Additional inspiration for this project came via the 1998 documentary The Cruise, starring the lively philosopher / tour guide Timothy “Speed” Levitch. In one key scene, as Levitch walks down a Flatiron block, he muses on the grid plan thusly:
“[By saying] ‘I can’t even imagine changing the grid plan,’ she’s really aligning herself with this civilization. It’s like, ‘I can’t imagine altering this civilization. I can’t imagine altering this meek reality that rules our lives. I can’t imagine standing up on a chair in a room and changing my perspective. I can’t imagine changing my mind on anything. I, in the end, can’t imagine having my own identity that contradicts other identities.’ When she says to me — after my statements — ‘everyone likes the grid plan,’ isn’t she automatically excluding myself from everyone? ‘How could you not like the grid plan?’ So functional. Take a right turn, a right turn, and right turn, and then there is a red light, a green light, and a yellow light. It’s symmetrical.
By saying that ‘everyone likes the grid plan’, you’re saying I am going to relive all the mistakes my parents made. I am going to identify and relive all the sorrows my mother ever lived through. I will propagate and create dysfunctional children in the same dysfunctional way that I was raised. I will spread neurosis throughout the landscape and do my best to recreate myself and the damages of my life in the next generation.