Wednesday, February 25, 2009

March of the white elephants

Well as predicted the $100million Southern star observation wheel has become somewhat of a white elephant after suffering massive structural weakening during the heatwave. Unfortunately it was destined for this fate well before being cracked by the sun and heat, the whole Dockland and Harbor city precincts of Melbourne have been a totally joke of urban development. Expensive and exceedingly artificial attempts to replicate the feel of suburbs like St Kilda, Williamstown and Brighton are unfortunately doomed to have anything other than a "gee whiz" appeal to normally skeptical Melbournians. (Especially when those suburbs are only slightly more difficult to travel to.) Melbournians have an instict to love little homly secret places, it's a pretention the city is well known for, but we are generally not attracted to big tourist attractions. (Fed Square is probably the exception to that rule) The rule of thumb in Melbourne always has been that the harder a place is to find, and the less advertised it is; the cooler it is.
So Southern Star, I commend you as you join the ranks of great White Elephants all over the world.

The Millennium Dome in London.

The Birdsnest Stadium in Bejing

And the Montreal Olympic Stadium. (Though the Biodome is quite cool)


Update (2/3/09): Doh! Seems the wheel was broke from the outset...