Once, twice, three times a street!  

onebuffguy 46M
3 posts
2/27/2006 5:58 am

Last Read:
3/5/2006 9:27 pm

Once, twice, three times a street!

Okay, gotta do a little shout to Shizuka Arakawa for winning the gold medal in Turin! I know I'm not Japanese, but she gave a very clean and elegant performance. You can't find a newspaper or magazine in Japan without her face on the cover. Even the International Herald Tribune had a full page spread about her.

On to other things. If you've never been in Japan or are unfamiliar with it's economy, a huge part of it is based on construction. Let me give you an example. The street outside my condominium building was torn up and repaved about a year ago. The sidewalks as well, although a 1 meter wide sidewalk with bikes and cars parked on it leaves no place to walk except for the street! Anyhow, about a month after the street was repaved and new sidewalks put in, both using the same asphalt, the city waterworks came in an decided that they wanted to put in new pipes and a better sewer system. So, the street came up again, new pipes were put in, and the street was repaved. However, this time, instead of putting angled curbs where cars pull in and out from buildings, garages, parking lots, etc., they put in 90 degree angle curbs. So, everyone had to run out to the auto stores to buy ramps so they could drive their cars out onto the street. But this decreased the width of the road, so they tore up the sidewalks and curbs, including places they didn't need to, and put in another whole new sidewalk. I have to wonder exactly where they took all the concrete that they dug up, but my guess is they dumped it out somewhere in Tokyo bay as part of a land reclamation project. It was pretty weird, because nobody seemed to mind that it took nearly a year for the street to be finished. Now they're thinking about doing the same to the road in the back of the building. Great!

For an excellent review of Japanese economic dependency on the construction industry, I highly recommend "Dogs & Demons" by Alex Kerr. Very interesting, thorough, and well-documented.

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