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Ho ho ho! It’s that time of year again. Here’s JHK’s holiday classic: A Christmas Orphan.

11-year-old Jeff Greenaway hears his mom and dad argue one night after an office Christmas party. He infers from their garbled squabble that he is an orphan, found in a willow basket on the welcome mat outside their New York apartment. Thinking now that his parents are imposters, he steals away to Grand Central Station and buys a train ticket to Drakesville, Vermont, where he intends to start life all over again.
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December 2013

Behold this triple-header of 80-plus-story condo towers designed by Toronto hometown boy Frank Gehry for his place of birth (he’s lived in Los Angeles for decades).

Gehry Toronto

 

Behold this triple-header of 80-plus-story condo towers designed by Toronto hometown boy Frank Gehry for his place of birth (he’s lived in Los Angeles for decades). They kind of look like three stacks of parcel post deliveries carelessly left on a loading dock. Gehry really ticked off the locals when he said that there were only two buildings in downtown Toronto that did not deserve to be torn town. The city planning staff says Gehry’s proposed buildings are too high, and they are right. About 77 stories too high in my opinion. Mr. Gehry has not gotten the news: the skyscraper is obsolete; we shouldn’t be building any more of them; they will turn from assets to liabilities almost instantly. Why? Because we are entering an age of capital and resource scarcities and these buildings will never be renovated.

About James Howard Kunstler

View all posts by James Howard Kunstler
James Howard Kunstler is the author of many books including (non-fiction) The Geography of Nowhere, The City in Mind: Notes on the Urban Condition, Home from Nowhere, The Long Emergency, and Too Much Magic: Wishful Thinking, Technology and the Fate of the Nation. His novels include World Made By Hand, The Witch of Hebron, Maggie Darling — A Modern Romance, The Halloween Ball, an Embarrassment of Riches, and many others. He has published three novellas with Water Street Press: Manhattan Gothic, A Christmas Orphan, and The Flight of Mehetabel.

12 Responses to “December 2013” Subscribe

  1. Piscataquis Village Project December 3, 2013 at 2:35 pm #

    Ugly Pugly

  2. hiruitnguyse December 4, 2013 at 12:25 am #

    Thought of Jenga as soon as the Picture loaded…

  3. San Jose December 4, 2013 at 1:18 am #

    Anyone with any earthquake experience will be uncomfortable going into these buildings. Why design buildings that contribute to stress?

    • Karah December 14, 2013 at 11:01 am #

      Yes, anyone would be filled with tension, anxiety and mystification viewing, walking by or entering this TRI-umf of modern architecture. The immediate reaction is “how is that NOT tipping over?”

      This is another example in a series of examples given over the last 30 years of why our modern designers are completely out of touch with realities to the limits of human resource management, are oblivious to provide some kind of visual reference as to the purpose of the urban structure and are constantly bowing to the persistence of an imposing elite whose sole purpose is to capitalize on every investment in order to give the illusion of superiority to their neighbors by monopolizing the light and the view.

  4. doggersize December 4, 2013 at 11:21 am #

    Gehry must be on way too many drugs.
    a starchitect is like a modern successful artist:
    their art is mostly worthless: what they sell is their personality.
    Unfortunately, these new shitty buildings take up much more space, and we are stuck with them for years.

  5. staninco December 4, 2013 at 1:11 pm #

    My first thought on seeing this was to recall the cityscape in Mike Judge’s Idiocracy…

  6. zarathustraspake December 4, 2013 at 11:40 pm #

    I have built a few high rise buildings in Toronto, but in each case, I think, form followed function. In the case of the Ghery towers, the culture gets the buildings it deserves. I am reminded of the tibetan monk who was toured through the national gallery in London, who saw the beauty and perfection in the renaissance art, but became increasingly distressed by the decent into discordant modern art. however, an urban built form is still more efficient than urban sprawl.

    I did not understand the significance of the term “urbanism” when I first came to north america, because most eurpean cities were laid out before the automobile, and the adoption of suburbanism was somewhat less complete.

    I am concerned that the energy needs of the north american “spatial fix” could cripple future prospects, but it am sure it will be better than accross the atlantic.

  7. gamecock69 December 10, 2013 at 6:57 pm #

    It looks as if Rob Ford is not the only one in Toronto smoking crack. Terrorists would not knock-down this FUGLY stack of goo.

  8. ghostlimb December 17, 2013 at 11:28 am #

    Gehry must be giving physical form to inner gearworks of his erectile dysfunction. Unfortunately, citizens won’t be able to see a doctor after 4 hours of prolonged extension.

  9. Sandero January 17, 2014 at 11:26 pm #

    He’s whacked out on something and idiots tell him he’s a genius.

  10. JP McLaughlin May 22, 2014 at 12:35 am #

    I’m way late to this discussion but this rendering reminds me of my office floor when I’m stacking books to reorganize my library!

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. Gehry-ing Down | astroplethorama - December 13, 2013

    […] for punishment, or perhaps I seek clues that the tide has shifted. But each month I check for the “eyesore of the month” on Kunstler’s site. Once again, it’s a […]

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