 3:45-4:50 (1 hour, 5 minutes)
Northern Tool is a home improvement and construction supply store and the one that I went to was located in Marietta. When I got there, there were lots of people there as it was black friday and there were a lot of sales. A majority of the customers there were hispanic and wearing jeans and a t-shirt. The store had pop music playing on the speakers and was relatively quiet for the amount of people there. The employees were very friendly and were helping people find items around the store. The most interesting thing there was that it seemed more people were talking in Spanish than English. After observation, Northern Tool contained some pop culture with the music choice and black friday deals, but it retained a surprising amount of folk culture in regards to language and how the store was run.
Entry 7: Home Depot
Type: Shopping Area
Time: 6:05-6:45 (40 minutes)
The Home Depot is a widely spread home improvement store that is a common destination for construction, plumbing, etc. workers. The first thing you notice when you enter the store is the smell of wood and sort of factory smell. But when I entered the rental area, there was an overwhelming smell of gas that lingered in the air. There was pop music playing throughout the store and a large amount of people (again being black friday) that consisted mostly of people wearing baggy jeans and a t-shirt. In wider observation, the Home Depot encompasses the folk culture of the vocational trades very efficiently with the implementation of pop culture in music and architecture.