Exercise 1

A. Listen. What do Pablo and Oscar talk about?

B. Listen again. Answer the questions.

 Where has Oscar just flown in from?

 Why did Pablo use to go there a lot?

 What is the city building along the waterfront?

 Why is Pablo concerned about the new buildings?

C. Listen. Complete the conversation.

Pablo:   Did you have a chance to see the city?

Oscar:   A little. I was pretty busy meeting with clients during the day, but I _________ go out one night after work. I saw a free concert in Horton Plaza Park.

Pablo:   Horton Plaza Park? That’s downtown, right?

Oscar:   Yeah, they _________that whole area. They restored the old _________ and built a wonderful new amphitheater.

Pablo:   Nice!

Answers & Audioscripts

A B

Pablo:   Hey, Oscar! Good to see you!

Oscar:   Hey, Pablo! How’s it going?

Pablo:   Did you just get in from Bogota?

Oscar:   No, I actually flew in from San Diego.

Pablo:   San Diego! One of my favorite cities.

Oscar:   Yeah? Do you get out there much?

Pablo:   Not lately. I used to travel there a lot for work, but I haven’t been in a while. Did you have a chance to see the city?

Oscar:   A little. I was pretty busy meeting with clients during the day, but I did go out one night after work. I saw a free concert in Horton Plaza Park.

Pablo:   Horton Plaza Park? That’s downtown, right?

Oscar:   Yeah, they redeveloped that whole area. They restored the old fountain and built a wonderful new amphitheater.

Pablo:   Nice!

Oscar:   Yeah, I was really impressed. They’re also renovating some of the older buildings and constructing new hotels along the waterfront.

Pablo:   I hope they don’t block the views of the bay.

Oscar:   Me, too. But I did notice they’re keeping a lot of open space, and there’s still a path for walking and biking along the water.

Pablo:   That’s good. Well, I’ll have to check that out the next time I’m there.

Oscar:   Yeah, for sure.

C

Pablo:   Did you have a chance to see the city?

Oscar:   A little. I was pretty busy meeting with clients during the day, but I did go out one night after work. I saw a free concert in Horton Plaza Park.

Pablo:   Horton Plaza Park? That’s downtown, right?

Oscar:   Yeah, they redeveloped that whole area. They restored the old fountain and built a wonderful new amphitheater.

Pablo:   Nice!

Exercise 2

A. Listen. What do Oscar and Pablo mainly talk about?

B. Listen again. Answer the questions.

1   Why was Oscar late for his first meeting?

2   What transportation problem did Pablo have last winter?

3   What had happened by the time Pablo arrived at his friend’s house?

4   How could Pablo’s problem with getting around have been worse?

C. Listen. Complete the conversation.

Oscar:   __________ I had passed a few stations, I knew something wasn’t right. So I __________ at the next stop, but then I couldn’t cross over to the other platform.

Pablo:   Ugh.

Oscar:   I had to leave the station and cross the street. Of course, it took forever for the light to change.

Pablo:   That’s awful, but don’t feel too bad. I’ve lived here for years, and I still have trouble with public transportation from time to time.

Oscar:   Yeah, __________ this isn’t the easiest city to get around in.

Answers & Audioscripts

A B

Pablo:   Hey, Oscar! How’s everything?

Oscar:   Uh. I’m having one of those days, man. I got on the wrong subway this morning, and I was late for my first meeting.

Pablo:   Oh, no! How did you manage to do that?

Oscar:   Well, my alarm clock didn’t go off. So, I was rushing to get on the subway, and somehow I ended up on the wrong platform and got on the wrong train.

Pablo:   Yikes.

Oscar:   After I had passed a few stations, I knew something wasn’t right. So I got off at the next stop, but then I couldn’t cross over to the other platform.

Pablo:   Ugh.

Oscar:   I had to leave the station and cross the street. Of course, it took forever for the light to change.

Pablo:   That’s awful, but don’t feel too bad. I’ve lived here for years, and I still have trouble with public transportation from time to time.

Oscar:   Yeah, everyone says this isn’t the easiest city to get around in.

