Old 02-28-02, 05:11 PM
Devilmaycare Cycling Fool
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Location: Wynnum, Australia
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Then again, be careful what you wish for.

Here in Brisbane, the population went through a stage of abandoning the inner city 'burbs in favour of the newer areas. Prices plummeted in the inner city, the buildings were old, the rent was cheap, facilites and shops were close at hand, and it thrived.

Nowadays, all the fatcats that moved out to the edge of the world have realised that an hour and a half stuck in traffic each way was too much of a price to pay, and there's a resurgence of interest in 'inner city living', which the real estate agents (spawn of satan that they are) have now decided is a good thing. Thus prices are going up, those nice old buildings are being 'redeveloped', the fatcats are moving back in and bringing their cars with them.

The trouble here is that the fatcats can't just move back into these places and accept them as they are: accept the very things that made them so charming and desireable in the first place - the diverse population, the rambling old buildings, the essentially carfree nature of the place. They are used to a certain idea of comfort, and demand that anything that doesn't comply with that idea be made to do so. So the deros and hippies are being squeezed out, the nice old buildings are being torn down to build apartment complexes with underground parking, the shops are turning from selling useful things like food and clothing to selling the yuppies idea of 'bohemia', which for some reason involves an inordinate amount of purple, and the inner city is in grave danger of becoming the sterile wasteland that the outer 'burbs already are.

Not without a fight though. Residents of the West End are putting up a valiant effort, but I fear it is a losing battle when the only people that might be able to do something ie. the Council, are the fattest of cats themselves. Fortitude Valley and New Farm are already a shadow of what they were even five years ago when I moved to Brisbane.

Of course this could be a good thing. Once it loses it's charm, the fatcats will move out again, leaving it once again to the folk that can create a real culture, and the cycle repeats.

Speaking of the Valley, here's a typical story: An apartment building was recently built in the shell of some old building right next to the Brunswick St. Mall right in the heart of the Valley. This was in fact it's major selling point, and people bought it up in droves trying to buy themselves a little of the cultural experience that is living in the Valley. The thing is it is also directly across the road from the Empire Pub, a popular spot for live music. Another thing is that the developers, being the money grubbing spawn of satan that they are, didn't include adequate soundproofing in the building. End result: New residents complain about the noise and start a campaign to stop the pub playing live music on weekends. ******* morons.
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