Thursday, February 15, 2007

Dodgy English

Sometimes I wonder. It’s this English thing. And it’s this aesthetic thing.

I have had words before about this English thing. Like Taylor Woodrow’s “we build in Spain since 1958”. Ungrammatical, innit. I haven’t had too many words about carbuncles and architectural naffness. But now they come together. A kind of symbiosis. Except it’s not a carbuncle, but an expression through construction that highlights the poverty of what surrounds it.

I’m talking Grupo Boulevard, one of the area’s most prominent enterprises. Now, they did get a bit of bad PR over the Dakota restaurant at the start of the Pinewalk in Puerto Pollensa, and they duly subdued it.

Some eighteen months in the building, Boulevard’s seemingly corporate edifice is now about complete, a glass-fronted, black-grey-silver-tinted statement amidst the generally hideous row of “locals” that someone had the lack of foresight to allow to be developed in Playa de Muro. Hats off to Boulevard. The building, out of place though it is, is a distinct improvement. It would be just fine in a city’s financial area. In Playa de Muro ...?

How did planners ever get Playa de Muro so wrong? There you have splendid hotels - the Iberostars for example - but then you also have that row of non-descript, uncharismatic locals, and then you also have the total absence of a “centre” that might make Playa de Muro a place to which people would gravitate, as opposed to pass through.

Undeterred, Boulevard have erected their building. “Precioso,” is how a one-time employee described it. Perhaps. But while it may well be an improvement, how come - and here’s this English thing (eventually) - how come the name? “Boulevard Building Center”. I am not alone in thinking it sounds like a DIY store. Could they not have just run the name past an English-speaker (native preferably), and realised it sounds wrong? That’s this English thing. They’re not alone. Taylor Woodrow’s another. There are many more. Is it so difficult for local businesses (or multinational builders) to find an English-speaker who could point out the error?

Sometimes I wonder.

Weather note: Brilliant. Warm. Lovely. Blissful. Won’t last.

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