I am loving VICE on HBO. The last episode explored “China’s Ghost Towns.” Apparently, an alarmingly high percentage of China’s booming economy is based on real estate development. The government seized farmlands and started to erect huge residential towers. The problem? NO ONE IS LIVING THERE. It is completely bizarre — entire “cities” are pretty much vacant, with half-built high-rises dotting the sky. Some are fashioned to be replicas of London, Paris and Manhattan’s Financial District, and are now mainly serving as backdrops for wedding photos. VICE never really explained WHY China chose the areas it razed and built up. According to the program, at the peak of the United States’ housing bubble, construction amounted to 16 percent of the entire GDP. China’s is 50 PERCENT of its economy. And now, if China fails, we all fail.
Here’s the story on one of the largest public art projects ever staged in New York created by artist Nick Cave.
If they put this in Port Authority, people would just ignore it, mistakenly thinking they are just the homeless people who live inside.
Next steps for NYC’s payphones?
According to Architizer, New York City’s 11,000 (probably mostly unused) payphones are being transformed for the digital age. And some of the finalists’ designs are really cool.
With a few payphones already turned into WiFi hotspots, some, like FXFOWLE’s NYC Loop pictured above, could also have smartphone features and an “information puddle” for people to use. Other designs have weather data, parking meters, and assistance kiosks rolled into one information hub. It’d be handy for tourists looking where to go in Times Square, or simply when regular New Yorkers hop off the subway and don’t know which way is east or west. And, as the article notes, these super payphones could even provide much-needed communication if another Hurricane Sandy strikes.
So apparently there are pieces of the Berlin Wall in various NYC locations.
And New Yorkers are not impressed.