In the May issue of Metropolis Magazine:
The Cruise Ship Diaries By Karrie Jacobs
“My friend D. and I are about to board the Infinity, a 2,000-passenger ship with 1,000 crew members, for a two-week cruise to the Falkland Islands, to Tierra del Fuego, and to Valparaiso, Chile… Without understanding quite what we’re getting into, we plunge into an environment as bureaucratic and controlled as Ceausescu’s Romania. On board we stumble through deck after deck of bland make-believe luxury…”
The elitism and disdain of the self-described “urbane and well traveled” diarist is hard for me to take, but there’s a nice little story about searching for the crew bar “reputed to be on Deck Zero, a location not indicated on maps of the ship”.
The Rise of the Ephemeral City By Joel Kotkin
“Unlike the imperial capital, which administered a vast empire and extracted riches from it, or the commercial city, which thrived by trading goods, the ephemeral city prospers by providing an alternative lifestyle to a small sector of society… Art galleries, clubs, bars, and boutiques make these places undeniably fun, but they are not the things that convince the middle class, families, and most businesses to commit to a city for the long term. Relying on the culturally curious, these cities could be destined to become hollow places, Disneylands for adults… Rooted in ephemera, a city can only lose its historic relevance, or at best fade into a graceful senescent dowager who everyone admires but no one takes seriously anymore.”