Brave Old World: On Ruining Paris

 

The Montparnasse tower is a highrise of such menacing ugliness that it’s become a landmark. Tourists are fascinated by its bleak destructive power.

Let’s start figuring out how to do this kind of journalism. This is an experimental month: I want to figure out how to do a new kind of reporting that involves you, the investor and the reader. I figured the piece I’ve promised to City Journal about Paris’s architectural vandals would be a good place to start. Here are my questions:

  1. From the Gallo-Roman era to the recent past, almost everything Parisians built was beautiful, in many cases more beautiful than anything else in the world; and at least, not aggressively ugly.
  2. After the Second World War, Parisians lost this ability — entirely. What has been built since then is at best tolerable, and at worst, among the ugliest architecture in the world.
  3.  Why?

What are your questions?

Something catastrophic certainly happened to architecture throughout Europe after the Second World War. Europe is justly famed for beautiful cities, but none of that beauty was created after the war. The mystery of that is profound. What causes a whole continent suddenly to lose its genius? That there’s a connection to the war is clear, but what exactly was the cause and the mechanism of the loss?

Now, I need to make the case that my judgments about this aren’t arbitrary. I’m saying something more objective about beauty than, “I like building A but I don’t like building B.” So I need to start with a robust theory of aesthetics. Here’s what I need it to do:

  • It needs to be able to tell us, in some detail, why Building A is more beautiful than Building B. These principles should be broadly applicable to all buildings.
  • It would be useful to show that these principles may broadly be applied to the idea of “beauty,” generally.
  • I’d like to explore the idea that it’s at least reasonable to associate “the beautiful” and “the morally good.”
  • This point must be based on evidence, the nature of which must be defined. So, for example, I want to look at the criminogenic quality of ugly buildings, and the way people tend to get sick and die sooner when they live in and among them.

I’d like to use these questions to test a few platforms for sharing photos and video with you, as well as some audio and video recordings of interviews, to see what works and what doesn’t, technically and conceptually.

So let’s get started.

Here are some people who might be interesting to interview. This is the National School of Architecture at Paris-Val de Seine (ENSAPVS). It’s supervised by the department of architectural management and heritage of the Ministry of Culture. And it’s housed in a building designed by the architect Frédéric Borel, winner of the National Architecture Grand Prize.

Notice anything about it?

ENSA

That’s right: It’s ugly.

It’s not hideous, but consider what everyone in Paris grows up with, is surrounded by every day, and knows for a fact to be part of his or her heritage. What I’m about to show you are buildings that everyone in Paris walks past every day, and has for his or her entire life:

Paris-Notre-Dame-river-france-XL sainte_chapelle_stainglass_windows_interior palais-garnier-paris-front

Recall: the first photo was that of the school of architecture. Not any old building, but one designed to inspire students to the pinnacle of architectural greatness; one designed to showcase contemporary architectural talent. Yet it is — plainly — catastrophically ugly compared to what people here see around them every day. They don’t just read about those buildings in history books, they see them.

Here’s more work by Frédéric Borel. The school of architecture isn’t a one-off mishap. Have a look at his proposal to build, under contract to the city of Paris, “social housing for the autistic.” He won a design competition for the project in 2010. Here’s how he explains his plan. (It’s my translation.)

This project is will be inaugurated on one Paris’s sites of philanthropic expression: Madame Boucicaut, the wife of the founder of the Bon Marché department store, wished to build a hospital here. This idea, forgotten in the depths of the 19th century, may seem obsolete today. But this didn’t stop us from dreaming about what today’s philanthropic architecture could be, architecture that would not only protect men and their families, but also aspire to love them. Thus our building is designed so that every dwelling is functional and properly lit. But it also seeks to provide luxurious common areas for its occupants and a landscape of enigmatic forms for passersby. It’s almost as if this building could offer more than just what’s required — some sensuality, some poetry …

We respected the urbanization plan, which suggested we build a T-shape building so that the new layout would blend in with Paris’s urban fabric. But we detached the two wings of the T to avoid a locked-in effect and to open freely to the city. This indentation better recaptures the pavilion composition of the former Boucicaut Hospital, built under the scholarly direction of Paul Chemetov.

The angle of the two streets is marked by a joint drawn by two brick lips that breath, offer respiration, to this crossroads without recoiling. At the same time, the garden captures the light that cuts through this in-between space: not the active and hygienic light of the 19th century, but the playful and lazy light of the 21st century.

