Map of the urban area of the city of Bordzvek

The City of Bordzvek

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This is known as the Crystal City to all who know of it. It is miles of crystal towers in all directions, you can look out from the average window and see nothing else for as many miles as your view extends. On the canal or river is the only place your view will extend very far, unless you are in the air above the city. Anyplace on the areas shown in red, you are going to see other towers relatively close by. For some it brings on a type of claustrophobia. You aren't really closed in, but some spend an Earth century without seeing anything but the endless forest of towers in all directions. When Dlondai is completed, it will give you an idea of what being in that crystal forest is like.

In this basin that denies The Fall, this city denies it more than any other part. Like in Kex, conveyor belts move cargo all over the urban area, people have terminals on their desks, they turn on lights, they take the elevator and the tube to get to a business meeting, they meet the spouse after work for a drink and dinner. They watch sports or music awards on the screen at the bar. The most noticable difference from Centorin is the clothing, the youth and especially the equality of women.

There is a high degree of courtesy and decorum most of the time. Business can get querulous at times, and there is an infamous courtyard on the north shore just east of first lock that would hardly be called decorous. Other than that, you hear few raised voices, get few curt answers and feel welcome wherever you go. Tipping is more of an insult than in the remainder of the basin, they look upon it as attempted bribery. Still, they will refuse politely. Libraries and eye-rooms are quieter here than even in the Yakhan and nothing like the eye-rooms of Zhlindu which can sound like a cafeteria. There's often an elaborate dance of deference choosing seats.

At the same time the city is one of the most fun-loving on the planet. There is more music at more taps than all but Zhlindu, The Yakhan, Edniktar, Yondure and Trenst. Most of these taps are outdoors but sheltered in this land of sudden showers. They are usually neighborhood spaces serving a few buildings. They are usually on the uppermost public street level, closest to the residential levels. The decor has lots of stucco and dry wood, lots of irregular slate paving, lots of hanging plants, lots of fanciful crystal work. Tables and stools are tall, people are in and out of them often and mingle a lot. These cooks courts are often in networks with built-in sound. It doesn't have the power of Zhlindu's sound systems, but they are better at providing an even background that is clear enough to listen to everywhere, but easy to talk over.

There are lots of things for couples to do, and couples mingle as couples. Four ways are almost as common as the Highlands and usually more stylish. Lectures and recitals are well attended as are neighborhood craft displays. Popular crafts are photoglass, playing silta (a banjo-fiddle with sympathetic strings) and video production. Couples go to the beach together, all the best beaches are up the river out of the city, or on the south shore of the canal. It can take an hour to get there using the tube, a day without it. Incidently, the beaches of Bordzvek are about the only ones on Kassidor where you will see some people with some clothing on in hot weather. But the main thing couples do together is music and cinema. Usually the music is out in one of the thousands of fine music halls, usually the cinema is in the home. Two thirds of the homes in Bordzvek have screens so advanced that they can't be legally purchased on Centorin.

Without conveyor belts and motorized ships, the city could not be fed. Zhlindu and Yclel-vi are denser, but smaller and Zhlindu is surrounded with a much larger agricultural zone. Like in Zhlindu and Yondure, water and solids in sewage must be recylcled. Like Yclel-vi, Bordzvek turns more sewage into methane for energy and less into kvarits for food. Much muscle is used in getting the food to market, and some people work two days a week towing carts up ramps loaded with goods from the waterfront. People in Bordzvek eat more processed food than any other society on Kassidor, almost 1% as much as the average Centorin. In spite of that, it is more processed food than the remainder of the basin eats. There is the equivalent of the hotdog baked in the bun and there are guys selling them at many of the courtyards with taps. There are even city-wide snack companies selling pastries packed in wax paper, the only known example of disposable packaging on Kassidor. They are all made from bulk goods bought at the docks.

Something to see are the Parkmonts. Some say they were crater walls from a billion years ago, some say they are a contraction feature. Whatever their origin, the peaks are nearly two miles above the city below. You can see them from almost anywhere on the river as you sail upstream. That is commonly the only view of the city published and it is published in dictionary size. The Parkmonts are largely preserved land, owned by a team of forestmen. They raise their income from selling tickets and virtual tickets to logging competitions, and a little more from selling wood. Looking across over the upper city is quite a sight from either side of the Parkmonts.

The south beach along the Great Canal is a great place to see. The cook's courts overlook the canal along there, often from the height of the masts of the ships. They seem to play a little beatier and spicier music that is hard to find in the urban core. It is also a great place to live, even if your apartment can barely see a lagoon on the inland side. Even here half the apartments can only see other towers. You're most likely to meet someone who is not in a committed relationship in this neighborhood.

What few tourists stumble their way into Bordzvek inevitably wind up at the statues. They are huge (avg. 100') and on the end of great piers. Their poses are lifelike and welcoming. They are the leaders that have made this city and this basin the wealthiest on the planet and in a very real sense, avoided The Fall. The five of them who still serve have become five of the eleven wealthiest people on the planet while doing so, but it is because the wealth of the society around them bouyed them up.

Meeting a companion in the city is the same as in the remainder of the basin except for the greater variety. There are clubs for all tastes, but on average they are a bit more decorous than in the Elven Highlands. The glaring exception is Exhibition Square which has the raunchiest public sex scene known. It is also common to meet people at the cook's courts. If there is any difference between the city and the remainder of the basin it is that those in the clubs are a bit more about the sex while those meeting in other places are more likely to lead to friendship as well.

Bordszvek is a tempting place for a Centorin to stay. If you are a Centorin woman, you have the added bonus of total equality, if you are looking for total equality. You will not be at a disadvantage in seeking employment because of sex or planet of origin. You will have to learn the local equivalent of what you already do. But you have to come to grips with the fact that the crystal towers go on forever in all directions.

That is, unless you live in the white areas of the city. These areas are actually smallholds and are considered rural by those in the towers. They grow 80% as many calories as they eat, but eat little of what they themselves grow. Their third floor is often greenhouse, their lower floor is often barn. They sell high value produce and grain-fed meat and buy in bulk for themselves and their animals. Some of them are the poorest in Bordzvek's society but the majority of them have a quarter to half an acre and a better standard of living than a grower with five acres of prime wine country on Centorin. Together those in the areas shown in white produce 31% of the food eaten in the city. 63% comes from this map, but smallholds cover only 71% of this map.

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