reede, mai 10, 2013

little wooden town

Tartu, that's a Little Wooden Town! From the lips of a Tallinner, the words are derisive, little and wooden meaning small and inadequate, not metropolitan, cosmopolitan, urbane ... Yet people in a little wooden town are also quite little {as small as they are anywhere} and in this context, this Little Wooden Town impresses. Like John and Paul and George and Ringo sang, Tartu is getting better all the time, blocks of postwar wooden shanties cleaned up and made new, yellow and orange and other creamy mild colors, so that when you are walking along at night under all of those Big Wooden Windows and Wooden Gingerbread and Architectural Curiosity, the Warm Electric Lamp Glows, under the Eaves of the Big Wooden Houses and the Eavesdropping on Goodlooking Young People's Conversations, well ... you DO feel like you are in the middle of something, even if it is just a puny, pathetic, backwater, upstream, remote joke of a Little Wooden Town ...

16 kommentaari:

Martasmimi ütles ...

Tartu is a very nice town, I love the Architecture and the Swedish Nordic looking homes. I am happy to hear that it is getting cleaned up and painted.
I think they all just need to learn how to plant Window Boxes of flowers like many other European cities and some grass to get rid of the dirt and dust

Liivimaa parim ratsutaja ütles ...

The Demons of Montreal ... killed in Palermo ...

http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2013/may/10/canadian-mafia-killed-sicily-hit

Need ot get your book and read the rest of the story.

Seriously. I am enjoying My Estonia I right now. Got it from Amazon.

Temesta ütles ...

I live in Supilinn and I don't like all these renovated houses (not to speak of the newly built ones, they are terrible). It makes the place look more boring and similar to my own country with its neatly manicured lawns and houses that are in a perfect shape but without a soul. But a bit of paint is no problem. The worst thing is that only relatively rich people can afford to live in them, this affects the special atmosphere of the neighbourhood. I say NO to gentrification! (but I know it is unavoidable) Marja street with its dust, sand, potholes, cats and unrenovated houses is my favourite.

Martasmimi ütles ...

Estonia would do well to build reproductions of the old homes rather than those stucco boring houses that seem to be the new norm there. As far as the dirt dust and a soul connection... um, there is nothing charming about cat infested broken down and crumbling houses on rocky dirty run down streets. oh and without a flower in sight.
I mean I'm not getting the "like" of the Tim Burton movie look

Temesta ütles ...

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/3/3c/Supilinn_in_Tartu_2.JPG

This is Marja street. Does it look so bad? And it is not cat infested, there are not many stray cats, people who live in Supilinn just like to have cats.
The first house on the right is renovated now and painted in some colour between orange and yellow (amber?). Now that I think about it, it looks quite good. My preference for decay is sometimes too strong, I should find some balance. But I am still worried about gentrification.

Marko ütles ...

Charming picture, Temetsa. Just like parts of Viljandi. We refer to these areas as "agul", a traditional working class neighbourhood and that's where from most of our poets, writers and intellectuals originally come from. That's proper heartland Estonia and it needs to be preserved and protected. Or, to be given opportunities to communities who reside there to continue with their traditional way of living, which should also include the architectural freedoms these people obviously always have had.

Martasmimi ütles ...

I have been to Supilinn... It is a rather interesting place and if you like rundown and messy it's the place to be.
It's good to keep and protect the old Architecture and it's good to have laws to save these old houses from bad Reno's... Having said that, I think some gravel or paved roads, painted houses and flowers would be a welcome addition.

Marko ütles ...

I agree that a lick of paint and few finishing touches would positively transform these areas. But what we don't want, is the planning and building regulation officers marching in and telling people what type of windows are they allowed to install or what color scheme their fences need to be in.

Maybe we need some sort of DIY movement in this country, like the British had in the 70s and it would require everyone to be on board - tv and media, writers, retailers etc.

Martasmimi ütles ...

Marko:

But what we don't want, is the planning and building regulation officers marching in and telling people what type of windows are they allowed to install or what color scheme their fences need to be in.

We have "Historic Districts" here it is a two sided issue. It is annoying at times but if it's not too invasive it can be a very good thing. There is nothing more unattractive then a neighborhood of well kept old homes mixed in with a 60's contemporary house of questionable design (not a Frank Lloyd Wright)sitting in the middle of an otherwise charming old neighborhood. I have learned that in design nothing is worse than a Reno in the hands of people with money and very bad taste.

Marko ütles ...

True, but I have also known some people from historic parts of Britain (Lake District being a perfect example) whereas previously working class areas have become the playground for the rich. In sleepy villages of Lake District you do not find any jolly middle-Englanders, you'll only find Russian billionaires and Japanese developers residing there. Area is well looked after, but out of reach to people whose ancestors would have built it. Nice to look at, but soulless. And it only happened within a generation. So it's more of a moral dilemma, really.

I believe that a little bit of DIY and TLC is all this area needs. Back in a day these houses would have been built for factory workers and the sort. They would have painted one house green, because that was the cheapest kind of paint that that household would have been able to afford, yet the house next door would have been painted yellow because that would have been the favourite colour of daddy's little girl etc. That was the logic behind these people and that's why these neighbourhoods look the way they do. Do you know what I mean? And I think that when renovating these areas we should take that in to account - affordability and individual preference. Otherwise you're just gonna push out the locals and create just another 'beautiful' ghost town.

Rainer ütles ...

Martasmimi, your aesthetical preferences remind of this song: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2_2lGkEU4Xs

Liivimaa parim ratsutaja ütles ...

High 5 Rainer :-)

That was hilarious.

I know these ticky-tacky people. My workplace is full of them. I wear a mask so that I won't be outed and ousted by them.

They are so perfect. Faultless. Smart and beautiful.

When they break they shoot up all the other ticky tackies ...

And then it makes the news ticky tackis watch when they are not watching sports. But they only discuss sports. Not shooting of ticky tackies. That would be impolite.

Martasmimi ütles ...

Seriously... I hate ticky tacky little boxes.
I like preservation and agree that people who's ancestors once lived in very interesting neighborhoods are being displaced by the more moneyed "others".
I would have no concerns about the homes being painted in their original green or yellow, now purple might be a different story.
The gentrification of historic areas is not a bad thing as long as the guidelines are reasonable.

Martasmimi ütles ...

Seriously... I hate ticky tacky little boxes.
I like preservation and agree that people who's ancestors once lived in very interesting neighborhoods are being displaced by the more moneyed "others".
I would have no concerns about the homes being painted in their original green or yellow, now purple might be a different story.
The gentrification of historic areas is not a bad thing as long as the guidelines are reasonable.

Temesta ütles ...

Gentrification is not about guidelines, it is not about renovation (but often goes together with it). Gentrification means that richer people move into a ´poor´ neighborhood, which changes the social composition and atmosphere of that neighborhood. Most important is that this causes the price of real estate to go up, so that poorer people cannot afford to live there anymore. Often it is an inevitable process, the neighborhood is the victim of its suddenly increased attractiveness.

Säss ütles ...

The wooden houses are the best part of Estonian towns.