Does the Amsterdam centrum care more about the Golden Age architecture then the Amsterdam citizens?

21616373_10154648771547105_8860266833512476604_nCurrent location: Amsterdam Centrum location, date December 10th, 2017.

Recently there has been an Amsterdam Mayor, named Van der Laan who passed away in 2017. The Dutch media and the locals I have talked to in Amsterdam say that Van der Laan was a great man. Previous to being appointed Mayor of Amsterdam he was member of the Dutch Resistence museum and he was a trained lawyer, receiving his education in Amsterdam (not sure if he practiced law in Amsterdam though).

Through my own observation, from the view point of an artist, who is to some, the lowest level of a human being on earth – but something I myself do not believe to be true – and despite everything I feel I have the need and the right to express myself through the motion of the freedom of expression codes – with that in mind – my opinion of the Mayor of Amsterdam, the former Mayor is probably not the same as the others in Amsterdam. My reflection of Van der Laan’s work as the Amsterdam Mayor is one of question. For example, I have noticed that many citizens of Amsterdam are no longer living in Amsterdam. Instead there are infinite amounts of tourists. To me, it seems like Van der Laan put the municipal financial into marketing Amsterdam to the rest of the world – and in this process forgot to protect and care for the Amsterdam citizens who were living in Amsterdam under his leadership. In my opinion, this act alone means that Amsterdam has architecture protected and restored for the needs to satisfy the tourists but not to protect the city citizens. As a Socialist myself, I disagree with this act of culture before humans.

 

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Amsterdam, The Netherlands Dec. 2017

Amsterdam in the country the Netherlands is a very objective city. It is a very globalized place. That means that Amsterdam has become one of the first cities in the whole world that has followed almost 100% of the European Guidelines of city centers within the Eurozone.

The Amsterdam CS train station has tight barriers allowing only people with paid tickets to enter the train station site. There are a number of security guards checking the passengers travel tickets in the train station so this completely eliminates theft.

Amsterdam has a huge tourist industry. 90% of the people walking the streets of Amsterdam are tourists,coming mostly from Portugal and Spain.

The architecture in this city has two sides. On the one hand lots of the architecture is traditional (Amsterdam School, Middle Ages and from the Golden Age) and on the other hand there is new hyper modern architecture arising like a Phoenix into the city.

I recall my teacher Emmie Neut, telling me, that from the traditional comes the modern. One does not destroy the former to gain the newer but instead builds from it. I agree with this idea, however I worry that Amsterdam may one day become all hyper modern architecture because the upkeep of the former traditional architecture will be too expensive. But I guess I do not need to worry about that now as that is probably something that may or may not take place in the very distance future.

The Dutch love their financial equations, as capitalism was born in Amsterdam centuries ago. The bottomline is this: the incoming tourism pays for the upkeep of the Dutch traditional architecture which draws in the tourism who pay for the upkeep of the architecture. They are interlinked.

Written Dec 07, 2017 corresponding from Amsterdam, NL, Europe

Bottom up economic City of Victoria BC

Photographs taken in the Greater Victoria Area and vicinity Sept 28 and Sep 29, 2017

Often politicians on the municipal and provincial levels in British Columbia believe in the notion of trickle down economics; however I believe in bottom-up economics. I believe it is by listening to the low level employees first in order for the economy to grow. Without the low level employees, the small business in the city would not exist, the middle class would disappear and so would most of the professionals. So the key to a healthy economy is to pay special attention to the needs of the low level workers in Victoria city first and foremost.

Mirage of truth. City of Victoria BC

Photographs from City of Victoria BC

The funny thing about these high rise buildings is that they appear to be representing of wealth and prosperity but from where I am standing and in my point of view this is a mirage and very far from the truth. These buildings are an encasement for individuals that may or may not even want to live in the City of Victoria, as according to the local news, many owners of the condo units use their property as an AirBnB.

The majority of the owners of the units in the high rises do not even come from Vancouver Island let alone Victoria. Recently in the Provincial meeting at the Vancouver Conference Center it was mentioned in a seminar by a Simon Fraser PhD professor (in the last week of Sept. 2017. The news article was in the Vancouver Sun newspaper), that the condominiums are going to the Global financial elite who buy from outside of Canada and have the unit as an investment.

That means that while the lower level workers in the City of Victoria are getting out priced of their hometown city, the global financially secure elite get the best units in the city and do not even reside here but instead rent out their units in what the City Hall in the City of Victoria called “Ghost hotels.”

The bottom-line here is that the low income employees living in the City of Victoria can (more often then not) not financially survive in this city because the price of rent for a bachelor apartment, one bedroom or two bedroom apartment is too expensive for their budgets. So this means that in no time, the service industry in the City of Victoria is going to go under, at least to a degree, because the lower financial class who has been doing the service jobs in the City are getting out-priced. This implies they will move out of the city. Already businesses in the City of Victoria has closed their doors because of the lack of staff. The image of tall new high rise buildings appears to mean that the economy in this city is going well, when it a round-about way, the opposite is true.

In a way, the City of Victoria has created a vacuum and we stand on the edge of creating a ghost town. This ghost town would be unique only to the City of Victoria, BC in the way that is was started and it will end in this city. What I predict will happen, and it is always hard to pin-point the financial and economics of a city to an exact science, but it seems that the service industry staff especially the lower spectrum of the working class in the city are going to pack their bags as in an exodus and leave Victoria. This will leave the small business without staff members. Without the lower level employees the economy will at least in part collapse, hence creating a real ghost town.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Boom or Bust in the City of Victoria, BC

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Photographs taken September 29, 2017 in the City of Victoria, V.I. BC. Canada. On Yates.

