Saturday, June 21, 2008

Latest happenings in the city

Well this week (it was this week, right?) we saw the closure of E Street as the city goes through with its E Street Corridor plans (or "Enhancement Project", whatever you like). Now while the corridor plans will involve reconstructing E Street from 2nd Avenue to 9th Avenue, the portion undergoing change for now is just the stretch between 5th and 6th Avenue. If you have not seen the renderings yet, the changes will be obvious. I still think this will be risky as it may end up receiving the 'what were they thinkin'? line from onlookers in the future. Wider sidewalks, added landscaping, ice-free walkways -- that's great. But adding colored brick designs on the road... I don't know man... I've yet to see any other city do it, so I really don't know what to think in terms of whether it will age well or whether we'll see the design scrapped 20 years down the road and replaced again with regular pavement. Either way, here's a PDF from the contractors at CDW on the project.

Meanwhile the Post Office Mall (or whatever the building is named now) received a fresh coat of light blue paint across its entire front facade. Besides seeing a flourishing of activities with new shops opening inside, owner Jimmy Wong is planning to give the buildings exterior a makeover to align with the re-energized mall that will hopefully become more visually appealing and attractive for new business. A quick visit to the mall's official webpage reveals a sketch of how the new front exterior is to look. Distinguishing the buildings two main entrances: cool. Adding whales swimming on the roof: not cool. The whales better be tastefully done, otherwise we'll have ourselves a case of pink flamingos. I'm nervous about this..

Finally, though not so new, the neighboring building next to the 4th Avenue Theatre (which shall remain nameless) has been given a new facade treatment by its property owners. Before, I always thought the building looked depressed and ghostly. The gray paint scheme made it seem as if its original colors totally chipped away from the passage of time. Now, the building looks rosy and cheerful while managing not to go overboard in its faux brownstone architecture. Even a little wood frame has been added on the front, presumably left as advertising space for any future tenet. Judging simply on what I've observed over the years, the building has seemed to have a rough history of attracting any tenets, perhaps due to limited space, so I guess we'll see what this new look would do.

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