Mini-Lyon to be built in Dubai. Sigh.

The fact that I left Dubai and continually seem to be ranting about the city here might make you think I hate it. Truth is, I don’t. I’ve just had enough of it, and would never want to live there again. The city does have its own charm, something I will write about when I’m inspired to. However, the idea of building a mini-Lyon in Dubai isn’t part of it.

You would think that a city that is hardly 40-years old and has no money issues, would put in some effort to nurture and display to the world a culture it can call its own. But it always takes pride in doing the exact opposite.

Dubai is a strange, though fascinating, concoction of everything it isn’t but wants to be. This is why people like me who have spent a significant amount of time there often perceive its new ventures to keep the city in the world’s limelight as superficial ludicrousness.

The project to build a mini-Lyon in Dubai that will copy the city and even reconstruct the cafes, cinemas and schools, will be a €500 million project due to finish in 2012.
Why do you want a mini-Lyon in Dubai? It’s going to be “a small city with the accent on the best of French culture, and particularly Lyon culture.” Lyon is the 3rd largest metropolitan in France with a history that goes back to the 1st Century BC. This is impossible to imitate to any level of significance in 4 years.

Why doesn’t Dubai understand that copying cities and building “only-possible-in-Dubai” structures and islands, creates nothing but a confusion over the very word ‘culture’. I suppose in Dubai they would call it “redefining culture”.

When Dubai plans things like this, I think it just reinforces the cultural crisis it is in, but will never admit. It probably won’t affect its tourism industry, so I guess it doesn’t matter. Sigh.

Portugal, Alaska, Prague and Akron

Three of these places have something in common and one does not. I’ve just noticed that two start with P and two start with A, but that has nothing to do with this game. Everyone is going on a major trip but me. That, of course, is a gross exaggeration, but consider this. My father is winging his way to the Czech Republic with a stop in Lyon, France as part of his journey. My mother and my brother also left today. They’re in Seattle awaiting to embark on my mother’s dream trip–a cruise to Alaska. A close friend of mine from college left today for eight days in Portugal. (She left her two children with her husband for her jaunt away.) What does Akron have to do with anything? I’m heading there on Sunday. Actually, I’m going to Stow which is next door. My excitement might come from a stop at Grandpa’s Cheese Barn near the Ashland exit off of I-71. Wheee!!! Actually, the cheese there does ratchet up my excitement quotient.

There is nothing wrong with being closer to home. A good friend of ours who lives in Madrid, Iowa just flew in today on American AIrlines. The plane was early and my husband didn’t even have to pay for parking since he was at the airport for less than 10 minutes. This visit is a chance to show our friend, who has never been to Ohio, some of our favorite Columbus hotspots before my husband and he head to Cleveland for an Indians baseball game and a trip to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Sunday is the meet up in Stow for a family picnic gathering. These gatherings are one of the reasons why we are living in the U.S. right now. Still, when I am grazing the samples at the cheese barn, I’ll think of those people I love who are on their mega trips having those adventures they’ve dreamed about.

By the way, the friend who is visiting is the one who took us on the Boone & Scenic Valley Railroad mentioned in the fall foliage leaf peeping train post.