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Building up to something beautiful


New York has been voted the ugliest American city, not because of its architecture, but because of its people.
Just kidding. It’s because of its architecture. Probably.
Europe does things a little better, but not by much. There’s a building in London called The Walkie-Talkie, presumably due to its resemblance to a refrigerator.
So neither of these two major cities is wholly pretty. But I have to be fair. There’s not much to brag about in my home state of New Jersey, unless you count some oddly-shaped potholes.
When did we decide that metal behemoths that lacked light, ornaments, and access to nature were beautiful?
Me, I work in a concrete box. The nicest thing about my building is the door because it helps me leave.
If that thing wasn’t working, I’d definitely go out the window. At least, I’d try, if it wasn’t 4 inches tall.
But I do better than complain, complain, complain. I have a brilliant solution for our ugly building problem: imitate Japan.
That is, unleash a giant, radioactive lizard to knock down all the hideous skyscrapers, then build them back pretty.
Admittedly, I haven’t figured out how to prevent Godzilla from tearing through the nice buildings, or parks, or me.
And the radioactivity thing might be a problem. And it’d throw a devil of a wrench into public transport.
Okay, this plan isn’t very well thought out. But neither is New York City. So I’d say I and the Big Apple’s architects are right about equal.
There are also environmental concerns to consider. I’m a big fan of natural resources, like all-natural beef burgers, and constructing stylish buildings takes up a lot of them.
Takes up a lot of natural resources, that is. Though I suppose you’d rack up quite a few all-natural burgers to feed the construction workers.
Instead of making new buildings, maybe we can dress up our existing ones better. For one, we could project an image of a tuxedo on the Empire State Building.
No, seriously, we should clean up the litter around them. We should paint them nicer colors. And for goodness sake, we should add some plants.
There may be some legal things to sort out (no dropping planter boxes on people who work for your rivals, even if they deserve it), but I doubt they’re impossible to handle.
Plus it’d give those lawyers whose offices Godzilla destroyed something to do.
You’d immediately see the benefits of beautification. For one, work would stop being depressing, horrible, nasty, and ugly, and would instead just be depressing, horrible, and nasty.
One small step for architects, one giant leap for millions of disgruntled commuters.
Plus, when people see pretty things, they have better moods. When they have better moods, they act kinder to one another.
I don’t know about you, but I’d like to see a little more kindness in our cities. I’d rather not have a planter box dropped on me. Again.
It’s said that people come from the country to the city in order to make enough money to move back to the country. But if the cities are pretty, maybe they’ll stick around.
And, you know, deal with Godzilla.

Copyright 2024 Alexandra Paskhaver, distributed exclusively by Cagle Cartoons newspaper syndicate.