The Toronto Star has an article about a condo development called the Bohemian Embassy – a name that was originally used for a series of literary / cultural coffee houses run by Don Cullen. Cullen is unhappy with their use of the name and talks about his first visit to the site:
There was no one to talk to and no literature available, but clearly someone was trying to “brand” their development with a name that sounded suitably hip. The trouble is, I invented that “brand” and the last thing it represented was culture-free, cookie-cutter condos.
Now being so very west-coast, I initally thought they were refering to bohemia townhomes in Vancouver, another development with granite countertops and sisal carpets that seems very un-bohemian.. or is it? Here’s the wikipedia definition of bohemianism:
The bohemian lifestyle is often associated with cafÃ©s, coffeehouses, drug use (particularly opium, the “dark idol”), alcoholism, and absinthe (nicknamed the “green fairy”). Bohemians were associated with unorthodox or antiestablishment political or social viewpoints, which were expressed through extramarital sexual relations and voluntary poverty.
Ok, so maybe I’m wrong. Some of this sounds pretty Vancouverish: the coffee shops, drug use and particularly the ‘voluntary poverty’ bit about buying RE right now – but why so shiny? If we’re going to glom onto the ‘bohemian’ concept it seems like developers could save a lot of money by skipping the clean new materials and simply throwing some absinthe in as a perk.
I think I have just the example too: remember that old porn theater in the downtown east side that is slated to become condos? Why bother with conversion when you could simply throw some old blankets over the seats and live in a true bohemian style. The Venus theater could become ‘The Intra-Venus’ a condo development like no other!
Now pass me that bottle and contract, I’ve got some investing to do!