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DBR96A

QUESTION I'D LIKE SETTLED

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Earlier today, in an international media class, my teacher detailed some of the differences between "Western" culture and Asian culture, and he showed streetscape pictures from Seoul and Philadelphia. The Seoul streetscape was overloaded with bright lights, lots of neon, and advertisements everywhere. The Philadelphia streetscape was relatively "dark" by comparison. When someone in the class said that the Seoul picture looked like New York City, I mentioned that New York City's streetscape isn't as "bright" as those of the largest Asian cities. Sure, the light/advertisement level in Times Square may be comparable, but I believe that Manhattan as a whole (including more than just Times Square) is "dark" in comparison to, say, Seoul, Tokyo, Hong Kong, Singapore, etc. Unfortunately, I never got to point that out before I was rudely interrupted by two girls and their smart-assed "Uh, you're wrong" retorts, followed by a bunch of chatter.

I was always under the impression that the largest Asian cities were more overloaded with bright lights and advertisements than even New York City was. Could those of you who have traveled to any (or all) of the cities I've mentioned please settle this for me? Am I right, or are the "ladies" (term used as loosely as possible) right?

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Tokyo is very bright, really ruins chances to see stars, save some of the brightest ones. It sure seems like a lot of the light is simply permitted to go whereever. I think in a lot of places in the U.S., efforst have been made to use lighting like Sodium vapor in combo with reflectors/enclosures that put light where you want it and keep light pollution down.

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OK, but would you say New York City is brighter overall, or Tokyo?

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I've never been to Tokyo or Seoul, but I've lived in New York. There are areas outside of Times Square that are quite bright, lot of light on Broadway on the Upper West Side for example, but your right, most of New York is not overly lit.

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I've been to Tokyo, Hong Kong, Seoul, Beijing, and New York. Tokyo has Shebuya (I'm sorry.. the spelling is probably butchered) that is very comparable to Times Square...

Seoul was very bright and full of lights.. but it was also the most Americanized city with TGI Fridays, Outback Steakhouse, Dunkin' Donuts, Pizza Hut, KFC, McDonalds, Burger King, and several other American restaurants and clothing stores all in a few blocks... so it's hard ot say whether the lighting is a traditional Asian feature.

Hong Kong was not all that bright, but Hong Kong has a very strong British influence.. there were a lot more signs everywhere. Beijing was bright because of lighting but not with neon or anything special like that, really.

So, overall, I'd say Asian cities have bright lights but are probably about equal to New York, though New York seems to be the only "bright" example in the U.S. Many of our cities are very dark at night.

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I have to agree with the professor. The only city in North America that would compare would be mostly Times Square in NYC. Most of Japan's major cities have vast sections such as this.

Here are a couple of photos that I took in Tokyo.

Akihabara.jpg

Akihabara2.jpg

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i also have only been to NYC. and yes, times square is very bright. Yet the street i lived on (West 15th) was mostly dark and could be any mid-rise street in America. You could talk at an indoor level to a person across the street and hear them fine. It was never "dangerously dark" just "soothingly dark". I think most Americans (and people in general) have a large misconseption of NYC. It's not all light, taxi, action! there are many parts were you can have a nice, calm, maybe a little noisy, stroll. All-in-all, it's a very privacy friendly city.

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IMO, it doesnt matter. All that neon in Tokyo looks a little tacky andwould take away from the architecture of many buildings if they had that many signs on them.

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