31 July 2007

Expressway to Ugly

OK, I know it's foolish to expect anything from a corporation like McDonald's. But may I just ask why the miniature fast food franchises known as McDonald's Express are so aggressively ugly?

Granted, no McDonald's outlets are exactly handsome, with the possible exception of a few of the original drive-ins, which have a certain retro charm. But the Expresses are particularly offensive to the retina. They are mostly boxy, two-story jobs, like the world's most utilitarian condo duplex. And they are encased in squares of shiny red, black and yellow tile, giving them the appearance of a particularly garish public restroom turned inside out.

What was the idea behind this design? Are they meant to look kinda Art Deco? Are the bright colors supposed to attract the kiddies? Are we supposed to feel cozy inside their compact designs? Whatever the concept was, it ain't working.

These buildings despoil every block they occupy. I've seen them in the Village, I've seen them on the East Side, I've seen them in Jackson Heights. They are always the uglist thing around. And there's a lot of competition in Queens!

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