Invisible City 01: Streetlights of San Araba
by Jason Winn, AICP, RA
As you pilot your personal carriage through the hill country you become aware of the glow on the horizon that is San Araba. Its rainbow of light-waste shimmers up into the sky like polychrome fog. Cresting the last hill you look down upon the glittering veins of the city. The street lights are all tunable LED lamps that create gremlins of orange dots (speeding cars) rushing down boulevards chased
Descending into the valley of the city you will find your own line of red and white. Your fellow drivers heading towards the glitter are blinking red tail-lights in jerky fits. Those fleeing the city are burning the back of your eyes with high-beams of all descriptions from umber of lorries through the squint-eyed blue of sports-cars' stylized lamps. Ahead, throbbing white street lights indicate an auto accident. It is lit to maxiumum to aid the distressed. Above your lanes the city's lights cascade from yellow to blue depending on the speed of traffic under them. In the distance ahead of you a wash of blue rushes towards you, rippling down the road towards you. The yellow glow around you is extinguished. Simultaneously the red tail-lights stretching away in front of you wink out. Each driver anticipates the mood.
From up in your hotel roof bar you survey the other badged convention-ers. All weary but electrified by the rainbows stretching away from the city center. Glancing across the city you note the roundabouts with wisps of yellow pinwheeling in towards the city with blue tendrils spiraling away into the suburbs. You discern the residential neighborhoods as smears of gentle blues and greens across the hills.
The jazz quarter below is a pulsing red and yellow like neon glitter pulling revelers towards the heart of the city's beat. of free-flowing traffic.
Each their own neon glittering, dancing showgirl, the towers of downtown compete for your attention. One round egg of a tower bubbles like Champagne, with a froth of small dancing spotlights effervescing from the roof bar. Business towers wear reserved tracery of neon pulling their edges into relief leaving the glass facades dark.
How is this impossible?
How is this beautiful?
How is this annoying?
Please comment below
- Jason Winn is a registered architect with the State of Texas, certified planner with the American Institute of Certified Planners, and certified energy manager with the Association of Energy Engineers. He has practiced architecture and urban planning in San Antonio and Chicago for 13 years and is currently teaching design at the Eastern Mediterranean University. Read his research on storytelling and persistence in the built environment at Space Poetics