Curt Yeomans covers government for the Clayton News Daily. He can be reached at via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.
There is a new list out from “Travel + Leisure” magazine, chronicling what its staff sees as the top 20 new landmarks in the world.
It is an interesting list because it is largely a lovefest for modern architecture. There are two public green spaces, and one monument on the list, but just about everything else is a building, or a modern bridge. Some of the landmarks on the list are places where some history was made, while other places are more likely to evoke a “meh,” or two. And, some of the places are anything but memorable.
You can go on www.travelandleisure.com, see the list for yourself, and then reach your own opinions about the landmarks.
Among the notable new landmarks listed in the magazine’s rankings are some places where memorable events occurred. Among these sites are the National September 11 Memorial at the World Trade City Center site in New York City, and the Chinese National Stadium, in Beijing, where the memorial opening ceremonies for the 2008 Olympics were held.
The list also includes Burj Khalifa, in Dubai, which is a 2,717-foot-tall building that looks like the spire from a Mormon church and is the new “world’s tallest building.” The building that houses the Institute of Contemporary Art, in Boston, made the list as well, largely because it looks like a one giant piece of work — if you consider a game piece from the video game “Tetris” to be a work of art.
A personal favorite of mine is the Turning Torso building, in Malmö, Sweden, because it is this tall building that twists like a person turning around in his chair. It is also striking because it is about 40 stories tall, high above the small two-story dwellings that surround it.
There are some places on the list that I could care less for, however. Chicago’s Millennium Park? Really? The only interesting thing about that park is the fact that you posted a picture of its giant, silver, bean-shaped sculpture.
And, quite honestly, why is New York City’s “The High Line” on this list? Who cares if some New Yorkers decided to put in a walking path among the weeds growing up on an abandoned rail line?
One entry on the list — the Modern Wing of the Art Institute of Chicago — was designed in such a way that it looks like the Georgia Archives building (why didn’t the archives make the list if the Art Institute building got on it?) You might as well save some gas money, and just go up to Morrow to see that type of architecture.
There is the sky walk at the Grand Canyon. Seriously, who goes to the Grand Canyon, just to see the sky walk? The fact that you can better see the canyon from the sky walk is eclipsed by the additional fact that almost every other structure on the list is meant to be seen — not to see things from.
And, let me point out the Millau Viaduct, in Millau, France, looks a lot like Boston’s Leonard P. Zakim Bunker Hill Bridge. Actually, the Bunker Hill Bridge predates the viaduct by one year, and is actually more interesting than the viaduct to look at. The Bunker Hill Bridge did not make the list, though.
So, take what you will from this list. Despite some of the questionable choices of structures on the list, it is at least worth taking a look. Just don’t expect to be blown away.
Curt Yeomans covers government and politics for the Clayton News Daily. He can be reached at (770) 478-5753, ext. 247, or via e-mail at email@example.com.