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   Undertoad  Saturday Oct 16 02:33 PM

10/16/2004: Rainbow-colored Albanian building



This building is in Tirana, Albania, and it was painted that way by the Tirana City Hall to make up for the fact that it didn't have any street address.

It turns out that Albania's government is so useless that... well, how useless could it be?

Quote:
"I live in a green building," explained one resident of the capital Tirana, whose street literally has no name.

Another patient Tirana local describes his house as the one which "faces the bridge." For another, home is "that big brown building behind the bakery."

Some 40 percent of Albanians have no street address, according to at least one official.

"But what would happen if the bakery is closed, or its owner changes his line of business, or the brown facade turns into grey after long rains?" asked sociologist Mentor Kikia.

Servete Lohja, a doctor in a Tirana emergency hospital, said "most of the inhabitants of big Albanian towns don't know where they live."
And so, in order to identify this big apartment building, just paint it in rainbow colors.

I'm just glad there are sociologists who are capable of asking the hard questions.


elSicomoro  Saturday Oct 16 02:55 PM

When your company sells stuff and ships it UPS, you tend to get some interesting "addresses."

--Blue house across from Town Hall
--10 miles north of Piñon on gravel road

And so on...

That building reminds me of this bridge:




xoxoxoBruce  Saturday Oct 16 08:38 PM

Looks like a southern resort motel from the 50's.
I suppose there are advantages to not having an address in that every secret police file would say no known address.
And you wouldn't have to send flowers the next day.



capnhowdy  Saturday Oct 16 08:46 PM

This completely redefines the term "colorful". Definitely a house painter's worst nightmare. The bright side: You can't see it from the inside of the building.....whew!!!!!!!!



Cyber Wolf  Saturday Oct 16 08:56 PM

That building reminds me an older method of figuring last names. Once upon a time, your name was your profession. Mr. Baker, Mr. Smith, Mr. Fletcher...



Trilby  Saturday Oct 16 09:26 PM

Great way to get rid of all that scrap paint laying around.



hampor  Monday Oct 18 02:38 AM

last names

If your last name is the name of a place, it probably means that your family spent many years somewhere else.

E.G. Jack London's family must have moved to someplace where being from London was unique enough for it to become a useful identifier at the time when last names were invented.



Brown Thrasher  Monday Oct 18 11:45 AM

Interesting colors. It could be worse. I once saw a house painted purple. However, it did have an address. You couldn't miss the pink mailbox. I wonder what a psychiatrist
would have said about the personalities of the inhabitants.



Trilby  Monday Oct 18 11:53 AM

There's nothing wrong with the color purple



Uryoces  Monday Oct 18 12:49 PM

Why wouldn't they just create street names, put signs up?

Thusly:
415 Rainbow Building, Tirana Ave
Tirana, Albania



glatt  Monday Oct 18 01:05 PM

I wondered the same thing. You would think a sign would be cheaper than painting a building. BUt then I realized that if it was a nation-wide problem, it probably overwhelms the government.

I wonder how they got into that situation. Street names are not a modern invention. Centuries old maps of London include street names. Surely there must have been street names at some point in the history of Albania. Did the isolationist government of the last 50 years abolish the old names? Did they just neglect to name new construction? Curious.



elSicomoro  Monday Oct 18 01:24 PM

Read the linked article, people.

This situation got me thinking...we don't have that kind of problem here in Philadelphia, but we do have a strong case of street-numbering retardation.

Market St. is our N-S divider, while Front St. is our E-W divider. There is also Germantown Ave., which essentially runs E-W, but is a N-S street, and serves as another E-W divider.

As you travel through the East Mount Airy and Germantown areas into West Oak Lane, things start getting interesting. The E-W streets that fed off Germantown Ave. start meeting the E-W streets that fed off Front St. Chelten Ave., which was an E-W street off Germantown, becomes an E-W street off Front...the street number changes from 2100 E to 2000 W. If you have a friend that lives in the 200 block of W. Chelten Ave., check your directions (as there are 2 separate 200 blocks of W. Chelten).

Then there are the shared street names, but that's another story...



glatt  Monday Oct 18 02:13 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by sycamore
Read the linked article, people.
I went back and read the article for a second time, and it still doesn't say why 40% of the population lives in areas with no street names or numbers. They mention part of the problem is due to new construction, but they don't mention the other part(s) of the problem. With 40% of the population affected, it's got to be some big systemic problem.


elSicomoro  Monday Oct 18 02:41 PM

From the article: The government has recently adopted a bill calling for streets to be named as soon as possible but somehow the process has become mired in ideological disputes.

I was referring to "Why don't they just create street names?" Sorry about that. As to how it happened in the first place, well, Albania was incredibly isolated for the longest time, so I suspect that naming streets just wasn't a priority or necessity to their leaders.

Here's a BBC article on Tirana Mayor Edi Rama that touches on the painting of city buildings.



Uryoces  Tuesday Oct 19 02:32 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by sycamore
From the article: The government has recently adopted a bill calling for streets to be named as soon as possible but somehow the process has become mired in ideological disputes.

I was referring to "Why don't they just create street names?" Sorry about that. As to how it happened in the first place, well, Albania was incredibly isolated for the longest time, so I suspect that naming streets just wasn't a priority or necessity to their leaders.

Here's a BBC article on Tirana Mayor Edi Rama that touches on the painting of city buildings.
What?! Are you crazy?! Read the article??? I've got a feeling that street names are an interesting issue, but not the most pressing one.


Clodfobble  Tuesday Oct 19 09:37 AM

IIRC Japan is like this, they have names for the major thoroughfares but not for neighborhood residential streets. My friend who explained all this to me told me it was a cultural thing; that people would actually balk at giving their house a number, like we balk at the idea of numbering people.



Trilby  Tuesday Oct 19 11:52 AM

We number people.



Clodfobble  Tuesday Oct 19 01:40 PM

Yes, but sometimes we still balk at the idea, for old times' sake.



xoxoxoBruce  Tuesday Oct 19 11:02 PM

*Elephant man*/ I am not a number / *Elephant man*



elSicomoro  Tuesday Oct 19 11:06 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Uryoces
What?! Are you crazy?!
I've been accused of such, but I'm actually pretty normal.

Quote:
Read the article??? I've got a feeling that street names are an interesting issue, but not the most pressing one.
Like I said, I was just answering a question...one that you initially asked. And then I decided to give you some shit on top of that.


Achtung Jackson  Wednesday Oct 20 03:21 PM

Hate t'say it, but the story behind this picture reminds me a bit of the song "Where the Streets Have No Name."



hampor  Wednesday Oct 20 03:39 PM

house numbers

In Massachusetts towns, the fire department is responsible for giving out house numbers. They are the ones who have to find the house in the dark, so I guess that makes sense.

On some streets, though, they renumbered the houses but allowed the owners to keep the old numbers if they like.

Also, the numbering starts over at the beginning of each street. and increases as you leave town. I lived for a while in 155, then in number 24, then in number 3. I was amazed when I visited California where there are 5 digit house numbers.



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