Every town has rough areas. Aberdeen is no exception. We all know that areas such as Tillydrone, Torry, Kincorth and Mastrick have reputations for high crime rates and drug users but those areas are not even where Aberdeen’s biggest problem lies. That area is the city centre. For decades Aberdeen has had the reputation of being the oil capital of Europe. It this is the case then it clearly doesn’t show. It may bring many jobs to the local economy, but if the city council have benefitted from any form of money they never f*****g invested in it (or at least not wisely anyway). As a result of this, Aberdeen is pretty much a ghost town.
Until about 10 years ago Union Street used to be fairly pleasant to walk through. Now it’s just full of empty shop spaces and the same food chains (McDonalds, Starbucks, Greggs, the usual crap). The boarded up shops are likely to be the result of the council giving permission to build Union Square which is a pretty overrated and expensive development consisting of chavy clothing shops and once again, food chain restaurants. It’s amazing how considering that this hasn’t done Union Street much good, the council have once again thrown their money into investing another high rise glass development. This time in the form of Marischal square. Located across the road from Marischal College (an interesting piece of architecture ruined by the fact that its the councils offices), it will just make the city centre look even uglier. Not only that, it will completely encroach the Provost Skene House which is another piece of attractive architecture that is disappearing from the city centre.
It’s not just pointless and ugly shopping developments that appear in Aberdeen. The City Gardens project, it has to be said is not a terrible idea, especially considering how the current gardens (Union Terrace Gardens) are particularly popular with rapists and bong headed fuckwits shooting up, but the design of the proposed project was really just a concrete slab on top of a tarmac slab (a dual carriageway) and with the possibility of yet another f*****g shopping development! Thank god that development was rejected.
Regenerating the city aside, the council also fail to think much about Aberdeen’s culture regarding music and art. True they have invested in refurbishing both the Music Hall and Art gallery but they also thought that closing both building at roughly the same time for refurbishment was good idea. It is also likely that the demolition of the AECC and building of the new one will take place soon but unless the Music hall re opens soon it will mean that any big artists will not want to come to Aberdeen until then.
The final council rant is about the general economy. Given how we always knew the oil industry wasn’t going to last forever but “somehow” its now in its worst state ever, the council should have been prepared for this situation. Building all those office blocks and business parks in the satellite towns such as Westhill and Kingswells for about 10 years now was a daft idea because about half of them are just going to sit empty as a result of the state of the oil industry. Everyone thought the downturn was unpredictable which to some extent is a fair enough statement but once again the council have invested f**k all in terms of post offshore oil industry for Aberdeen.
The council rant could go on but I’ll move on just in case your attention span is annoyingly short.
Other problems with Aberdeen include the obvious fact that because winter lasts nine months it is normally a dull place to look at (even in those remaining 3 months it’s only on average about 7 days a year where the done is shining pleasantly). It is a nightmare to drive through at rush hour (talking of which the council have fortunately allowed a new bypass to be built but given how it was first considered in the 1950s its taken them ages to get off their arses and do something about it). Rather ironically your more likely to be mugged by a seagull than a human in broad daylight which means your sandwich has to be in a safer place than your wallet. As always with many towns in the UK, a large number of the population are ugly looking mugs ranging from 30 year old grannies to 40 year heroine addicts with disposable teeth. The general music scene is largely limited to idiotic pop punk bands trying to be the next Busted or screamy and unoriginal metalcore bands.
One final problem is one that cannot be solved that easily but Aberdeen is reportedly the most radioactive city in the UK, owing to the high presence of granite. Giving how much of the city’s population look like Chernobyl mutants its not that surprising.
To conclude my rant, Glasgow may have the reputation for being the poorest city in the UK, as well as a history of sectarian violence and having a reputation for being a tough town, but on the whole its still prettier, friendlier and smiles more than Aberdeen. Even Dundee has started to overtake Aberdeen in terms of tourism and culture, which shows that their city council have been a bit more wiser and less slack arsed compared to Aberdeen.