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Maarjamäe – simple solutions to complicated life

TUULI KÖLLER

01.10.2005

I can be here and there, anywhere. Which reminds me of McKenzie Wark: “...hello? hello? is anyone there? i'm calling here from there. i'm calling night from day. i'm calling summer from winter. i'm calling from the other side of the world. here is how things look from here (there, looking at there (here)”. I don’t remember if the context was suburbia or urban sprawl or something else, but the formulation is apt. We do not know, where we are, we do not know, who we are or who the others are and most unfortunately it is not even relevant any more. The space is not relevant either, any more. (Which leaves unclear if there is anything of relevance at all, any more.)

Maarjamäe
The grass used to be greener, the sky bluer and the sparrows fatter. Who knows, maybe. Could be. We can not experience it any more, check it. The grass dies each autumn, the sky changes in seconds, the sparrows come and go. It is possible, though, to make conclusions about life in the previous years (decades), the essence and conditions of the past. Life is changing and the inhabitants are different, but the environment around them is more stable. So, experiencing the environments that have survived, we can make certain conclusions.
Thus – life at home, everyday life, was more outwards, out of the houses, which is reflected directly in the older part of Maarjamäe, closer to the sea. Big lots, small houses, plenty of space and greenery between the houses. Even the later, especially characteristic to the last years, numerous extra-constructions to, on, between and under the houses have not spoilt the outlook and atmosphere of the historic part of Maarjamäe. The new buildings and parts of buildings also blend into greenery quite like the old houses, somewhere far in the green space. The size of the lots is enlarged visually by the planning of the streets or their seemingly self-planning nature, light crescents, English-style street fronts with wide patches of lawn between the fence at the property line and the narrow street.

Simple solutions to complicated life
Today is different. Little lots, big buildings, maximum construction and minimum space between the houses. The fronts of the detached houses are characterised by at least one, more and more often two garages, which seems just a waste considering the location of Maarjamäe and its comparatively good public transport connection to (down)town. The limited yard spaces of terraced and apartement

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