21 June 2009

籃灣, part one

I recently returned home to suburban Dayton, Ohio for a week long visit in order to see my parents and older sister. I hadn't returned since October 2005 and despite Dayton pretty much being the antithesis of glamour, I was looking forward to it for a couple of reasons. Obviously, I was looking forward to getting to spend some time with my family. Besides that, I was also looking forward to dining at a few places that we don't have in Portland, such as Skyline Chili and Chick-fil-a. However, one of my biggest reasons for looking forward to my trip was an entirely personal reason.

Every time I've returned to the home where I spent my high school years, I always vowed that that particular time would be the time that I bring home all of those precious mementoes left in my room. I am, however, not talking about supposedly rare trading cards or some seminal white label record. I am talking about my collection of maps related to my entirely made up Southeast Asian metropolis of Bluebay.

I can't quite remember the exact time period in which I invented Bluebay but the bulk of the things I drew and wrote about Bluebay most likely came from the mid-90s, when I was at an age around thirteen or fourteen. I continued to work on this city to varying degrees as I got older but even at the age of twenty-seven, I still think about Bluebay a lot. I don't see this as being odd, besides the part where I'm still thinking about this stuff at the age of twenty-seven, as many boys spent parts of the adolescent years making drawings of fake sports leagues or fake all conquering bands that played in arenas all over the world.

Bluebay, or the idea of it, allowed me to branch off into a couple of interests I had and still maintain to this day. For example, since Bluebay existed, it would need a mass transit system. Therefore, as the benevolent God-like being who invented Bluebay, it was my task to grant Bluebay a mass transit system. Of course, Bluebay and the country in which it is located, Mayjorkit, would need a (world class) airline, so Blueair (IATA: BY, Callsign: Bluebird and member of SkyTeam) was invented. Even my interest in sports was tied into Bluebay as it had many sports teams that somehow were members of North American sporting leagues, despite being in the same time zone as Singapore.

We'll start with a general overview of the province of Mainway, which is where Bluebay is located. As indicated on the map, it sits in Western Mainway. The reasons for the city not being on the coast are due to old fears of being attacked by ships and their guns, so the port of Lockhead (about an hour to the west) handled trade and defence duties while the bulk of the population lived a bit further up river in Bluebay. Due to Bluebay's massive size (population: a whopping twenty-one million) and importance, it is neither the capital of the country or its province, with those titles belonging to Whisster and Kevsie (a combination of my name and my sister's name, Winse). You see this happening in the real world with capitals being located in smaller areas in order to balance out the influence of a major city, along with encouraging development in a certain area.

Mainway highway map

Overall, the population of Mainway is concentrated in Bluebay and her sprawling suburbs, along with certain cities on the north coast (Portland and Stratsbourg) and her provincial capital, Kevsie.

Next, we have a look at the Bluebay metropolitan area, with a focus on her incredible amounts of highways:

Bluebay metropolitan area map

As I've gotten older, this is something that has really bothered me about this city that I planned. I wonder why as a teenager I opted to construct (at least in my mind) an ideal city with tons of freeways and sprawl. Of course, the answer lies in my influences, which would be travelling to places like Toronto somewhat frequently. Toronto itself is quite the sprawling gigantic metropolis, spreading to the southwest all the way out to Hamilton, to the north to Barrie and east all the way out to Oshawa. The amount of highways don't look too bad in the Greater Toronto Area but as anyone who has been there can attest, the traffic is horrendous.

However, I digress. Besides the freeway and sprawl, the other thing that's interesting on this map of Bluebay would be some of the place names. While some of the names are generic and could be found in any English speaking country, such as South City, St. John's or Midland, others are a bit odd. I'm not sure how I came up with some names, such as Polon or Campary. I imagine that I was trying to come up with something unique that somehow could also be believable as place names.

In this next picture, which is a full list of Bluebay's highways, we notice the French influence in some of the names, such as the Sud, Détroit, Cercel and Cartier Highways/Freeways. This comes from my fascination with French that dwindled out in the early part of this decade but has made a big comeback in the past three years or so. It seems a bit silly that a country located south of Indonesia and off of the northwest coast of Australia would have any bit of French influence. To this day, I have trouble justifying it but it's also stuff like this that makes it all the more interesting.

Bluebay freeway names

The last map for tonight is this map of central Bluebay, although I have no idea how central this should be. This is also the cleanest and most "professional" looking map which means that I did this one a little later, perhaps even when I was sixteen. I like the way this looks but this map also bothers me the most due to issues of scale. Basically, the scale seems to vary depending on the part of the map one is looking at. For example at the bottom is a stadium labelled as "TRC", which would be The Rugby Centre. The place is absolutely huge and seems to be as big as, say, Metro University, which is located north of TRC along Arena Pike. Another example of this inconsistent scale woule be the Museum Square complex located south of Lake Bluebay. This complex, which according to this map has three museums, is somehow the same size as a major university, the University of Bluebay (Go Sunblazers!). Nevermind that, as the Mayor's Home, located west of UofB is massive. I don't have any maps of the country's capital, Whisster, but I doubt the Prime Minister has a gigantic home sitting next to a river side park.

Central Bluebay map

In the next post, we'll look at my horrible idea of "urban renewal", along with the aforementioned mass transit system, which will include some commuter rail lines.


Anonymous said...

It's incredible what the imagination of an atypical teenager can come up with. I salute you for pulling these pages out of their boxes and envelopes. I have to admit, your city sounds intimidatingly colossal, but I'd be willing to give it a try, if I could.

kevincrumbs said...

21 million is absolutely crazy. When I was younger, my mindset must've been "bigger is better". Now I know differently.

Anonymous said...

It was a pretty interesting read.
Although I must point out that the GTA doesn't actually spread all the way to Hamilton, Barrie or Oshawa. There's a bunch of independent cities in between the GTA and the other cities.