I’ve been working on the map for Boom Town lately…
Boom Town has three Center Streets, down the center of each circle, wider and with broader sidewalks than the side streets.
Walk down any one of them within the first two years of the city’s founding, and it will be strangely Oz-like: here you are, walking down a broad boulevard, waving wheat to one side, then cotton, corn to the other, then hay. Ducks and chickens wander, their coops barely visible as little roofs above the grain.
And straight down the road, you can see the tower, twisting towards the sky, and a tiny cluster of buildings at its feet.
Walk down the roads four or five years after the city’s founding, and it will seem a bit more odd, perhaps. The road still goes straight to the tower, and the buildings near the center still rise up against the walls as if trying to reach that edifice. But the closer you get to the center, the more houses you can see, just a block away from Center Street, gathered in blocks amongst the grain.
An inn greets you at the gate and, across the street, a restaurant. Closer to the tower, merchants clamor for your business. It’s almost alive.
Six, seven years after the city’s founding, it’s harder to walk straight down Center Street. Wagons, horses, foot traffic, and the very rare automobile clog the road and the sidewalk.
Both sides of the road are lined with businesses – store fronts, restaurants, markets, and service providers (massage, hairdressing, sex…) – and down the side streets, one can see houses far more frequently, almost every other block.
Down the road towards the tower, the traffic is thicker, the storefronts fuller, and the noises and sounds of production, machines clanking, can be heard over the crowds. It’s turning into a city.
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