Karl Marx Quay and Lenin Boulevard: how long will these names remain in Phnom Penh
geography? How long will the itchy fingers of the city governors be kept away from
substituting these exciting names with Hun Sen Avenue or Sihanouk Embankment?
USSR Boulevard is possibly one of the last streets in the world with this name. Now
that the Soviet Union has disintegrated without grace the only thing that hampers
rapid renaming seems to be uncertainty of the outcome of the elections.
The other day a group of locals and international staff met at their favorite hangout
on the "Russian Boulevard" and discussed the matter. Although most of them,
locals as well as expatriates, felt that it is good as it is, everybody felt that
the destiny of the USSR Boulevard is inevitable; it will be rebaptized, sooner rather
than later. A contest was announced and among the 30 different entries the "Boulevard
of Dreams" was selected.
The proposed name was forwarded to the city government for consideration.
Which city in the world has fewer reasons to dream of the future (or back to years
past) than Phnom Penh? The only question is: shouldn't every city have its street
of dreams? It doesn't necessarily have to be the one leading to its airport.
- Hans Hagberg