Lydia DePillis of the Washington City Paper argues that much of the next wave of planned public realm enhancements to Chinatown is nothing more than superficial Disneyfication.
Among the items she singles out as superficial are converting the usually-blue wayfinding signs to ornamental red, installing Chinese inspired lampposts and benches, designing bike racks and crosswalks in the shape of stylized dragons, adding a “Chinese-themed” sculpture to Chinatown Park, the translation of street signs into Chinese characters, commissioning “Chinese-inspired” murals for blank commercial storefronts, and installing more decorative Zodiac pavers.
What are your thoughts? Do you support the improvements? Is it all too superficial? Or do you think some improvements make sense but the incorporation of dragons may be taking it farther than it needs to go?
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