Beneath the open corner, there extends a large, carved hall. It emerges like the atrium of a hotel, giving every occupant an address that’s truly welcoming, inviting the desire to meet and be together.

The pedestals and handrails on the ground floor sculpt the ground. They lift and detach from the street, creating higher ground; the single-story shelter for the autistic opens from behind to a sheltered garden.

Before I show you the photo, take note — you probably have already — that this is completely incoherent. It’s not my translation (if anything, I tried to render it more comprehensible than the original); it’s even worse in French. The “hygienic light” of the 19th century? Light in the 19th-century was different from the “playful and lazy” light of the 21st century how, exactly? Why is it a source of pride, in the 21st century, that every dwelling is “functional and properly lit?” — all of Paris has been blessed with electric light for more than a century, so that’s hardly an architectural advance. How do you detach the two wings of a T and still get a T? Beats me. The bit about the brick lips that breathe and respire without recoiling is not only as meaningless in French as it is in English, it’s unconnected to any feature of the building that’s lip-like or visibly designed for any respiratory function.

Do you see “sensuality and poetry” in this?

log-Nanterre-1_0

If so, where?

But even weirder is the appeal to the former Boucicaut Hospital. The architects say, explicitly, that they seek to capture its spirit. Now, that building is no more; it was grievously afflicted by flooding in 1910 and torn down. But sketches suggest it was once at the least inoffensive, and perhaps even beautiful:

boucicaut 2 Boucicaut boucicautn

Here is the building with which Paul Chemetov proudly replaced it:

06-MG-AU_Boucicaut_T-SHIMMARU

Now, you tell me. If you were asked to build a home for those afflicted with complex developmental disabilities that cause substantial impairments in social interaction and communication — one that would also be a workplace for people who care for them — which building would instinctively seem to you the better model? The one built for humans or the one that represents a boot stamping on the human face — forever? (I admit I phrased that question in a leading way, but the photos tell the story well enough.)

What happened here is a mystery. The fact that we take it for granted makes it no less a mystery. Why did France become a wealthier country by far, but lose entirely its genius for making beautiful buildings, over the course of the 20th Century? What do you think?

I’m planning to go to ENSAPVS in the coming days to speak to the faculty and students there. The question I plan to ask is, “What exactly are you folks thinking?”

Are there any questions you’d like me to ask? Are there other people in Paris you think I should interview?

(Oh, and don’t forget: Here’s the GoFundMe page. Feel free to suggest any question about this continent that you’d like me to explore: You’re my employers, my investors, and my customers, so I want to know how to involve you as much as possible — and how to make you happy.)

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  1. Kozak Member
    Kozak
    @Kozak

    I think Tom Wolfe nailed it in ” From Bauhaus to Our House”.

    Architecture was wholly driven by Theory, that at its heart was Socialist, and resulted in an endless pursuit of Purity and Virtue that meant a relentless drive for pure function.  There was literally no place for beauty.

    we ended up trapped in the glass boxes.

    • #1
  2. Kozak Member
    Kozak
    @Kozak

    My cousins daughter studied architecture in Delft and just graduated.

    I have to bite my tongue when she posts things on Facebook as  exciting or beautiful or cutting edge.  To me they are invariably ugly, idiotic and look non functional.

    • #2
  3. crizzyboo Inactive
    crizzyboo
    @crizzyboo

    Claire, I suggest you interview Roger Scruton.  Have you ever seen his thoughtful “Why Beauty Matters?” https://vimeo.com/112655231

    • #3
  4. Old Bathos Moderator
    Old Bathos
    @OldBathos

    Kozak:I think Tom Wolfe nailed it in ” From Bauhaus to Our House”.

    Architecture was wholly driven by Theory, that at its heart was Socialist, and resulted in an endless pursuit of Purity and Virtue that meant a relentless drive for pure function. There was literally no place for beauty.

    we ended up trapped in the glass boxes.

    Agree.  Culture and ideology precede and constrain art.

    • #4
  5. Claire Berlinski, Ed. Editor
    Claire Berlinski, Ed.
    @Claire

    Kozak: I have to bite my tongue when she posts things on Facebook as exciting or beautiful or cutting edge. To me they are invariably ugly, idiotic and look non functional.

