Resort life

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Temple-pavillions along the beach at Seaside

Seaside street in the evening

On the beach at Seaside

The rhetoric in an official Seaside publication describes it as a new rooted town.

[The architecture is] cute and it makes for a heck of an exciting photo spread in glossy magazines. But it is only after a few days in town that you start to feel the real pull of Seaside, the pull for roots, for freedom. What people get when they stay in Seaside for very long is a sense of belonging. The town can fill a hole inside of city dwellers and most of the rest of us who slowly detach ourselves from civilization and technology. . . . What you realize after a few days is that the architecture dissolves into convenience, the density envelops you with community. Gordy 1999

However, another section of that publication describes the operation.

We've compiled a small list of everyday concerns that are taken care of so visitors and "townsfolk" can just relax and enjoy Seaside. 500 behind-the-scenes workers including children, cats and dogs . . . 7,600 bars of soap a month, 500 decks of cards a month.

This is the operation of a resort, not a town. Very few people reside permanently in Seaside. Walking there feels in some ways like being in an old fashioned town but also like one of those motels that have rooms with multiple themes. The spatial innovations and the creation of new atmosphere are vital achievements at Seaside. But Kentlands and Celebration are more important places for showing the grammar of community in action.