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Very short stories to read at the bus stop.

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17 1/2: a work of creative nonfiction

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This intersection sums up The Atlantic Station development project in Midtown/Westside: an alien and unnatural insertion, a touch pretentious, a touch campy, and not quite legal. A debutante in her coming-out finery, slumming in a sketchy neighborhood.

There's an enormous cinema house, a "big box" discount store, a big chain grocery, an Ikea, an open-air shopping mall for shoppers and diners of wildly mismatched budgets, and a prodigious (yet insufficient) parking deck deliberately designed to resemble -- and therefore mock -- the conspicuously missing subway station.

Near the center is a small green park showing signs of its feelings of inadequacy, a wasteful and (we will soon determine) impossible to maintain decorative watercourse, and, as tasteful and subtle as a wedding-cake topper, an eighty-foot-tall classical arch called the Millennium Gate, celebrating, of all things, the triumph of Peace and Justice in America. Given the current political climate, the only thing that keeps the arch from spontaneous self-immolation is that it appears to have been constructed out of solid blocks of pure irony.

In the way that the entirety of an oak forest is encoded in chains of nucleic acid in the center of a tiny acorn, all of that is visible, if one knows how and where to look, from the sign at this intersection.


Posted by Laszlo Q. V. St-J. Xalieri

19th Jul 2008, 18:24   | tags:


Dhamaka says:

"solid blocks of pure irony"
since copying's supposed to be the sincerest form of flattery I think I'll borrow that

20th Jul 2008, 02:15


I'm glad someone else enjoys that turn of phrase as much as I did. Spread it around as much as you like!


20th Jul 2008, 02:55

Dhamaka says:


20th Jul 2008, 07:39

Viv says:

I loved that phrase too really made me LOL

27th Apr 2009, 01:37