    Not just to you, either. To everyone but architecture students and architects. Has any tourist ever come to Paris to see the Tour Montparnasse? Even once?

    What happens to property values in the neighborhood when these monstrosities go up? Crime rates? Suicide? Morbidity and mortality? I plan to find out.

    • #5
  6. Front Seat Cat Member
    Front Seat Cat
    @FrontSeatCat

    Wow! There are hardly more words to top this story. My first thought is what are the French architects smoking these days?  The first thing that comes to mind is inspiration (and today, a lack of). The building designs of old are beautiful – where did that inspiration come from? Faith in God (the Sistine Chapel), beauty in nature? These designs reflect a post-modern lens devoid of the holy, the natural world and seems to be replaced by an unnatural, almost distorted view that leaves the viewer or dweller with a sense of detachment. They remind me of the communist buildings left in parts of Europe – cold, uninspiring.

    Does that reflect today’s view of life? When I think of a healing environment that the autistic could connect with, I think of calm, peacefulness, nature, an interactive space with soft lines, gardens, color, waterfalls, ponds, and a building that fits that setting.

    I am interested in this architect’s upbringing and worldview – it is playing into how he sees the world and what he creates in his profession.

    These are just quick, first impression thoughts.

    • #6
  7. MLH Inactive
    MLH
    @MLH

    Architecture and Morality ?

    • #7
  8. MLH Inactive
    MLH
    @MLH

    Kozak:I think Tom Wolfe nailed it in ” From Bauhaus to Our House”.

    Architecture was wholly driven by Theory, that at its heart was Socialist, and resulted in an endless pursuit of Purity and Virtue that meant a relentless drive for pure function. There was literally no place for beauty.

    we ended up trapped in the glass boxes.

    Must go and re-read my Wolfe!

    • #8
  9. jpark Member
    jpark
    @jpark

    Who is their favorite architect? What buildings do they admire for their architectural features?

    I note that, some years ago, there was a book about church architecture here in the US titled Ugly as Sin. When they designed and built Notre Dame, a goal was to create a space that gave glory to God and encouraged the faithful. Does that get taught anywhere now?

    • #9
  10. Front Seat Cat Member
    Front Seat Cat
    @FrontSeatCat

    Also, in the picture above, that weird smokestack in the middle of that entrance above gives me the creeps – what is the purpose?

    • #10
  11. Kozak Member
    Kozak
    @Kozak

    Claire Berlinski, Ed.: What happens to property values in the neighborhood when these monstrosities go up? Crime rates? Suicide? Morbidity and mortality? I plan to find out.

    Wolfe addresses that in his book. The construction of the Projects in the US in the 60’s resulted in high rise slums.  The “workers” ie middle class American’s fled them to the suburbs. That left only the poor to occupy the “worker housing”.  The result was Hogarths Gin Alley made vertical.

    Try  going to Berlin on the East side, where you can see the glory of Socialist Worker Housing in all it’s soul crushing enormity.  At least now it’s finally been humanized somewhat.

    • #11
  12. Kozak Member
    Kozak
    @Kozak

    Claire Berlinski, Ed.:Do you see “sensuality and poetry” in this?

    log-Nanterre-1_0

    If so, where?

    Looks like that chimney structure could use some Viagra.

    • #12
  13. genferei Member
    genferei
    @genferei

    Claire Berlinski, Ed.: From the Gallo-Roman era to the recent past, almost everything Parisians built was beautiful, in many cases more beautiful than anything else in the world; and at least, not aggressively ugly.

    Nonsense. Almost everything that has survived from the Gallo-Roman era to the recent past survives because it appealed to the tastes of those who had the choice to keep or replace such things. The ugly things the Gallo-Romans, medievals and early moderns built has been allowed to disappear.

    Do we know what the average Parisian in the street thought of the Tuileries going up on the site of a perfectly good castle? “I can’t be having with that modern Italian frippery! All curlicues and pointless windows. Give me a decent gothic battlement any time!”

    I agree that the hijacking of modern state- (and foundation-) funded artistic expression — whether architecture, painting, sculpture, whatever the nonsense about the ‘artist’ sticking a knife into themselves and bleeding on video is called — by a self-selecting elite of professional aestheticians is a great pity. There might be reasons that patrons in the past had a better eye for these things than the intellectually cowed selection panels of today. It may be that Roger Scruton sets some of them out in this video. [Edit: as pointed to by crizzyboo above.]

