Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Columbia in Black and White

On my visit to San Francisco last week the Paul Simon song Kodachrome kept going through my head, as everywhere you looked you saw color.  I was reminded how in many ways Columbia and San Francisco are alike.  Both have an educated, above average income, diverse, liberal population.  They have the Golden Gate Bridge—we have the People Tree.  OK so they may have us on that one. But on the issue of color we are sadly different.  Do suburbs have to be “bland” or “beige?”  Are our architectural guidelines requiring us to be bland?  Is street art only an urban reality?  OK I know that my suggestion of making Town Center more vibrant by tearing down the Columbia Mall and replacing it with public art, a public park like our version of Central Park and an open air market would never fly in our “consumer” culture.  

Try walking around your neighbor or downtown and image what colors you would add.  It could be a garden, wildflowers or public art in some form.   Maybe a painted People Tree would be an interesting item in Town Center.   With the growing population diversity in our County maybe it is time for our community to embrace the colors so richly displayed in other cultures.

“Kodachrome, they give us those nice bright colors
They give us the greens of summers
Makes you think all the world's a sunny day, oh yeah
I got a Nikon camera, I love to take a photograph
So mama don't take my Kodachrome away”

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