Thursday, July 19, 2007

Memphis' Evil Twin Sister City?

When I opened this Wired article, about the building of a 70-story skyscraper on the waterfront in St. Petersburg, something looked very familiar. Half a second later, I figured it out.

The camera angles of the visualizations, the buildings towering alone over the waterfront, the slope of the low-rise roofs.

And there's more. From the article:
At 72 stories, the new headquarters for Russia's state-run gas company will tower over St. Petersburg. And, yes, the Gazprom building — part of a complex to include a sports center, theater, and cafés — has its critics. They note that, at 1,300 feet, it's a touch tall for a 300-year-old city of church spires and canals. Not that such carping hinders progress in neo-authoritarian Russia. Only vigorous protest kept the city from funding the entire project, and the liberal Yabloko party was barred from recent elections for opposing it.
When I'm pissed off, I will call Memfograd "neo-authoritarian Memphis", or "the neo-authoritarian Bluff City".

(There might be value in finding not only new models of progress but also new models of dysfunctionality. Looking at the problem from a drastically different angle might -- might! -- give our civic narrative a fresh new twist.)

By the way, this is not a commentary on either Beale Street Landing or One Beale. I just found the images similar.

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Blogger *** said...

New leadership downtown can put a stop to these grandiose projects. Extravagance in a time of war is an insult to our hard-won freedoms.

Projects that grind down the taxpayer in order to make grist for developers are an insult to the working poor of this community.

9:42 AM  
Anonymous Gregg said...

Take a virtual tour of beale!!! From 1999??!??

1:11 PM  

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