Heya, and welcome to this first After Dark update for Glenvale. I was quite pleased to see the city has survived the many updates that followed so let's embark on a neon tour of our city!
Ah, Coal Hill High... This school was rated best high school in Kingscote for 5E131. The Green Party, which won the council election eventually, held its victory conference here.
The school campus is also praised. It was built both as a campus for the schools around it and as a park for Glenvale residents of Lakeview to enjoy.
But today, the star of the show is elsewhere.
Today, we're not going to explore Glenvale by day.
Instead, we're going to wait until night time. It is 8.30pm, and the city has just lit up.
One after the other neon street lights pop up across town, drawing orange lines across the darkness. Buildings light up, and traffic becomes scarcer as everyone has commuted home.
A SKRC train to Albany carries late commuters back home. Commuter trains run until 10.30 pm. The city centre does feel quieter at night, with everyone gone back home.
Servers at Chirper HQ are most buzzing in the evening, when most people unwind in their homes and reshare chirps and other social media bits for the world to see.
The Stark Tower dutifully watches over the city as it slowly falls asleep. But do cities truly ever sleep?
The bus drivers in Glenvale would surely disagree. For them, the night shift begins. Eight night bus lines criss-cross the city, picking up late-night commuters and party-goers alike.
In the summer months, evenings are also when it is most comfortable to come out for a drink or a visit to the theatre. Concord Plaza is a great place to meet up before shuffling on a shuttle bus to the nightclubs.
Many of the taller buildings remain all lit up at night, though they are exceptions. The Concord Tower, to the left of the picture, shines over the plaza like a beacon. Money never sleeps, after all, and even though most bankers have gone back to their cosy estates, their servers remain up, scanning the markets and waiting for the next day. However, the red Cookie Inc. Tower remains dark at night to save energy. As for the Bluerise Tower, in the background, well...its owners have gone bankrupt, and the tower is due for demolition.
A line 3B bus driver enjoys the light traffic on Federal Avenue. During the day, it is almost entirely jammed. At night, the police has to go to great lengths to prevent illegal drag races on the perfectly straight road.
But there are only so many police officers, and the night is the perfect cover for unsavoury people of all backgrounds to indulge in crime.
This does not worry the passengers on the SS Titus II. Tomorrow, they'll be at sea, even further south, far away from the cares of the world.
Night is also a great time for shipping. With roads completely emptied of commuters, trucks can deliver goods quicker than during the day. It does get lonely, though, doesn't it?
Even Downey Avenue, which strikes diagonally across the otherwise straight grid of the industrial wards, is quiet and peaceful at this time of night...
Burbank Bridge flies over the Briar Lodge neighbourhood. Traffic is very light on the bridge, mostly because most people who use it live in Glenvale or nearby anyway.
Soon, the bridge will be destroyed and rebuilt with a much more efficient design - and, it is feared, toll gates.
The subway runs until 1am. Even late at night, there are still a fair deal of people around the train station.
Most districts become quiet at night. Not Meadowfair. The university district buzzes with activity at night. Nightclubs are open and usually packed, and so are cabarets, cinema, restaurants and theatres. The district feels alive, with traffic rushing by, taxis and limos stopping. Bathed in neon lights, people are dancing, laughing, singing, some of them more than a little tipsy.
Every night, there is a long procession of cars exiting the M102 spur motorway at a tiny exit in Southhill. The southernmost part of the highway is usually closed at night because of resident complaints about trucks taking shortcuts in suburban, residential areas on their way to the industrial wards.
Doesn't stop some trucks from trying anyway. The Greens have won the election and are planning to put tolls to restrict access to the CBD, further alarming some residents at the possibility of increased traffic in their neighbourhoods.
Perhaps the Greens should try to get over their opposition to nuclear power first. A law passed just a few weeks after their accession to City Hall and saw nuclear power plants shut, leading to rolling blackouts at night when solar power plants do not function. Needless to say, it only took two days to overturn the law. Political media described the events as the Green Electricity Bill Fiasco, and the opposition jumped on the opportunity to point out their inexperience in office.
On the outskirts of the city, the last train of the day rolls along the tracks. It leaves Glenvale at 11.58pm and is bound for Amesbury Central, calling at Albany and Wesmoor.
If you want to go into Glenvale later, roads are the only way. A toll gate is being built at the entrance of Glenvale on the M1. The price is only 0.75 cent (about 3 Septims) though, which is actually quite affordable yet will help in highway maintenance.
The CityPass also allows drivers to pass the gate without stopping at all! They just reduce their speed and their electronic units automatically pay for them. However, the higher price of CityPass units means it is mostly useful for regular commuters in and out of Glenvale.
In the background, one of the city's two nuclear power plants glow, but parks remain dark green patches of wild land within the concrete fabric of city life.
Aperture Park and the Scientific Enrichment Center are also popular late-night venues. The Center holds its famous Late Night Science events on weekends and exhibits some of its technology then, such as the Great Orrery, which makes use of the stars in the sky. Some people take advantage of the lower attendance in the evenings, much to the delight of local restaurants that can stay open longer.
There are several other dark patches of land in the CBD - most of it awaiting development. The CO tower (formerly the Mithril Tower before its reconstruction) looks slightly out of place, doesn't it? It's all lit blue and red, as opposed to the more typical yellow and orange glow of nearby buildings and streets.
Then again, Glenvale does have quite a few atypical buildings which define its skyline, however low-rise it really is. The Stark Tower is only 50 floors high, after all - 220 meters only!
The cranes in the harbor might not be as high, but they do also define the skyline of southern Glenvale and they are the first sight any ship coming into port might see.
The old City Hall, refurbished as the Kingscote Historical Museum, is undergoing renovations too - soon it will be lit up brightly red in the skies of Cathnoquey.
A view from above reveals the grid pattern of the CBD, with the major streets lit orange, and just how much land is about to be built-up.
The sun finally rises, and the city comes back to life as partygoers return to their homes. A new day awaits!
And now for more maps!
This is an updated map of the SKRC Commuter system. The terrain around Glenvale, formerly very schematic, has been redrawn more accurately in response to travellers' confusion.
Night network! 15 min headway is really for "peak time" though, in effect it's more like 20-30 minutes.
This is it, hope you enjoyed this update and night-time Glenvale! Hope to see you next time