Pablo:   Definitely. One time last winter, I was heading out to the suburbs to have lunch with some friends, and the bus broke down.

Oscar:   Oh, no.

Pablo:   Yeah, and all the other buses were full, so they just kept driving by. It took me two hours to finally get to my friend’s house. By the time I arrived, everyone had already eaten.

Oscar:   That’s frustrating.

Pablo:   Yeah, but it could have been worse. At least I wasn’t heading in to work that day!

Oscar:   True. Hey, I’ve got to run. I’ve got another meeting, and I don’t want to be late for that one too.

Pablo:   All right. Catch you later.

C

Oscar:   After I had passed a few stations, I knew something wasn’t right. So I got off at the next stop, but then I couldn’t cross over to the other platform.

Pablo:   Ugh.

Oscar:   I had to leave the station and cross the street. Of course, it took forever for the light to change.

Pablo:   That’s awful, but don’t feel too bad. I’ve lived here for years, and I still have trouble with public transportation from time to time.

Oscar:   Yeah, everyone says this isn’t the easiest city to get around in.

Exercise 3

A. Listen. What was in the Lost Collection?

B. Listen again. Complete the sentences with the words used by the speaker. Then check (✓) the correct box to show whether the words show a positive or negative attitude.

 

Positive

Negative

1  The exhibition title, The Lost Collection, ________ to me.

2  Richard Walker had a(n) ________ idea.

3  You can imagine his ________ at recovering his lost art.

C. Listen again. Answer the questions.

 What is the London Transport lost property office?

 What happens to items that are never picked up from the lost property office?

 What was Richard Walker’s idea?

 Why was one man very excited to find his portrait?

Answers & Audioscripts

Lost and Found

A few years ago, I was on a business trip to London, and one day, I just happened to be near an art gallery with some time to kill. I noticed this interesting black-and-white painting in the window. It was of a woman sitting on a bench, leaning forward, with her long hair covering her face. I loved it. The exhibition title, The Lost Collection, also appealed to me, so I wandered in to see what it was about. And inside I found a rather random collection of artwork—paintings of trees and flowers, portraits of children, photographs of laughing friends.

But this was the weird part: all of this art had come from the London Transport lost property office. The description of the exhibition explained that London’s mass transit system is used by well over three billion people every year. While they’re traveling, a lot of people lose a lot of stuff. About 1,200 items arrive at the lost property office every day. In a year, they get thousands of keys, cell phones, bags, and, of course, umbrellas. I mean, who hasn’t lost an umbrella at some point? If you’ve lost something, you have three months to reclaim it from the office. After that, many of the items, like toys and sports equipment, are given to charity. Higher-value items, like laptops, are sold. And some of the stranger things, like a giant gorilla costume and a life-sized Spider-Man, are kept around as decorations.

The director of the art gallery, Richard Walker, had discovered that there was a lot of artwork at the lost property office, and he had the brilliant idea of putting some of it on display. He chose about 60 pieces for the exhibition. The individual pieces were interesting, but what made this collection of artwork so fascinating was the mystery of where it came from. I mean, you had to wonder about the stories behind the art. Who made it? Where were they taking it when they lost it? Have they been looking for it?

Many of the items at the lost property office are never picked up, which isn’t surprising. Who actually has time to go looking for a lost umbrella? But there are some pretty wonderful stories of people being reunited with their lost belongings, including some of the artwork exhibited in The Lost Collection. A set of photos turned out to be the final project of an art student, who was thrilled to get it back. And one man was reconnected with a portrait he had done of his younger brother. When he lost it, he’d been traveling around the city trying to find an art gallery that would exhibit it. You can imagine his excitement at not only recovering his lost art, but finding it included in an exhibition!

London isn’t the only city with a lost and found office for the mass transit system. In fact, Tokyo has one that’s even bigger. And London isn’t the only place that has held an art exhibition of lost and found items. A hotel in New York City has held one too. So if you ever lose something on a train, on a bus, or anywhere at all, maybe you’ll make an effort to track it down. Maybe it’ll be there, or even in an exhibition, which could be pretty interesting!

