Market Center

Market Center, a man-made island in the center of the city of Bridges, is the seat of government for the city, with City Hall, the Records Hall, and other legal, social, and governmental main buildings on the island.

The Mayor’s Mansion is on Market Center, as are the residences of the other government officials. A temporary holding facility for prisoners, the main police station, and the Chief of Police’s offices are on the island as well.

It’s the center of sophisticated entertainment: the Opera House and the Ballroom both appear on the island, surrounding a huge fountain. The Grand Promenade rings the island, and it’s a common sight to see aristocrats, high officials, and Family members promenading there (their men alongside for protection, of course).

The rivers flowing around the island are quite wide, and the view from the promenade is a lovely distant landscape, particularly picturesque at night. Taxi-carriage stations are placed at regular intervals to bring the higher classes to their destinations should they become fatigued.

The Plaza is the busiest area of the city. An open-air market runs every day of the year around an extensive grassy park – the former site of the palace, which was razed and dedicated to the common people. Children frolic, picnicking is common, and for a fee one can hold large group meetings on the site. See the City Hall, Permits office, for more information.

Many stores, offices, and warehouses are on Market Center, mostly wholesale suppliers who ship to the entire city, such as to offices, medical facilities, and the like.

Servants, market vendors, legal staff, and all others who work on the island live on the north end. It’s a favored place to live for those wanting to keep away from the “fees” the Four Families impose on those living in their quadrants, and it’s not unheard of for a person to take a position on the island for that very reason. However, living quarters on the island are in short supply and there is a long waiting list for those without a benefactor.

Visiting Market Center

Approaching the island by boat is unsafe due to the Suction - the massive drainage system surrounding the island - and its resulting strong downward currents. The island is accessed by four bridges, one from each of the quadrants. No foot traffic is allowed over the bridges, and guards are stationed on both ends of each bridge to enforce that.

See also: A Short History of Bridges

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