Can’t decide what city you’ll go to? It’s a difficult consideration after all: Every city has a different atmosphere, different people, and widely different colors. Colors are very powerful: they remain in your memory forever.
We highlight 3 noteworthy things or perpetual stereotypes about each city using its ‘base colors’. We used a photograph of a classic view of the city and scaled it down to 4×4 pixels. Then, we picked 3 interesting colors to describe.
Amsterdam, eternal town of tolerance! This picture contains all of its obvious charms and boils down to three hues: the green of fragrant weed, the blue of canals that are so clean you could swim in them, and a red light district smack in the middle. On top of that, the black tone at the bottom left might be that of the swarms of bicycles in the city trying to squash pedestrian sightseers.
Why did we call that Gaudi Blue ‘happy’? A tram ran over the pobrecito, and he never witnessed the finished Sagrada Familia – so you could hardly call him a happy fellow. But that blue tone, used in his Casa Battló, is so vivid it deserves that name. Besides, we also won’t live long enough to see his completed masterwork. We assume that the slightly dirty ‘Barceloneta beach beige’ and mud-smeared ‘Camp Nou grass green’ speak for themselves!
Bologna, the world’s food capital! Bologna’s red-roofed skyline yields an incredibly tasty color palette. It even contains the color of the famous bologna sausage (called ‘mortadella’ by locals), and a juicy minced meat ragout we could eat all day long! Yeah, you could perceive some cultural heritage in these colors, but right now we’re just dreaming of that ragout.
People of Leeds are quite proud of where they come from. Maybe it’s because Marks & Spencer was born here. Could it be their world-class, delicious pork pies? Their loyalty to the local Rhinos rugby team? Or perhaps it’s their tropical garden in Roundhay Park, where they enjoy being in a bustling Britsh town and in a rainforest at the same time.
The Square Mile (and its surroundings) is an ever-changing, colorful melting pot full of contradictions. Nevertheless, we picked 3 rather traditional tints for the metropolis: the red of those typical double-decker buses (although the iconic older models are all out of service), the color of black tea with milk (a disgusting combo only popular in the UK and its ex-colonies) and a pastel green to symbolize the Royal Gardens. So what’s the ‘real’ city like? You’ll have to find out for yourself.
This city is the fashion capital of the universe and home of the greatest inventor ever. Its inhabitants should be able to scare away the flocks of pigeons terrorizing the Piazza del Duomo, don’t you think? Instead, they’ve turned them into a touristic attraction. Are you serious? Take shelter for those sky-rats in the magnificent Scala or replace your pigeon-pooped clothes with more stylish ones in the Quadrilatero della Moda!
The lively city of Porto counters its cozy, narrow streets and coloured houses near the Ribeira with a pompous, monumental bridge that looks like it was built from the Eiffel Tower’s spare parts. Porto is a city full of contrasts: it has some splendid modern buildings and some ugly old ones, and ancient traditions coexist with the heavy industry of the Portuguese North. Take a port wine, smell some dried cod (bacalhau) and watch the sun set!
Including ‘Tomatina Red’ is a no-brainer: a mass tomato-chucking party should be on top op everyone’s bucket list. Admittedly, this heavenly feast does not take place in the city center, but in the sleepy community of Buñol, more than 30 kilometers west of Valencia. Closer to town? Calatrava’s magnificent museum buildings are built nearby, on the Turia river’s old riverbed. But a color that’s right at the heart of Valencia? It’s the creamy beige of tiger nuts used in Orxata, the city’s gloriously refreshing drink.
The Best Student Cities in Europe: Uniplaces in a pixellated map
This post was written by Kasper Geeroms of La Mosca Games, following his original post on the NeverBored blog: “Cities scaled down to 4×4 pixels make trendy color swatches“.