Monday, February 16, 2009

Worcester and Pyongyang: Maybe Not So Different?

Okay get your attention?

What the hell is this nut job squawking about now you ask?

Bear with me here.

So 4 or 5 years ago I was watching this documentary on IFC. The name of it slips my mind but it was about an American journalist going into North Korea to film a documentary. This of course had to be cleared with the North Korean government and the whole time he was in country he had his own personal government appointed chaperon to take him around from place to place and of course this guy whizzed him around North Korea at break neck speeds so he couldn't possibly film anything except what they let him film.

One particular night they stayed at a hotel in Pyongyang and they were able to film a little bit out of the window in the morning before the chaperon got there. What they filmed has always stuck with me as one of the creepier things I've ever seen. They filmed out their window at the intersection below. In the intersection there stood an officer directing traffic which is not very strange at all until I tell you there was NO TRAFFIC. This guy was standing in the middle of an intersection going through all the motions of directing traffic except there was no traffic. What this always seemed like to me is that someone in the North Korean government had seen some sort of American movie or TV show where a cop was directing traffic and didn't even understand what the cop was actually doing but thought to himself that a modern metropolis should have a guy standing in an intersection waving his hands and blowing a whistle like they have in America not even fully understanding what the actual practical purpose is of having the officer there doing it.

So today I am coming into Worcester via 146 and I come to the 4 way intersection of Cambridge, Quinsigamond, "Olde" Millbury St, and 146. Next time you are there check this out. If turning right onto Millbury from 146 if you look to your left there is a tiny park on the corner with three park benches sitting on a nicely laid brand new brick foundation. Those benches must be there for all the foot traffic down at the end of a major divided highway right?

Give me a break City Hall!!!!!!

Those benches are there because some boob who makes way to much money (money that we pay by the way) saw some benches somewhere and said, "hey well, cities have park benches right? well let's put some here."

What should have been there and what would have been a much much much better use of that money is some nice landscaping and a beautifully crafted sign that said something like "Welcome To The Green Island Neighborhood, Worcester Massachusetts" or "Welcome To The Canal District, Worcester Massachusetts" and if you really want urban park benches put them were there is some damn foot traffic like in Kelley Sq, or on Green St or Water St, or on Park Ave, or on Highland.

Okay Worcester, you are taking the first step and trying to make things look good and I commend you for that, but Jesus, you are supposed to be professionals. Things need to look good but they are also supposed to have a purpose. We need park benches in our city, and we also need signage telling people where they are.

Please try to put the stuff in the right place and don't just put stuff in places all willy nilly because you saw it on your last trip to the big city. Just putting things wherever without any sort of master plan is how we got into the predicament that we are in in this city to begin with.

Act like grown ups would you?

So yeah, long story short Worcester and Pyongyang, both doing things they saw in the big city without fully understanding what it is they are actually doing. Who woulda thunk it?


Paulie's Point of View said...

you are such an angry young man:>)

kieran said...

Amen. Testify brother Gabe.

4rilla said...

You want signs??

They might be coming. The T&G tells us today that the "Wayfinding Sign Project" might get funding under the stimulus plan!