Travelling Shoes: Foster City

Written by Burl on May 9th, 2009
The fake lake in the fake community.The fake lake in the fake community.

By virtue of an incorrect left turn off of #101, we wound up in the “planned community” of Foster City, and it was so fascinating we poked around a bit. Foster City was the brainchild of developer T. Jack Foster — and yes, he also created Foster Village in Honolulu, where I spent my formative years — and he plopped it down on a landfill on the side of the San Francisco peninsula. It’s close to the airport. The idea was to create an ideal community unburdened by history and class, which seems rather Marxist in retrospect. What we have here today is the home of some rather large cyber-businesses — VISA is based here, for example — bunchings of hive-like apartment structures and scads of municipal furnishings such as large, immaculately groomed parks, LEGO-like police and City offices and theme-park-like attention to detail, right down to the inset brick on sidewalks and intersections. The folks working the stores all have first-generation accents, primarily Russian. None of the architecture has any personality whatsoever. What you don’t see are citizens enjoying this taxpayer-paid bounty. The parks are pretty empty, the shopping malls are ghost towns and the traffic is light. Words echo. It’s curious and a little scary, like you’ve entered a Twilight Zone episode that’s equal parts “The Prisoner,” “The Truman Show” and “Logan’s Run.”

The "Metro" Center

The "Metro" Center

A lovely shaded sidewalk

A lovely shaded sidewalk

Attention to detail

Attention to detail

An empty park

An empty park

 

2 Comments so far ↓

  1. gigi-hawaii says:

    Maybe the parks are empty cause everyone is at work or school. You should check them out on Sunday.

    BTW, I live on Piikea Street in Foster Village. (since 1991) Do you remember the street you lived on?

  2. Primo Kimo says:

    This place is perfect for today’s modern world filled with plastic people living TV lives. The Mother’s of Invention were way ahead of their time with their claiming the proletariat as plastic people. Now the masses live in plastic towns. The Truman Show’s “Seahaven” was filmed at “Seaside”, Florida, a master-planned community in the Florida Panhandle. I was there. It IS… a prefab masterplanned place, With the same “attention to detail”. Places like this have no soul.

Leave a Comment





This blog is kept spam free by WP-SpamFree.

1 Trackbacks / Pingbacks

  1. Burl Burlingame » Blog Archive » Photo-J #101: The “Rule of Thirds”