    But surely one reason the average old building is nicer-looking than the average new building is survivorship bias.

    • #13
  14. Old Bathos Moderator
    Old Bathos
    @OldBathos

    I recall Robert Hughes’ wonderful series “The Shock of the New” in which he stood before sterile box office buildings housing govt offices in Albany and said imagine a large swastika, a hammer and sickle or even a cross on top.  “The building doesn’t care” he said. Sterile, bureaucratic-function-serving architecture is intentionally divorced from deeper meaning, culture and history.  You could not do the same thought experiment on a medieval cathedral or old Roman public structures or the Taj Mahal.  The building would care.

    Now, something is considered art precisely because it rejects (offends) all meanings and aesthetic values that existed before.  It is a weird combination of nihilism and egoism that seems to have infected the western world.  Narcissistic clowns leave ugly tributes to themselves all over our cities now to prove they are no longer bound by history, culture or recognized aesthetic virtues.

    • #14
  15. Claire Berlinski, Ed. Editor
    Claire Berlinski, Ed.
    @Claire

    Front Seat Cat: Also, in the picture above, that weird smokestack in the middle of that entrance above gives me the creeps – what is the purpose?

    I think those must be the “two brick lips that breath, offer respiration, to this crossroads without recoiling.”

    I swear, that’s what it says in the plan for the building. Purpose? I don’t know if it has one. It’s supposed to be “sensual.” To passersby. And it’s so normal for architects to talk about this stuff this way that no one raises his hand to say, “Excuse me, but that makes no sense at all.”

    • #15
  16. Claire Berlinski, Ed. Editor
    Claire Berlinski, Ed.
    @Claire

    genferei: Nonsense. Almost everything that has survived from the Gallo-Roman era to the recent past survives because it appealed to the tastes of those who had the choice to keep or replace such things. The ugly things the Gallo-Romans, medievals and early moderns built has been allowed to disappear.

    Nope. This is probably the most painted and drawn city in the world; we have detailed records of what things used to look like, here, going back to the Gallo-Roman era. It’s not a matter of “survival of the prettiest.” But you raise a good point: I should document that.

    • #16
  17. Kozak Member
    Kozak
    @Kozak

    Old Bathos: “The Shock of the New” in which he stood before sterile box office buildings housing govt offices in Albany and said imagine a large swastika, a hammer and sickle or even a cross on top. “The building doesn’t care” he said. Sterile, bureaucratic-function-serving architecture is intentionally divorced from deeper meaning, culture and history. You could not do the same thought experiment on a medieval cathedral or old Roman public structures or the Taj Mahal. The building would care.

    If you look at Fascist architecture from the 1930’s what you see are classical structures stripped of decoration.

    • #17
  18. Kozak Member
    Kozak
    @Kozak

    Claire Berlinski, Ed.: I swear, that’s what it says in the plan for the building. Purpose? I don’t know if it has one. It’s supposed to be “sensual.” To passersby. And it’s so normal for architects to talk about this stuff this way that no one raises his hand to say, “Excuse me, but that makes no sense at all.”

    And you end up with hysterical things like this…

    London’s Burning: How a Skyscraper Melts Cars

    • #18
  19. Claire Berlinski, Ed. Editor
    Claire Berlinski, Ed.
    @Claire

    genferei: The ugly things the Gallo-Romans, medievals and early moderns built has been allowed to disappear.

    Some evidence against your thesis. None of this is still here, but all is typical of sketches from the medievals and early moderns.

    900px-Les_Très_Riches_Heures_du_duc_de_Berry_juin 1050px-La_tour_de_Nesle_et_le_pont-Neuf Innocents_1550petit Innocents_1750petit Innocents_1850petit

    [Edit: “Little of it” is still here. Some of it is, especially from the top illustration.]

    • #19
  20. genferei Member
    genferei
    @genferei

    Claire Berlinski, Ed.: Some evidence against your thesis. None of this is still here, but all is typical of sketches from the medievals and early moderns.

    OK. But are you sure the architectural details are more accurate than the anatomically unlikely and impractical clothes or (in more martial pictures) the impossible armour and weapons?

    • #20
  21. Claire Berlinski, Ed. Editor
    Claire Berlinski, Ed.
    @Claire

    genferei:

    OK. But are you sure the architectural details are more accurate than the anatomically unlikely and impractical clothes or (in more martial pictures) the impossible armour and weapons?

