Tuesday, July 12, 2005

Docklands for Dummies

Whenever there is a redevelopment of a city docks, usually for upscale housing for "young professionals", have you noticed how they always leave the cranes. London, Liverpool, Manchester - every one jam packed full of cranes, all lined up, not one working - but repainted and rustproofed, presumably at great expense by the developer nonetheless.

But Why?

Who needs a crane ?

All the docklands-dwelling yuppies live in minimalist Bose-friendly micro-apartments anyway, so no-one is going to be unloading any massive pieces of furniture off a barge anytime soon, even if the damn cranes did actually work ?

But a non working crane is just a big bit of rusting iron - they don't provide much shade compared to, say, a tree - which looks a lot nicer anyway. And I haven't even seen anyone set up a bungee jumping business with a constant stream of Australians leaping from it after one to many Boags - nothing so potentially damaging to the house prices oh no sireee...

So, why clutter up the place with these decaying monoliths to a wasted industrial heritage at all?

The only thing I can think of is that they are there to create atmosphere - to remind people that they are living in a "dockside" development, thats far more exclusive. No, it's definately not just any old Barrat-built identikit ghetto on a re-developed industrial site still seeping chemicals and effluent up from the subsoil to eat away the foundations. Yes, "just look at those cranes - it shows that it's a "docklands" apartment dah-ling, very exclusive..."

Don't know about you, but personally I'd have thought the proximity of the water was enough of a giveaway myself.... but then again, I've never paid over the odds for a 20m2 flat with shared parking for my ragtop in a seagull-crapping target range, and the smell of rotting fish after every stormy day either..

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