Friday, April 16, 2010

Free Beer Friday Guess the City Happy Hour

...or how you will (un)productively spend your afternoon deciphering a City that might make you want to drape yourself in velvet (huh?).

By the request of others, this week's Happy Hour will cruise up McKinney Avenue towards the area known as Knox-Henderson to partake in imbibables (new word) and merry festivities at Knox Street Pub.

This week's city manages to pack a population similar to that if you took the number of Dallas residents and subtracted Arlington from it. Hey, that sounds like a good idea anyway [jokes].

...into basically the area of streetcar reach from downtown Dallas: uptown, near east, Cedars, Oak Cliff, Harry Hines, and Fort Worth Ave. Some of which is exceedingly livable, other, not so much.

Its river however, is suitable enough to warrant the naming of songs and nuclear weapons after. The Trinity could only hope to someday fill those shoes.

This city's central continental location made it ideal as a trading hub, what we call logistics today, providing it with enough significance to have been fought over many, many, many times over the recent not so much centuries, but millennia. Also similar to Dallas, it has recently utilized its presence as logistical hub and the resultant infrastructure to expand the enterprise of perhaps its number one export (no, not homemade narcotics):

Also like Dallas, its current stasis is spent grappling with the remnants of numerous statist solutions, primarily intracity expressways and the resultant form of sprawl. Our "free market" version just looks a good deal different, but both are equally oppressive, monotonous, and riot-inducing. We'll get to those in a bit.

The last connection between Dallas and this week's guess the city is that it is also the Garden of Eden for some of North Dallas favorite four-wheel drive less-for-off-roading and more for grocery getting and neighborhood envy sleighs of choice.

Like almost any city worth venturing to, this particular place has experienced numerous tranformative hey-days; the vestiges of which combine to define the City and its places worth visiting or worth quickly leaving.

The Medieval:

...becomes the Old City, largely defined by 15th to 19th century architecture and forms providing the most lively and lovable places to this day.

What remains are remarkably human-scaled spaces.

...with elements of modern life adapted to the old city.

Whilst strolling about, you might even stumble across some creepy little fellows...

And then, the turmoil of the 20th century struck. The City, long withstood the pressures of military conflict, succumbed to another force:

I've got an idea, lets paint them. [Twitter hashtag: #TheFormIsTheProblem]

After the shackles of one form of government and economic system were shed for new found opportunity, it has also struggled with how to properly harness the possibility of new investment in an otherwise extremely livable and viable economy. It has done so with mixed results.

While much of the contemporary development wrestles with an antagonistic transportation network, the areas of the city too lovable to destroy with expressways are adapted to modern living: