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2007年VOA标准英语-Houstonians Go Underground to Escape Summer Hea

时间:2007-09-29 01:22来源:互联网 提供网友:mummy   字体: [ ]
    (单词翻译:双击或拖选)
By Malcolm Brown
Houston, Texas
20 September 2007
 

Different cultures have different ways of coping with extreme heat. In Houston, Texas, when the mercury rises, office workers head underground rather then go outdoors. Their refuge is an elaborate network of tunnels, which has expanded over the years without any central planning. Malcolm Brown paid a visit.

Looking at Houston's high-rise landscape, you might imagine that the streets would be packed at lunchtime. But they're not.

That is because many office workers are down here, in a network of pedestrian tunnels around 11 kilometers long.

Sandra Lord, also known as 'the tunnel lady,' provides tours of this labyrinth1, which can be hard to navigate2. "People who walk around it, if they see a tourist or someone who looks lost, they'll walk up to them and say, 'Can I help you?' They know that to be polite you walk on the right, so that people can come the other way on the right. There's a passing lane."

The popularity of these air-conditioned tunnels stems from the heat outside. Top temperatures in summer average around 33 degrees centigrade. High humidity makes it feel even hotter.

Down here in the cool there are over 100 places to eat, as well as a host of service providers; including banks, doctors, dentists, and florists3. Some people even walk the corridors for exercise.

Sandra Lord also runs above-ground tours, but she became fascinated by the world beneath. "It's the oldest and largest, tunnel-skywalk, mostly private, completely pedestrian system in the world! (Laughs)"

It is mostly private, because each section belongs to a building above. The patchwork4 ownership accounts for the uncoordinated growth, as developers and property owners add to the system.

Susan Speck5, from Tarantino Properties, shows off an area that will soon be a new food court. Getting the word out is easy. "Actually, the tunnel is a very effective way to advertise because there's so much foot traffic. People walk by here every day at lunchtime and we can put up a sign like this and it's a very effective way to get out the word. People see that sign, they call us, they inquire about the space."

In a city known for its reliance on air-conditioning, the subterranean6 network is expected to grow. There are already 77 buildings connected.


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1 labyrinth h9Fzr     
n.迷宫;难解的事物;迷路
参考例句:
  • He wandered through the labyrinth of the alleyways.他在迷宫似的小巷中闲逛。
  • The human mind is a labyrinth.人的心灵是一座迷宫。
2 navigate 4Gyxu     
v.航行,飞行;导航,领航
参考例句:
  • He was the first man to navigate the Atlantic by air.他是第一个飞越大西洋的人。
  • Such boats can navigate on the Nile.这种船可以在尼罗河上航行。
3 florists b144baeff0a8df843a6a577e7473f3ca     
n.花商,花农,花卉研究者( florist的名词复数 )
参考例句:
  • The little dressmaker bought an envelope of nasturtium seeds at the florists. 那个个子矮小的女裁缝在花铺里买了一包金莲花种子。 来自辞典例句
  • I have more important things to do than petulant florists. 我有比教训坏脾气的花匠更重要的事情要做。 来自互联网
4 patchwork yLsx6     
n.混杂物;拼缝物
参考例句:
  • That proposal is nothing else other than a patchwork.那个建议只是一个大杂烩而已。
  • She patched new cloth to the old coat,so It'seemed mere patchwork. 她把新布初到那件旧上衣上,所以那件衣服看上去就象拼凑起来的东西。
5 speck sFqzM     
n.微粒,小污点,小斑点
参考例句:
  • I have not a speck of interest in it.我对它没有任何兴趣。
  • The sky is clear and bright without a speck of cloud.天空晴朗,一星星云彩也没有。
6 subterranean ssWwo     
adj.地下的,地表下的
参考例句:
  • London has 9 miles of such subterranean passages.伦敦像这样的地下通道有9英里长。
  • We wandered through subterranean passages.我们漫游地下通道。
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TAG标签:   voa  标准英语  houstonian  escape
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