(99) The Waste of Place

The interesting part of this section for me was the contradicition between Lynch’s deploring attitude toward wasted spaces and the argument that society tries to valiantly ignore it.  In short I find the drive to the Newark airport beautiful in the old sense of mimesis – the patchwork of ramps, old access roads, mob driven excess, supersized Ikea, and the trash, crumbling apartment buildings all look like capitialism to me … I think the source of the confusion might lie in the argument that the expansion from the old city centers to the exurbia is not the cause of urban blight. In the 90s it looked like this, but cities fought back by re-making themselves along the aesthetics of malls (Boston, NY, Baltimore, etc) and attacted suburbanites back with spectacular tourism.  This then lead to a general revitlazing and indeed “white flight” has been fleeing the blandness of surburbia for the excitement of the big city. So much so that almost no one I know lives in Manhattan any more because it is too expensive. In the early 90s it was still considered too dirty and unsafe. When I moved back in 1998 there were still peep shows in the East Village. In general think it is hard to find a logical relationship between waste and real estate when a “nightclub can become a slum overnight” and a SuperFund site can become the next artist colony.


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