Friday, February 12, 2010

17 Revisions of Ugly

not the proposed condos, but not that far off either...

Overall, our local government in Gretna does a good job of running our small city. But I think they caved with this latest vote. Was there ever really any doubt?

I like the idea of upscale condos going up in our neighborhood (this building will be just around the corner from my home and our church). However, one would think after being sent back to the drawing board 17 times the developers would get the idea - it's ugly.

The design looks more like an East German prison complex than Gretna homes in the historic district. I mean, how difficult would it be to make something beautiful, something that fits in with the area rather than plunking down an ugly, industrial looking slab of bricks that could serve as a strip mall in Suburban Anyville, USA?

In the end, the lure of tax revenue won the day, as did ugliness. Did I mention that the proposed building is ugly, hideous, wretched, devoid of charm, generic, and, well, ugly?

But I'm going to look on the bright side. Maybe people will actually spend half a million dollars to live in an ugly (did I mention the ugliness?) neo-gulag home. Like I said, I'm all for gentrification. I would ask anyone on a boat along the Mississippi River to look away from Gretna when you pass. I would appreciate it. And I suppose I'll just have to turn away when I'm on the bike trail at the levee. Unless, of course, the City Council will be providing vomit stations along the path. Preferably every ten feet. And think of the jobs this will create in professional bodily fluid cleanup!

I do have some positive ideas, like putting up a concrete wall around the complex for people to write graffiti slogans about liberty - especially if they were in German, as that would highlight Gretna's Teutonic heritage. The City could also do like Pravda in the French Quarter, and put together a whole Soviet Chic thing. And I suppose the ugliness will make the rest of our homes look a notch better by comparison. I'm willing to see the glass half-full. Of what, I'm not sure...

And, as a bonus, if things don't work out, the building will be just a stone's throw from both the Jefferson Parish Court House and the Gretna City Hall. Converting the complex into a prison will be a cinch - just add barbed wire - and maybe a machine gun turret or two.

This will really be convenient for our politicians, who can combine their customary high-style condo living with prison life - you know, for guys like U.S. Rep. Bill Jefferson, Louisiana Sen. Derrick Shepherd, and our own Gretna hometown hero, Gretna Councilman Jonathan Bolar (who was actually absent for the unanimous vote to proceed with the uglification (did I mention the "ugly" thing?). And if we need representation from the Executive Branch, we could always work out a transfer for our incarcerated governor, Edwin Edwards. And if you really think about it, prison and politicians go together here like red beans and rice.

Maybe the ugly condo isn't so out of place here after all!