Nowadays, cameras can tell you exactly where you were when you took a photo, as well as exactly when you took it. But I can’t be doing with all that. I prefer taking photos like this one as I do my out-and-abouting, that say, as this one does, “You Are Here”:
And that one says it in French. Excellent.
We’re in the Pompidou Centre in Paris, in the bitterly cold February of 2012. Even remembering how cold that visit was makes me shudder now. But the Pompidou Centre itself was warm enough, and the views in it and from it were most diverting.
I have quite a few Paris postings here now, but have yet to transfer any of the postings from the old blog that I did about that earlier 2012 trip . My favourite, from a more recent and much warmer visit, featured my all time favourite food photo.
Here are some photos I took in and around City Island in 2017, while it was in the process of being constructed:
As you can see, there are maps and images as well as photos of the finished objects, to tell you what this place was going to be like. And cranes.
City Island is a particularly perfect illustration of what Modernist Architecture has now become, and as I have said here before, I quite like it. I especially like how City Island has what amounts to a moat around it, which gives it the appearance of a micro-Manhattan.
I entirely understand why Ancientists think that Ancientist architecture should also be allowed, and I’d also quite like to see more of that. But I suspect that if there were more of that, even the protagonists of such buildings would find themselves being somewhat disappointed, both in how others react and in how they find themselves feeling about what they were in theory so keen on seeing.
The basic aesthetic problem that new building of the sort we see on City Island is the sheer amount of it that is liable to be happening at any given moment. If lots of buildings are required, all for some similar purpose, then whatever gets built is liable to start out looking and feeling rather meaningless. And that emphatically will apply, I believe, if a mass of fake-Ancient buildings is what happens. That is awfully liable, at least to begin with, to look all fake and no Ancient. To look, in short, meaningless. So, why fight it? Why not build what makes economic sense, in a style that is rather bland, but efficient and reasonably smart looking, and be done with it?
What gives meaning to buildings is not just the way they look when they first appear; it is the life and the work that subsequently get lived and done in them. Because of those things, buildings acquire a particular character, and people start to have positive feelings about those buildings, provided of course the life and work they associate with the buildings is something they also have a positive feeling about.
If people hate what happens in new buildings, they’ll hate the buildings and yearn to see them destroyed, no matter what style they were built in.
The one on the left is London, and sadly, nobody told them that London has been doing a lot of expanding lately, in general, and in particular out eastwards. I’d have preferred wider coverage, including such things as the Thames Barrier. Not that it matters to me, because CDs and books mean I have no wall space at all for such things.
The one on the right is Brisbane. I include this map because the river that runs through Brisbane and which presumably provoked that city’s creation, is positively Parisian in its convolutedness. Apparently, this Brisbane river is called the Brisbane River. I did not know any of this.
Yes. Did you know, that the top bit of Alderney, the northern most Channel Island, looks like a conductor. With a baton.
Photo on the right there, photoed by me from the plane back to London from Brittany, in July 2007. Now suitably rotated and cropped.
It would seem that a lot of people don’t know that. I can find no other references to this on the Internet, but cannot believe that I am the only one to have noticed this important musico-geographical fact.
Did you also know that the French for a conductor’s baton is “baguette”? That may be quite wrong, but I do recall hearing this somewhere, from someone. And it would seem that there may be some truth in this notion.
Friday is my day of the week for creatures of all sorts, and today BMNB has already featured a butterfly and a bee. But now, four horses, spied and photoed by me, near my home, on my way home from shopping, this very afternoon:
The first two. brown and black, were past me before I could get my camera out from under my shopping, so I only got them from behind. But the second two, black and white, I saw coming from a distance, so I got a better photo of them. But then, another photo of the rear end of the white horse seemed in order, because the colouring of this horse was so pleasing. I seem to recall, as a kid, being told that white horses are called “grays”. This photo perhaps explains why that might be. White horses of a particular sort have a natural tendency to turn gray, in parts. Is that it? Could well be.
These were Police horses, of course, them being the only sorts of horses to be seen around London SW1. Police horses need to live near where these demos are liable to happen, but in between demos they need exercise. They can’t just be stored in a shed, like guns or truncheons or complicated cars. And, around where I live is the perfect spot for this exercise. It’s an area bounded by busy roads with names you’ve heard of, like Victoria Street, Horseferry Road, and by the River Thames. But in between these roads, nobody goes, because this place is not on the way to anywhere else. So, perfect for SW1 Police horses to stroll through without any nasty surprises or causing any traffic complications with their slow pace of movement and their preference for walking next to each other.
It’s a map of all the nice places you can walk through or along in London. I do lots of walking. This map has lots of words, which are searchable, so I may find this quite useful, to create Official Designated Destinations (these being the things that get me out of the house (actually my block of flats)).
If your eyesight is anything like mine, you’ll need to open that image in a new window
I found it at Londonist, but the map they showed had such low resolution that I couldn’t read it. What was it? One of my photos? No, but it might have been. I found a better version. Again with the words. Once you have the words, you can find anything.
Same formula as the previous post. Ooh that’s nice:
But puzzle. What is it? We see the Shard there, but where are we? What direction are we looking at the Shard from?
We are at the Dome end of the Dangleway, looking across the Greenwich Peninsular towards the towers of Docklands, with central London beyond. The City cluster is not visible, but the Shard is.
I still don’t know what that blob in the middle of the sky is. Mercifully, it isn’t to be seen on any of the other photos I photoed at this time.
The tall pole with sticking out bits in the original photos is for hanging banners, saying things like: “London Olympics 2012”, 2012 being when all these photos were photoed. Now, there are Machines-For-Living-In Things in the foreground, next to and just south of the Dome, and a great many more bigger Things in the Docklands Tower Cluster.
The photo on the right, featuriing the Dome, was photoed as I began a Dangleway journey across the River to Victoria Dock.
I love that part of London. An essential part of that being because it keeps on changing.
Back in March 2019, on the same day and just before I photoed these photos, I photoed this photo:
What I like about that is what I also find weird about it, which is the way that this metal circle of 3D map information kind of hovers weightlessly over the pavement.
Luckily I soon found another photo which explained this weird effect with logic:
But now, there was another mystery. What is “morelondon”? Turns out it’s More London, which was the place where I was.
Here are some more photos I photoed at the same time as the two above:
The reason I made them look so small in this posting is in the hope that you will be deceived about what is going on, in photos 1 and 4 there, 1 especially, 4 in a general way, but 1 in a very particular way. Click and you’ll surely see what I mean.
The strange coloured-in statues are, I now learn, by Stephan Balkenhol. More about him here. At the time I recall wondering if they were Art, or just advertising of some kind. Art, it would seem.