    I’m not. I should probably speak to a good art historian who specializes in depictions of the city. There’s a whole wing of the Louvre full of “drawings and paintings of Paris since the beginning of time” — I’ll bet someone at the Louvre would know the answer to that question in very great detail. I’ll ask!

    • #21
  22. Jason Turner Member
    Jason Turner
    @JasonTurner

    I’m certainly no expert on architecture, but you mention the Second World War, how much is that a factor in the dullness of modern architecture?

    How many Architects were killed in the 1st & 2nd World War’s? How many President’s and Prime Minister’s?

    The west may have recovered physically from the wars of the 20th century, but the mental scars still exist in my view.

    The whole psyche of the west has changed before the 2nd World War there was still a desire for empire among many of the world powers, after the 2nd world war this has been replaced by the secular welfare state.

    I think this might be a definite factor in the decline in architecture not just in France but throughout much of the western world.

    • #22
  23. Doug Watt Moderator
    Doug Watt
    @DougWatt

    An appropriate monument to the existential nihilism of Sartre and Camus.

    • #23
  24. Marion Evans Inactive
    Marion Evans
    @MarionEvans

    The root of the change was before WW2, say around 1910 and started with a love affair with the ‘machine age’. After the disaster of WW1, people were looking for something new, clean and pure. Pure in the sense of ‘free from any ornament’ (Adolf Loos had said ornament is crime in 1910).

    Machinery was taking over. Now we had faster ships, cars and planes, machines used in manufacturing etc. Architects like Le Corbusier, Walter Gropius (at the Bauhaus), Mies van der Rohe were pushing buildings that were like machines, and a clear change from the renaissance inspired Beaux Arts school. There were clear advantages: steel and reinforced concrete allowed for buildings carried by columns instead of load-bearing walls and that freed up the outside facade to let in a lot more light. The invention of the elevator allowed for taller buildings. They were also a lot less expensive to build and allowed for free form.

    In the 1960s, some architects looked back and said we threw the baby with the bath water. That gave birth to the post-modern movement, Robert Venturi took Mies’s minimalist “Less is more!” and turned it into “Less is a bore!” Others divorced from modern: Michael Graves, Peter Eisenman, Robert Stern and the old “dean” Philip Johnson with his AT&T (now Sony) building in Manhattan.

    There is a place for modern architecture and the buildings posted by Claire are by no means the worst modern ones around imo.

    • #24
  25. Marion Evans Inactive
    Marion Evans
    @MarionEvans

    Some of the modernist belief was that it is not just about visual appeal. Modernists don’t claim their buildings are prettier than older ones. Their belief is that the experience of space and of light is more important. So in their view, it is ok if a building is not so visually attractive as long as the space inside or around it is a great space with good lighting, ventilation, health etc. Health was a big deal. Letting light inside in sun-deprived northern Europe was a big deal. Of course, a lot of modern buildings don’t deliver on these measures either.

    • #25
  26. Front Seat Cat Member
    Front Seat Cat
    @FrontSeatCat

    I would also ask the architect what he gained from researching people with autism – “their” inspiration, challenges, and what has shown to be been successful tools for them, and how his design would reflect that.  For example, both music and animals have played a large part in their learning and well-being. How about interactive sculptures, a koi pond, etc. It sounds as though his vision is more self-serving (try to create a personal stamp), then inspiring the particular dwellers as well as visitors.

    • #26
  27. Zafar Member
    Zafar
    @Zafar

    Did the purpose of buildings change after WWII?

    Meaning, before the war buildings were designed to provide a certain level of utility – great comfort (including aesthetic appeal) for the few, and a lot less (sharing bedrooms and bathrooms) for the many.  If I had a choice between living in a beautiful building where I had to share a bedroom, a kitchen and a bathroom, and an ugly building where I got my own flat, I’d pick the ugly building.  I’m not sure that would increase my chances of addiction and suicide, given the alternative.

    Linked to that, building materials and technology changed, making it possible to provide amenities to the many (say using concrete slabs and elevators), albeit at a cost in aesthetics.  The price of labour (you could say part of the utility to the many) went up, so you needed to get more bang in terms of benefit to people for your labour buck.  Ditto – and perhaps more importantly – with the amount of space you took up for a building.

