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like mushrooms after a summer rain…

September 17, 2014

_DSC6092A gluton-free gourmet food basket boutique has just opened in the neighbourhood – which upon closer inspection – is as horrible as it’s name suggests.

The Yuppies are coming! And the metrosexuals.

Those types of people who want their businesses to be featured in Halifax Magazine.

And with their arrival, comes the metrosexual interior designers – who will create the look of these new businesses that will be about as original as a box store. The kind of stores that can make the colours green and orange look sad. That slightly pale sterile look that seems so popular with Protestants these days. (Think: cupcake stores, or David’s Tea.)

Once a neighbourhood gentrifies, you may as well be living in the suburbs. The level of mass conformity is about the same.

Once a neighbourhood begins to gentrify – the locals (who are much poorer and far-less educated) can only scratch their heads as they begin to watch their rents start to go through the roof. And then they realize that they have to go to Spryfield, or some such peripheral place, because that’s the only place they can now afford.

And as I walked by their shiny new shop and its newly minted kaki-coloured facade, I realized that I had become my cat.

I caught myself in my reflection – looking just the way he does – at that moment when he realizes a bird has just landed outside his window.

 II

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The new Halifax Library is about to open (sometime this fall – just down the street from the food basket boutique) and, for a work of post-modern glass architecture, it could have been much worse.

The problem however is that there is so much glass construction now, so many rectangles and shiny clean lines, that I feel like I am looking at 30 years of abstract art or something. Eventually it all looks the same. Even the good stuff.

Condos have totally killed glass as a medium of modern architectural expression – and good luck to any architect that can overcome that problem.

You may as well try to re-invent Starbucks or Uggs – all the while knowing full well that its already been done to death.

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University of Toronto – College and University

 

The lines taken in high-end post-modern glass are so severe they fall on that line between sublime and fascistic.

And it really depends on my mood on the day that I am looking, to decide which one it is.

I do find it interesting that in an age when we are just beginning to fully realize the serious shit-kicking Mother Nature is about to give us this century (yet, all the while, incapable of changing our behaviours), we look to create buildings that appear to blend in with Nature.

It’s like these buildings are transparent.

That they don’t really exist at all.

That we have zero impact on the world.

Come with us” they seem to call out.

“Come live in the clouds.”

“Come fly like a bird.”

 

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