Amanda Erickson, a former resident herself, reports on the city's over-the-top preparation for "what amounts, essentially, to a television special." Projects include a new airport terminal, a revamp of major parts of the city center, six new hotels (including a Four Seasons), and a new Cultural Centre.
"As such, Baku isn't leaving any city street untouched. Even the Caspian Sea is in line for a make-over, in the form of a promenade dotted by works from Jeff Koons and Anish Kapoor, with a Gehry-designed art museum for good measure. Not bad for a city that, not too long ago, didn't even have any gas stations (men would sell gas out of pickle jars on the side of the road). "