Monday, June 02, 2008

City Planning At Its Worst / Little Ticky Tacky Strip Malls

"RK" is a name that shows up on strip malls all over South Florida. I don't know if they build them or just buy up existing ones, but they end up all looking the same. Now the City of North Miami (as well as other municipalities) has taken to encouraging (mandating?) that existing blocks of shops get new uniform facades with uniform colors. Strangely enough the new look pretty much copies the "RK look".

Uniform lettering above each store shows the shop's name, but gone are the distictive signs of yore. Neon is verboten. It's either too distinctive, too gaudy or too 1940's old fashioned for today's planning commisions and city councils. Even signage inside the store windows has to conform to the rules. It seems that only a national chain with big bucks to spend can buck the trend, and then probably only if they construct a free standing building of their own.

Those of us who are old enough to remember when 1984 was still off in the distant future probably remember a book by the name of "1984". It was science fiction, but the main theme was Big Brother Is Watching. Well, folks, Big Brother is here now, painted beige!

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