It really makes me feel uncomfortable to walk down the center of the city and see impressive buildings lining up the streets, as I know that these buildings are not to help the poor but instead they are designed for the global financial elite. I would have much preferred that the City of Victoria would have been designed like the small town up-island called Chemenius where there is a little local museum and a town filled with stories of their own independent heritage. Instead in the City of Victoria everything is designed in an adhoc manner and there is no sequencing nor cultural heritage lined in the architecture. Often the architecture of the buildings is designed and geared towards an internationalization versus our own City of Victoria culture. It is so clear, it is almost funny, about how the City of Victoria has turned their backs of helping the marginalized and completely focused on the business and housing market of the internationalization of the global financial elite. I wish I could find the silver lining in this one but I cannot. The building designs have no story, no cohesiveness and are rude and abrupt as these high rise buildings represent authority and power in a City of Victoria culture that was previously always low-key and humble. I do not know who had the keys to the city to have had so much power as to allow this brutal mechanism machine of tiles and lined structures to take over the previously humble and low-key city in which I have lived for so long. I understand I am in no position to change the architectural design of the City of Victoria in 2017 but if it was up to me, I would have contracted out a design and a cohesiveness to the city. I would have planned the city in some kind of order and sequencing – because even cities like Islamabad Pakistan had a Greek city planner created their city into Sectors where certain buildings were group together. Even in Islamabad Pakistan, there was a very powerful and humble city structure enabling everyone access to the city by creating an open plan city design.

Why could not the City of Victoria create a vision, like Allan W. Edwards created for the University of Victoria in the 1960’s?

The photographs that I have added show the nature of the economics in the City of Victoria BC. It is boom or bust. On the one hand the city is financially booming with the high rise; and on the other hand businesses in the city are going under daily. To me it is like a cowboy culture of hit and miss and much like what I saw on Wall Street in the New York stock exchange where stockbrokers were making and losing money is minutes, seconds and mini-seconds.

Is this what globalization looks like in 2017 in Canada?

 

What would happen if society solved homelessness first? Sep 29, 2017

Within Human history and dating back into Biblical times, when Jesus tried to help the marginalized such as Mary Magdalene and Lazarus – Jesus got penalized and was reported. In the end he was forced to punishment and killed.

Is that how our Western society is still today, September 29, 2017?

Why has society not really tried to solve homelessness properly?

Is it because it has to do with the Medical Model? Is the Medical Model a completely separate unit from the rest of the other industries such as the homeless industry in the City of Victoria, BC?

Is that why no politicians has tackled homelessness in the City of Victoria head-on?

I went to a community meeting organized by the Mayor of the City of Victoria Vancouver Island, British Columbia Canada at the start of September 2017. I listened to the community feedback to the Mayor and I started to see how many of the details from the audience were deterred away from being put of a high priority list to be addressed and fixed. This single act alone was symbolic to me of the City of Victoria’s Municipal political system. I believe the essence of the City Hall in Victoria City is to portray the impression that that City is the best, and at the same time to try to hide and make obsolete the problems and complaints the citizens in the sub-communities have. Of course, I am not saying this is true or false, as I often do not operate in absolutes, however it is my personal observation of the meeting.

If this operation was even remotely true, that means that the City of Victoria, BC has some transparency issues that may need to be addressed in the future. I do not believe that sweeping anything under the carpet in politics or in business is a good thing. In fact, I believe that when that is done, that it creates an environment and a community based on fear. Fear leads to censorship and when this occurs what will often occur within the hierarchical structure of the leadership is that an autocracy with form. I have my suspicions that this form to at least some extent is occurring in the City of Victoria, BC but it is based on impressions versus pronounced statistics. All in all, Freedom of Expression is one of the current freedoms we still have, at least to some degree, left in our city. It would be very sad if that turns obsolete too.

{Photograph taken in the staircase of Vancouver Island University (VIU) September 28, 2017}

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Upside down Minimalist art example

Working for a huge corporation means that the employee often is subjected to employment restructures. Many companies have gone through this stage in order to survive financially. Top management and CEO’s of leading corporations often believe they are forced to have an employment restructure in order to save the corporation at hand. To them, and to many of their share-holders the company is like a baby who needs adults to make sacrifices for them in order for the baby to continue to exist in the world. In a sense this element of a business restructure is a Natural Selection element in our dog eat dog world.

One of the world biggest companies have recently created a restructure which has been labeled “Generation X.” This work restructure entailed the corporation to hit the internal hierarchical structure on the proverbial head hence shattering their skeleton model of a very basic hierarchical organization structure into creating many more complex and a condensed version of the skeleton model structure. The simplicity singular component became a complex set of components. This is an example of upside down Minimalist art – namely having a minimalist skeleton model basic organizational structure replaced by a multitude and a much more complex designed structure.

This restructure mimics Totalitarianism and Despot ruling; but at the same time disguises herself under the cloak of decentralization. It is not a fair decentralization because the power all rests at the top with the lead authority. Virtually zero power rests in the hands of the decentralized, rendering employees affected by this change-over:

[a] stripped of the autonomy in their departments

[b] being completely controlled by authorities.

Date: August 3rd, 2017. Location: University of Victoria Campus – I am an autodidact not a UVic student nor UVic faculty member. I am autonomous.

(Painting by Frank Stella)

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