Friday, December 11, 2009

Free Beer Friday - Guess the City Happy Hour - Old Skool Edition

What exactly is old skool about this week's GTC? I have no idea. Accept this as you wish, but all of this cold makes me wish for some summer sun. Old skool enough for you?

From what I understand happy hour will be at the old stomping ground, Porta di Roma, in downtown Dallas, aka DTD, or if your feeling equal measures dyslexic and snarky, DDT. I'm feeling a bit Dysnarxlic myself. Antidote? Two beers stat!

Today we're going on vacation unapologetically to a tourist town - not too unlike seaside, fl - as both were essentially enclaves popped from the ground up as we warned against with China's empty city. So, what can we learn here? Maybe that it works at the scale of tourist village with a healthy supply of sun, sand, palms, and salt water as natural resources.

With that said, it was actually amazingly hard to find pictures of this place with actual people in multiples. Unless, of course, they are doing typical touristy stuff like lying on the beach or freefalling from the sky:

Also, it was amazingly difficult to find pics of the is why:

The houses work somewhat backwards from what we are typically familiar in that the back of the house is to the street. Therefore, the streets aren't exactly worth uploading into the opensource atmosphere. So we've got no street side cafes. No couples strolling arm in arm down a narrow alley. No bicyclists.

Street to Lac Sant Maurici

To visit this place, you drive to the town, find your unit, park the car, where you actually might not need it during your week long excursion. Because what we have here in spades is water, docks, and boats. The typical front of the house, presenting its welcoming face to others, is on the water, presumably where the life happens, on the water..

And, despite having an array of densities from small lot villas, to attached townhomes, and multi-story condominiums, nearly every unit has direct access to water, with their own dock. often organized like water culs-de-sac off the primary canals. Furthermore, while the pictures mostly seem relatively low density, for an area less than 2 square miles, this place can pack nearly 100,000 people in-season.

Perhaps not the ideal of walkable communities, but I think I could still find some relaxation under the summer sun, ferrying to the corner store for sundries and supplies. Frankly, this might be the closest realization to one Eric Bell's dream of a neighborhood of buddies united by backyard lazy river.

(Perhaps not coincidentally, if you go to the beach, beware. You might just find a few too many fair-skinned, mid-continental types removing far more clothing than you might wish otherwise.)

Where might Eric Bell's fantasy land be? That's for you to find out and get a free beer on me at happy hour for being the first correct answer in the comments.