I'm working in Skylines for the moment and am hoping to create a combined Skylines / SC4 journal.
Successor to the Seven- and Nine-Digit Regions
I'm working in Skylines for the moment and am hoping to create a combined Skylines / SC4 journal.
After a daylong public bidding, a joint Malaysian-Japanese group proposed a pencil-tower redevelopment of the Mansa Musa resort. The group, Malaysia-Malaysia-Japan (Mymyjp), has developed it as follows:
Unfortunately, the demolition of the Malian-style cabins provoked an outcry (literally, my mayor rating went negative because of the landmark effect I think), so new modernist town homes were built in the inland part while pencil towers (office and retail but mostly residential) populated the lakefront and the beach. The centerpiece of the project is the two FourSquare timeshare towers, named after the four red squares that adjoin each of them.
Named after the richest man ever, King Mansa Musa of northern Mali, the Mansa Musa Beach Resort was developed in one of my cities as an attempt to attract affluent (especially Russian) tourists. It melds traditional Northern Malian architecture with modern amenities for the up-and-rising oligarch. However, the current Ukraine crisis has hit it hard, with sanctions and a falling ruble pushing it deep into the red.
It unfortunately is currently in the red, losing thousands of euros per month. Although some parcels have been redeveloped with "pencil" condo and timeshare towers,
we are currently soliciting proposals to redevelop it. Bidders include:
The Seminole Tribe of Florida (USA)
Pluses: In spite of their name, they are a global hospitality, restaurant, and casino titan with their namesake cafes on every continent. They are reportedly favoring a hotel/casino execution and then selling off the rest of the site for retail and restaurants. This resembles their business plans in Broward County (FL) and Sentosa (SG)
Minuses: Anti-Americanism is a risk.
The Four Seasons (Canada)
Pluses: Iconic luxury brand, proven track record.
Pluses: One of China's largest developers, catering to the large East Asian tourism market and reflecting the historic Asian communities of Caribbean nations like Trinidad, Guyana, Panama, and Cuba.
Minuses: Difficulty of flying in executives as well as uncertainties around the Chinese property market.
Any other real-world developers would be appreciated.
Named after the notorious red-light district in Bangkok, Bassan tourism officials have begun promoting the country's first adult entertainment district. Nana Plaza offers five strip clubs and go-go-bars within two city blocks and received the official Bassan seal of approval.
In touring their new embassies in Europe, the government of Bassa decided that it needed a nice European coat of arms. This is what they took back from the Holy Roman Empire's dumpster:
Although we are a Creole country, we take pride in our European influences.
In contrast, the development community has turned further away from European pomp and circumstance with the crisp new Moderne Estates development outside Musa.
In case you are wondering why it says Lincoln Head, please note that it is on the same city tile as the Municipality of Lincoln's Head...
which, oddly enough, looks like a profile of Honest Abe himself.
This is from the Les Cayes (Haiti) map on Simtropolis; unlike this Dalí masterpiece, any resemblance to Lincoln is purely coincidental:
The Foreign Minister has announced a number of new embassy and consulate locations:
CONSULATE: Los Angeles (Anaheim), USA
EMBASSY: Lima, Peru
EMBASSY: Manama, Bahrain
CONSULATE: Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada
CONSULATE: Liverpool, UK
CONSULATE: Porto Alegre, Brasil
EMBASSY: Kingston, Jamaica
EMBASSY: Bern, Switzerland
CONSULATE: Erfurt, Thuringia, Germany
CONSULATE: Bloemfontein, South Africa
EMBASSY: Seoul, South Korea
EMBASSY: Singapore (Serangoon area)
EMBASSY: Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Please note that sidewalks, in Bassan renderings, are always cross-hatched even when depicting planned buildings in foreign countries.
Currently developing an intersection of four city tiles in my region's Southwest. It has a Singapore influence (regimented apartment buildings in pastel colors set amid palm trees and with a historic "shophouse" downtown).
Huston - The downtown is actually pretty nice; I'm mostly using Bixel BATs for the condominiums. Here are some close-ups:
I love the pink, grey, and black building - it's so '90s!
And some suburbs:
Mymyjp - Thanks!
Tonraq - Thanks!
A little known fact is that in spite of its Finnish name, the city of Karelia is considered to be the pasta capital of the Western Hemisphere! It is home to an entire industrial park dedicated to the manufacture and R&D of pasta:
Taking advantage of T-Wrecks' new w2w dirty industry lots, I put together this city. Due to taxes, only four types of development are allowed: R$, CS$, I-D, and I-Agriculture. This shows my selection of low-end BATs and how nicely I treat even my poorest Sims.
A bank robbery in Musa was foiled after the target turned out not to be a bank after all. In what police have described as a "presumptuous" act that "probes the outer limits of criminal stupidity," two bandits entered into a building by shouting "This is a bank robbery!" The building turned out instead to be a fine Italian restaurant. Police responded with lightning speed as the restaurant was next to not one but two donut shops. When the crooks were taken into custody, their explanation for the foolish act was "well, it looked like a bank to me with all that beige stone!"
