…but The City Desk, a blog about a fictional urban centre, is pure genius.
A piece from last year reeled me right in, with a mix of nearly believable retail history, technological confusion and urban conspiracy: The Permanence of Gillard’s Electric Typewriter Service
“…All large cities feature that staple of stand-up comedy, the retail storefront which seems to change hands every few weeks, and our own is no exception. The left-center unit of the Pioneer Square strip mall, currently S.E. Huang’s Kenpo-Karaterie, was a Spanish-language tax preparation service catering to the South Street area’s large Ecuadorian population as recently as last November- and, in the summer of 2006, it was a boutique specializing in salsa-related merchandise. Lot 47 in the Galleria at Woldman Heights is particularly infamous in this regard; in the last three years alone, it has been a Wittman’s, a Sunglass Hut, a Gap for Seniors, a Dobbins Farm Dairy outlet store, and a shop where one could commission tailor-made potato chip varieties….
Then the suggestion that actor William Atherton, who I remember most as the EPA inspector from Ghostbusters (“It’s true. This man has no dick”), was in the running for mayor.
The City Desk is magic. It is the paper of record for every neighbourhood you have ever lived in. It’s so familiar, so accurate, it makes you realize how foolish urban life and obsessions can be.
[tags] urban life, city paper, neighbourhood journalism [/tags]