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Why are these “observation wheels” achieving a kind of landmark status in some places when other, more vernacular gestures might better fit the context of a place?
My answer is not to cynically decry these wheels, but to consider them as the same exciting, moving observation points first described by seventeenth century journalists. Understanding their ongoing success — premised on fun and excitement — is consistent with my opening call for more studied reflection about relationships of people and the communities around them.
Lesson: Some urban icons remind us of an important and universal truth about our experience of place — the need for outright enjoyment in the process.
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