Even the construction barriers were built to resemble pagodas down there. The growing Asian population before the closing of the borders had changed the aesthetic priorities of the city and its partner developers. It became a tradition to appropriate artistic culture for banal commercial purposes, and, even now, as the disinfected structures are rehabilitated for the appropriate uses of the new age, the barriers and scaffolds have a Kyoto flavor. Like the rest of the city, most everything else has changed, especially the density. As residents were urged to live separately, the streets were cleared for foot traffic, allowing for a sense of openness that people once had to seek out in a desert. Groups of four can linger on a corner, separated but together, without fear of obstructing the once great army of pedestrians on their way to fast food lunches or commuter trains.
There is a certain charm to an empty city. The long afternoon shadows and the gravity of history comport with the echo of noises past; music from a time when the percussion of an unbridled society propelled all those poor souls toward an unexpected future.