Clockwork's Pete Townshendesque ears heard Irvine City Councilwoman and mayoral candidate Christina Shea ask the following at Thursday's Great Park Corporation board of directors meeting at City Hall:
“If you could put up on the screen the terrorist area.”
Now, it is no state secret that Irvine possesses something of a multiculti bent, that the Great Park is pitched to provide all things to all people, that the UCI Muslim Student Union holds great sway on campus. But, for the love of Rumsfeld, is it not going a wee bit too far to establish an area within the Great Park where the McVeighs, the Bin Ladens and the Trumps of the world can roam free?
Well, chap my Q-Tips: upon further review, turns out Shea wanted to see a slide projected overhead of the “terraced area.” Oh, but this is more than simply a terrorist, er, terraced area, my friends. It is the new Performance Area, one of “The Iconics”--the three “iconic” features of the Great Park's Preview Park.
First of all, The Iconics sounds like an early '60s pop group. You had your Stylistics, your Pips and your Iconics.
B) Can something within a preview park that will eventually (and allegedly) make way for a real park really be deemed iconic, which ol' Merriam Webster tells me means “uncritically devoted”?
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It can if you're directing traffic at the former El Toro Marine Corps Air Station, which is what Larry Agran's Great Park Corp. is doing. The Great Park Design Studio's Iconics within the 27.5-acre Preview Park include the Performance Area with terraced lawns and an ability to seat 3,000 spectators; the Palm Court, which is what they are calling the already existing area that includes an old hangar and adjacent parking lot with palm trees in boxes that will be "re-imagined" as a link to a sports area to be built God knows when; and Pods, several movable, functional structures (“or parkitecture”--hah!) that can house cafes, fountains, restrooms, you name it.
The designs truly look intriguing. Iconic? Not so much. Clockwork regards the Statue of Liberty, the Eiffel Tower and the Ali Baba no-tell motel along Newport Boulevard as iconic. We are not uncritically devoted to a men's room on wheels.
While nice and perhaps even necessary, the Iconics trotted out yesterday seem like facilities that would be better viewed once someone affiliated with the Great Park provides a sense of the total picture – and even more critically, how it is going to be paid for. No one could even provide an answer as to when fund-raising will begin for the Iconics and when construction of these apparently vital Preview Park features will start.
Our verdict: once something out there can be called iconic, the people will tell you.