lunes, 30 de noviembre de 2015

Listening test: Tacoma Transformed

Listen to a report on the US city of Tacoma, Washington, and choose the option A, B or C which best answers the question or completes the sentence.

1) How do Tacoma and Seattle compare?
A. Tacoma and Seattle are equally well known.
B. Tacoma has been overshadowed by its neighbour Seattle.
C. Tacoma is better known than its neighbour Seattle.

2) Tacoma became known as the City of Destiny…
A. as it was the western terminus for the North Pacific Railroad.
B. because it had very good ‘publicity people’.
C. because many people from the East dreamed of going there.

3) What happened in Tacoma some years ago, according to Jane Shafer?
A. A new mall meant the end of the smaller department stores.
B. Tacoma's main street became popular because of its new shops.
C. The city became more prosperous with the new mall.

4) Tacoma's revival began to take place when…
A. people realized what the city's city centre had to offer.
B. property in Seattle became too expensive.
C. the local authorities redesigned the city centre.

5) Penny Grellier argues that…
A. artists brought with them some gang activity.
B. Tacoma has always been a more interesting city than Seattle.
C. Tacoma was dangerous and only became attractive recently.

6) What has happened to Tacoma in recent years?
A. It has become something of a futuristic city.
B. Its population has grown and a new cultural life has started up.
C. Some industry has moved back from Seattle.

7) How does Penny Grellier describe the new architecture?
A. A mixture of modern art and restored old factory buildings.
B. Some of the best new buildings in the US are here.
C. Very much influenced by the city’s industrial past.

Seattle, Washington, in the USA's Pacific Northwest, is known the world over, thanks to grunge music, Boeing aircraft, Starbucks coffee, and Microsoft. Relatively few people around the world have heard of its neighboring city, Tacoma, which has tended to stand in Seattle's shadow. Yet all that appears to be changing. Historically, Tacoma should have been the major city and Seattle the minor one. It was founded as a logging and shipping settlement in 1864. Its unusual name was taken from 'Tacobet' — the Native American name for Mount Rainier, clearly visible some 50 miles (80 kilometres) to the southeast. When Tacoma was chosen as the western terminus of the Northern Pacific Railroad, it even became known as the `City of Destiny'.
Yet this was not to be. Jane Shafer, a volunteer at the Washington State History Museum, says that "Seattle had better publicity people and Tacoma got left behind. This continued in the twentieth century. She grew up in the town and remembers what it was like when she was a teenager:

Jane Shafer: There were several department stores' in downtown Tacoma, all of which are gone now. A big change carne along when they built a mall to the south of here... Tacoma Mall, I guess it's called, it may have a new name by now. But the department stores disappeared one by one! And for a long time the main street in downtown Tacoma, Broadway, was just empty.

Seattle became particularly trendy in the 1990s and this actually helped its less fashionable neighbor. When property prices in Seattle became increasingly expensive, people started looking south towards Tacoma. As often happens in ‘post-industrial society’, the artists were the first people to take advantage of the city's low-rent spaces. The local authorities also decided it was time to clean up the ‘City of Destiny’ and make downtown more attractive to visitors, explains Penny Grellier, volunteer at the Tacoma Art Museum:

Penny Greitier: Well, Tacoma began as a really industrial city and it hasn't been until... probably only 10 years ago that it really wasn't a very attractive area to come to. It's getting a lot better because it used to be fairly dangerous, there was a lot of gang activity in Tacoma. And so people weren't focused on things like art, they were focused on not being shot and things like that! So...

Today Tacoma has a thriving tourist industry, focused on the Museum District around Pacific Avenue. Restaurants, bars and shops now fill the warehouses that stood empty and abandoned for almost half a century. The population of the city has expanded to over 200,000. The museum areas are linked by the colorful Bridge of Glass, which features the work of world-famous local glass artist Dale Chihuly. The bridge also links the city's downtown and port areas. Penny Grellier says that the new Tacoma hasn't forgotten its industrial past:

Penny Grellier: But in the architecture that's going up now, you see this kind of marriage between modern art, or architecture, and what already exists here. For instance, the design of this museum, the architect, Antoine Predock, wanted to make it a very modern structure. Kind of like: here's the new Tacoma, and then also include a lot of windows, not only for natural light, but so that you could see what came before, all these old factory buildings and the layout of the city.

1C 2A 3A 4B 5C 6B 7A