Like all living things, cities change; some more so than others. In Jakarta's case, the pace of change is so frenetic that parts of the city are completely unrecognizable after only fifty years or so. It's difficult to know where it will all end and whether we are headed toward a dystopian nightmare of human folly, or, alternatively, something a little more benign (but probably the former).
The Senen district in central Jakarta is one of those interesting parts of the city where a lot of the old stuff is still in evidence. A sleazy rat infested cinema still shows soft porn movies and Jakarta's first market, Pasar Senen (Monday Market) - so named as it was originally only open on Mondays each week when it began operating back in 1735 - is as tatty as a dilapidated gypsy camp.
Not long ago and the area where the monstrous Plaza Atrium now stands used to look like this:
Interestingly though, some bright spark had the nouse to save the particularly interesting old Dutch building you can see in this picture and it was renovated to become one of the most stylish of fast food restaurants that you are ever likely to find.
Who knows what went on here before but now it's a Goddamn Pizza Hut restaurant!