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Still an industrial city

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Photo: Denis Doyle for The New York Times

Un análisis en el NYT sobre lo que el manido efecto Bilbao ha supuesto para el propio Bilbao, aunque algunos sólo quieran más de lo mismo.

_______________________

On paper at least, Bilbao seems to have it all: world-class museum,
fine Basque cuisine, a rollicking night life and lots of shopping. But
like the new bike
paths that were rarely used during my visit, the city lacks the
critical mass of attractions to take it from a provincial
post-industrial town, to a global cosmopolitan city. And in the
meantime, it is losing the shabby edge that gave the city its earlier
appeal.

The concentration of first-rate architecture is
astounding, even without Gehry’s titanium masterpiece. But architecture
alone does not a city make
. Bilbao is all dressed-up, but hasn’t
figured where to go.

“Our local culture still hasn’t integrated
with the Guggenheim,” said Alfonso Martínez Cearra, the general manager
of Bilbao Metropoli-30, a public-private partnership that is guiding
the city’s revitalization. “This is still an industrial city.”

The
disconnect between Bilbao the brand, and Bilbao the city was on display
one Saturday night, when the narrow streets of Casco Viejo were once
again packed with young bar-hoppers. The smell of marijuana wafted from
a crowd outside a bar on Calle de Somera. In the group was Ikel, a
22-year-old studying to be an engineer, like his father.

“I’ve
never been to the Guggenheim,”
Ikel said between puffs, as mechanical
street cleaners starting scrubbing beer and urine from the
cobblestones. “It’s for tourists.”

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Written by María

octubre 5, 2007 a 17:07

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