An aerial of the robbery scene. The stone building with the slate roof is not a bank, no matter how much it may look like one. It is in fact a CS$ building from SimCityPolska although I am pretending that it is a fine restaurant for the purposes of this journal.
Here's some miscellany:
A stitch of two cities (entry image)
The evolution of a neighborhood:
Land for sale! Cheap
At buildout. Wallibuk's townhouses could not have come at a better time.
A political scandal has rocked Bassa after the country's ambassador to Canada was revealed to have attended a number of suspicious parties in 2009-2011. The scandal, with echoes of Toronto's Rob Ford scandal as well as one that ensnared Swedish King Carl XVI Gustaf in 2010, alleges that the ambassador, a candidate in upcoming parliamentary elections, engaged in a number of secret "hookers and blow" parties with Eastern European and Somali gangsters in various parts of Ontario. Furthermore, a prosecutor has alleged that at least some of the parties were funded by pirate money, as wire transfers have been found to the party hosts that originated in the notoriously pirate-heavy Puntland region:
One of the major discussions going on in the world of planning is how to improve post-WW2 urban planning (especially the American-style sprawl of big box hypermarkets, office parks, banlieues, and sprawling subdivisions) to address new concerns like transit, walkability, and urban food production.
I decided to try my hand at building and then unbuilding some American-style sprawl, and when I was awarded Deadwoods' FLW Larkin Building, I decided to make an office park out of it:
No bus, no train, no mixed uses, and look at all that yummy and wasteful SAM parking!
So I decided to simulate a "sprawl repair" process. I first added some new uses (retail, office, plop W2W industry, and residential) as well as a rail station to create a "downtown" feel:
Note that I added an urban farm to the north.
The final stage involved replacing the parking with parks, pedestrian-friendly streets, and revenue-generating uses:
Ain't that a pretty suburban downtown!
Kisa Atsuko: The ferry has nothing to worry about! That bridge connects a small island to the mainland:
1) Lamma village (pop. 90) just west of Grandriver
Name TBD, outside Grandriver.
Real-world inspiration. Definitely grittier than the SimCity result, but let's pretend that these are 1960s-era pix before Bassa's economy grew.
Bassa's far-right has been rocked by two separate scandals in recent days. The left-wing 11 March movement, commemorating the date (11 March 1989) when Bassa ended the Cold War policy of seclusion that sought to isolate the island from excessive Soviet and American influence, is gaining in polls after these two revelations:
First, the ISIS recruitment of French-Bassan residents mentioned below turned out to be a hoax. The three French nationals turned out not to be fighting in Sinjar, Iraq. Instead, their passports were reportedly stolen by their employer, a Member of Parliament for the far-right who had infamously suggested that migrants "speak Kreyol at home." The theft and resale to Islamists in France was believed to be a desperate attempt to discredit European and French immigration and the Member of Parliament has been arrested pending trial.
Secondly, a political news conference at the historic Palm Fort, a building whose oldest parts are believed to predate Afro-European settlement in Bassa, was disrupted after the Israeli ambassador accused the aforementioned parliamentarian of covertly funding Likud and radical settlers in concert with European and American far-right movements. In what has allegedly become a trend in several European countries, anti-Semitic but pro-Israel factions have gained in power thanks to a poor economy and unassimilated Muslim immigrants: http://mwcnews.net/focus/politics/48874-israel-and-europe.html
ISRAELI AMBASSADOR: FAR-RIGHT IN EUROPE, USA, BASSA FUNDING RADICAL SETTLERS
In other news, Bassa has celebrated ten years of same sex marriage. Thanks to Voodoo's traditional tolerance of homosexuality (http://www.huffingtonpost.com/irene-monroe/vodous-acceptance-of-gays_b_821215.html), gay bars and clubs have flourished in the Republic, such as this one:
The largest such chain of stores and clubs, the Queer Steer, has over 20 locations nationwide. This strong tolerance manifested itself in the passage of gay civil unions (1998), gay marriage (2010), and most recently straight civil unions (imposed by the nation's constitutional court in 2012 as part of a freedom-of-religion case that argued that the government should provide a secular alternative to marriage for gay and straight couples). Politicians from the left and center are proposing a more radical bill that will aim to fully divorce (no pun intended) religion and government; the Vodou Democratic Party has yet to endorse or oppose the changes.
In a worrying sign for fans of a worldly media, Bassan news agencies struggled for roughly 5 hours with how to put a local spin on the recent Air Asia tragedy in Indonesia. In shamelessly exploiting this tragedy, Bassan outlets eventually singled on the fact that a second cousin of a visiting Chinese professor at Cap Haitien State University (pictured) was scheduled to be on board the return flight from Singapore to Surabaya.
