And now I'd like to tell you about the fun I had making this city!
The restaurant in the bottom-right corner is based on the 3-in-1 Log Cabin set. The version with a large, arched window seemed like the right combination of rustic with modern chic to be a Swiss restaurant.
You can see that I basically took the idea and ran with it, adding a rustic chimney and extra ivy. Instead of having it open (as per the instructions), I made the front half of the roof come off easily so that the interior is accessible (not that there's anything in there...). I absolutely love these 3-in-1 Creator sets because they show you how to make very different things out of the same pieces.
As an aside, one of my friends sorts all of her son's Lego pieces according to which set they came from so he can always reassemble them -- and she got annoyed with him for taking all of his sets apart and making one big tower out of them. I told her that the point of Legos isn't to make the same set over and over, but to build the set once, and then take it apart and use the pieces to make something else. Here's that principle at work in my Lego swimming pool:
You can see from the stickers on top that the red arches came from some sort of vehicle. (Perhaps they were wheel-wells?) Anyway, they made very pretty asymmetrical arches for my pool!
The school is not a set. It's probably the prettiest building that I designed myself. I had a lot of fun with the stairs and the trim.
I also designed the blue-black-green garage. That's my "I'm running out of pieces" building -- which is why the color-scheme is so crazy. I think it would be prettier if the dark blue walls were some light color like yellow. Note that I again used wheel-wells as architectural arches: the black arches over the garage doors are from the Toy Story locomotive.
It was also due to color-piece limitations that I made my gas station a "bp". Considering the disaster in the Gulf, I wouldn't normally have picked that one. Any I don't drive, so this is not an endorsement of their products.
The grocery store is also my own invention. That's the only building that actually has anything in the interior. (There's a cashier, and the shelves are stocked with things to buy.) Most of the buildings are open in the back, but I haven't put much in them.
I also designed the little post office in the front left corner of the city and the bridge that the fisherman is on. The drink machine beside the table-tennis match is from a "Power Miners" set. I can't get over how cute it is that you can push the little Lego $100 bill into it, and a can of Lego soda-pop comes out!
The apartment building in the center is another 3-in-1 Creator set. Basically, my kids were watching a video on Lego.com showing that if you build this set as a two-story house, you can expand it by adding extra floors. And that was when I said "I must have that set!" So, since I want to be involved in my kids interests, and since they like websites advertising toys, I end up getting marketed-to as well. ;^) I only added one extra floor because I didn't want it to be too much taller than the rest of the city.
I designed the train station myself, along with the train platform and the kiosk. The fun part was stocking the display case with items to buy! If the train platform steps seem a little steep, that's just because I wanted to make sure the platform was high enough for people to board the train.
The passenger car is based on one of the cars from the Lego Toy Story train, and the locomotive is a silly fantasy locomotive that I made out of spaceship parts. (Note that the driver is a gorilla.)
Tune in next time for how I built the crane!