Monday, November 26, 2007

the color of a city


Beside the well known landmarks it's hard
for most people to tell one city apart from another nowadays.
Especially if the view is less iconic.
The newer big cities around the world are even harder to tell
apart than the slightly older big American cities.
It seems the same glass and steel box designs
are being recycled all over the globe.

But in almost every corner of every city there's something
other than the iconic building or monument that tells us where we are.

Most New Yorkers or frequent visitors would probably recognize the image above as a slice of New York.
But for many others it could be Chicago, Philadelphia, Detroit, or some other bigger city.
Some may not even recognize it as an American city.

Most big business districts in bigger somewhat modern cites are quite similar in color and architecture.
Glass, steel, concrete, stone, brick, asphalt.
They all appear a bit gray, black, brown, sand, beige, and dull versions of blue and dirty whites.

But then there is the other color. The color that gives it all away.
London's got red buses. And black funny looking cabs. Or used to.
Taxis in Hongkong are red and white.
In Bangkok they come in every candy color possible and are small and compact.

And what color the NY cabs come in, everyone in the world knows.
It's good to know if you happen to get beamed up to a UFO by aliens and then dropped here.
If you see a yellow cab, you're in New York.
No matter what the color of the face on the person behind the wheel is.

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