The local angle was widely condemned as sensationalist by media watchdogs and politicians alike, as well as by the Bassan ambassador to Singapore and Indonesia.
Bassan fund manager Kreyol Bassa SA has concluded one of the largest European commercial property transactions of the year, simultaneously closing today (29 December) on thousands of units throughout the Nordic and Baltic countries. The units are mostly 1950s-1960s vintage and consist of a variety of high-rises, villas, townhouses, and mid rise buildings such as those in the Amager section of Copenhagen, Denmark (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Amager). The transaction is described as "a triumph" of Bassan social capitalism and as a less showy alternative to the equally-wealthy Gulf states who focus more on trophy assets. Kreyol Bassa has pledged to keep rent growth reasonable in these communities in spite of the blisteringly high rents common in major Nordic cities and will be lobbying for more mid-market rental construction in Danish, Swedish, Norwegian, and Finnish urban centers.
In light of the nation's extremely high GDP and savings rate, Bassa has unveiled a EUR 100M stimulus plan aimed at shoring up European social democracies. Most notably, hundreds of miles of sidewalks/pavements and pedestrian malls have been refinished with calçada, a style of paving popular in Portugal and former Portuguese colonies like Brazil and Macau. This pavement was installed with a EUR 50M contract with a Portuguese builder and uses 50% Portuguese labour and 25% other European labour.
In addition, Bassan leaders have increased promotion of community agriculture and started installing the new Portuguese pavement in a semi-agrarian part of Bassa city.
In addition to the prevalent Voodoo, most world religions are tolerated in Bassa. Clockwise from top left:
Temple Bet Israel, Grandriver
Krishna Mandir Hindu Society, Campo
Roman Catholic Cathedral of St. Justin Martyr, San Pedro
Guanyin Chinese Buddhist Pagoda, Bassa City
First Methodist Church of Southern Bassa, Bassa City
Masjid Loubnan (Lebanese Mosque), Bassa City
Schnitzelkirke (German Lutheran Church), San Pedro
My first try using Imgur!
The Republic of Bassa has entered into the ongoing hacking controversy around North Korea by formally denouncing popular photo-sharing website Imgur. The denunciation occurred after a government employee uploaded some tourism brochures to Imgur and then forgot the password, leading to him reportedly seeking out the same hackers who broke into Sony Pictures' emails and servers. The most important item lost was the shipping information for a 10' tall Norman Rockwell-inspired painting of Bassa City's most affluent suburbs. However, the employee eventually remembered the password and the painting has since been freed and will be placed in the Ministry of Tourism's offices. A segment of the oddly-shaped painting can be found below:
Bassa has inaugurated a new capital building. Designed in a tropical-colonial style, the new Parliament replaces the rickety old one seen in a prior post below.
Kurdish fighters retaking Sinjar from ISIS reportedly detained three former residents of San Pedro's notorious Eastside Homes. The three men, two French nationals who converted to Islam and one dual French-Moroccan, had taken advantage of Bassa's liberal visa laws to briefly work odd jobs.
An American TV special, confusing Bassans with Cubans, mistakenly implied that baseball is the nation's preeminent sport. It is not. It is the Beautiful Game aka Soccer aka Association Football aka Footy. The TV special's footage even included a flyover of the South Shore Junglers FC's stadium in the intro!
From the Bassan English Herald
17 December 2014
Leaders from across the political spectrum, as well as business titans, congratulated the US and Cuba on mending relations after half a century of mutual hatred.
"Today, two of the world's most bitter enemies have reconciled, in a move that bodes well for longstanding conflicts around the world. The US president has announced that he will begin to restore Americans' freedom of movement and trade and will petition Congress to lift the remainder of the trade embargo against Cuba. Simultaneously, Cuban ruler Raul Castro announced the release of at least one political prisoner from his country's jails. We look forward to assisting Cuba in its evolution towards a social-democratic future," reported President Zak Michel (Democratic Worker's Party, third cousin to Pras of the Fugees, in an official translation from the Creole).
"Praise is deserved for His Holiness Pope Francis!" announced the leaders of the VDP (Vodou Democratic Party) in an unsigned statement.
The only major political organization to express concern was the Right Sector, a far-right political alliance consisting of the Alternative for Bassa, National Democratic Party, Kreyol Front, and Awakening Bloc. This array of parties together only holds five out of 320 seats in the Bassan Parliament (pictured below) but has grown fast thanks to concern about European migration and excessive Americanization.
Stock in the country's largest homebuilder, Lakay Bassa, increased over 5% during the trading day with the expectation that lucrative contracts could be awarded in the near future. The image below shows a Lakay Bassa sales center at the under-cosntruction Dajabon Golf Resort.
At the same time, concerns mounted that the country's filming industry could decline, as several historic towns have been used as stand-ins for the Havana Malecon by American and European productions.
Bassa's auto industry is also expected to perform well. Most of the country's automakers were founded by Cuban emigrants and Cuban-style "kit cars" still dominate many a Bassan street.