    Are there any modern buildings that you think are beautiful? Write off Paris – what about anywhere else? There are some that I like, but they are not utilitarian wrt how they use space.  Are there any beautiful apartment blocks from the many built post WWII?

    • #27
  28. SoDakBoy Inactive
    SoDakBoy
    @SoDakBoy

    I am interested in the connection between cult and culture.  The old cathedrals like Notre Dame were built to raise the eyes and the spirit to heavenly things.  The spires, columns and arches all point to heaven.  The ceiling is often built to resemble a fishing vessel to remind us that we in the Church are in the bark of the fisherman, Peter.  The interior often has a cruciform shape to remind us of the Cross.  Lines of sight direct eyes to the altar.  Focusing on the ultimate source of the true, good, and beautiful seems to have resulted in buildings that are beautiful.  Your hypothesis seems to be that beautiful buildings help inspire the local residents to live lives of goodness and truth.

    So, my question.  In the past, architecture was inspired by the ideals of the true, good, and beautiful as defined by Christianity.

    What is the corresponding foundational principle of modern architecture?  Your quote from Borel seems to suggest that it has something to do with “the playful and lazy light of the 21st century”?  Is it the 21st century itself?  The cult of the now rather than permanent things?

    Is the goal to build something with “enigmatic forms for passersby”?  Do we now focus on enigmas because we believe that nothing can truly be known as true?

    • #28
  29. James Gawron Inactive
    James Gawron
    @JamesGawron

    Claire,

    First, let me say that recent quotes by Ricochet Editors are attaining the level (and irony) of epic poetry.

    The next time I bring Calvin to the vet, I will make the staff call him “them,” because language shouldn’t be a means of communication, but a minefield of grievance.

    Jon Gabriel, Ed.

    which building would instinctively seem to you the better model? The one built for humans or the one that represents a boot stamping on the human face — forever? (I admit I phrased that question in a leading way, but the photos tell the story well enough.)

    Claire Berlinski, Ed.

    I salute the Ricochet Editors for their verbal acumen. Also, my whole body hurts from laughing so hard.

    Now that the pleasantries are out of the way we can get down to business. As exclusive manufacturers representative for Kant Industries, Inc on Ricochet I feel a presentation coming on.

    First, let us review basic Kantian Aesthetics. Morality is rational and objective. Aesthetic Taste is the Subjective Perception of this Objective Morality that produces the feeling of Pleasure (or Pain) from just a representation of an object, not the actual object itself.

    Let us now accept this a priori definition of Aesthetics as a premise. We now look back Historically at modernity or the last ~250 years. Up until the Enlightenment Morality was considered super-rational and part of Religion. After the Enlightenment, for the period of the 19th century, Religious Morality became less relied upon and Secular Philosophical Moral thought became more common. However, as the 20th century dawned a new wave of extreme Nihilistic Skepticism took hold. Religion, that which was already well undermined was ignored completely but the rage of the new age was an anti-philosophical moral attitude exemplified by Nietzsche and echoed by the Positivists. Thus, all Morality was suspect and to be truly “of the age” one could demand the “revaluation of all values” and then forget about values entirely.

    Now given this History and our original premise that Kant’s Aesthetics are correct, what would we conclude about 20th-century architecture. It should be obvious. If Aesthetic Taste is Objective Morality Subjectively Perceived and we don’t believe in Objective Morality anymore how in the world will we create anything tasteful? All of our thoughts will lead us away from Morality. We will be looking for Beauty in all the wrong places. The jibberish of aestheto-babble will be a cover for “a boot stamping on the human face – forever!”

    Of course, Kant could be wrong. That means all that preferred stock I own in Kant Industries, Inc. is worth zilch. Yet, I am serene. Either I am under an extreme delusion or most everyone else is.

    Your photos and almost every other piece of evidence I’ve seen confirm my thesis. You know the most annoying thing about my father was that he was so often right. Now I get to be annoying.

    Regards,

    Jim

    • #29
  30. Capt. Aubrey Inactive
    Capt. Aubrey
    @CaptAubrey

    I was going to mention Tom Wolfe but I was too busy preventing my job from being dis intermediates by machines and then it hit me…these buildings remind me of scenes from Gotham in the Batman franchise…is it faux edginess or socialist worker housing or some combination.

    • #30
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