Exercise 4

A. Listen to the article. What is the main idea?

B. Listen again. Answer the questions, according to the article.

1   How did Lee Kuan Yew plan to make Singapore into a “City in a Garden”?

2   What three places did the writer visit on his tour of Singapore?

3   How have these places made Singapore a greener city?

4   Why does the writer think that Singapore will keep Lee’s vision alive?

Answers & Audioscripts

THE GREENEST CITY IN ASIA

Singapore was the last stop on the tour my editor sent me on to find the greenest of the green cities in Asia. As soon as I got off the plane, I realized that Singapore isn’t like any of the other cities I’ve ever visited. To begin with, it’s both a big city and a small country. Its approximately six million residents are packed into only 720 square kilometers (280 square miles) of land. Yet, compared to other cities with similar populations, it didn’t feel crowded at all. Why? Possibly because there are so many parks, grassy spaces, trees, and gardens, which give it the feeling of having open space everywhere.

When I first got this assignment, I decided to learn how Singapore has become so green. In my research, I found photos of Singapore in the 1950s, when it looked just like any other crowded city. On May 11, 1967, however, Singapore’s first prime minister, Lee Kuan Yew, introduced his vision of Singapore becoming a “City in a Garden.” He planned to redevelop Singapore into a well-organized city with lush greenery and clean air. Now, many years later, Singapore has millions of trees, hundreds of parks, and rules about how buildings must be eco-friendly.

The first stop on my tour of Singapore was the amazing Gardens by the Bay, a 250-acre nature park with three waterfront gardens located in the middle of the city. It includes the famous Supertree Grove, featuring huge tree-like structures that are covered with tens of thousands of plants and collect enough solar energy to run a nightly lightshow.

My next stop, the Pinnacle@Duxton, is a public housing complex constructed in 2009 as part of former Prime Minister Lee’s plan to make the city more attractive and environmentally friendly. Its seven 50-story buildings are all connected at the 26th and 50th floors by sky bridges that have the world’s longest sky gardens. On the 50th-floor sky bridge, residents and visitors can relax, exercise, and enjoy amazing views surrounded by nature.

Last, I headed out to the central business district to see the Parkroyal on Pickering Hotel, which is one of the best examples of Singapore’s commitment to the environment. This hotel is covered with trees, plants, and gardens that are sustained by solar power and recycled rainwater. There are also waterfalls that provide a natural cooling system and great places to relax.

By the time I left Singapore, I felt like I had accomplished my goal—to find the greenest of the green cities in Asia. My overall impression was that Singapore was not just a “City in a Garden.” It was also a “Paradise in a Garden.”

Now, I can’t wait to go back to Singapore someday. I’m sure that when I’m there, I’ll discover new ways that it is keeping former Prime Minister Lee’s eco-friendly vision alive.

Exercise 5

A. Listen. What is the topic of the presentation?

B. Listen again. Answer the questions.

1   Where is the statue of Stepan the Plumber?

2   How is the statue different from other statues?

3   Why does Misaki like it?

Answers & Audioscripts

My favorite piece of public art is a statue that’s located in the beautiful Russian city of Omsk. Statues are usually of politicians, soldiers, artists, musicians, writers, or other famous people. The statue I like, though, is of a plumber, a person whose job it is to fix pipes. The statue is known as Stefan the Plumber.

Most statues are of entire people, from their head to their feet, but the statue of the plumber shows only his head, shoulders, and arms. It looks like he’s coming out of a manhole, one of those holes in the road that workers go into to get to underground wires and pipes.

I like this statue because it’s surprising. It’s not in an art gallery, a museum, a park, or a plaza. It’s just on a normal sidewalk on a normal street. Seeing the plumber there as you walk by, smiling like’s he’s proud of his work, just brightens your day.

I also like this statue because it shows a regular person just doing his job. It reminds us that people like Stefan the Plumber are important. They keep our cities safe and clean. They deserve our respect and appreciation, just like the famous people that statues are usually of.

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