As I am away for a couple of weeks, and posting little new material on Pandaemonium, I am taking the opportunity to publish some of those shorter pieces from my Observer column that I don’t normally post on Pandaemonium. This is a a short piece on homelessness and official attitudes and policies, first published on 7 July 2019. None are so blind as those who would blind others. Mark Field, the Foreign Office minister suspended for grabbing a protester by the throat, has, according to leaked […]
I published a post a while back on the brutalism of London’s Southbank. That brutalism looks very different at night, darkness giving a different shape, as it were, to form and colour. Most of these photos were taken about a week ago, though a couple are from my earlier post.
London is interlaced with a network of old canals and hidden rivers. Walking the network is a treat, providing a new perspective on the city and its history, especially for a photographer. The waterways are lined with buildings that reveal surprising colours and shapes. And, of course, there are reflections and distortions aplenty. The photographs here are from a recent walk in east London from Limehouse to the Olympic Park in Stratford, along the Limehouse Cut and the River Lee. The […]
Oxford may be a city of spires. London is a city of cranes. There is almost no vista unsullied by those markers of urban development. Cranes are the epitome of the industrial, the brutal, the ugly. They are also a symbol of urban change and renewal. And, for all their brutal ugliness, cranes can be surprisingly visually striking, even photogenic. So here is my elegy to the crane. Two of the photos, incidentally, are not of London. I will leave […]
The slideshow above is of photos from Light Infusion, my photography site. All the photos there are available as prints (very handy for Christmas…). And below are some of my favourite photos from 2014, some of which I have already published on Pandaemonium. My images of New York I published over three posts, Darkness falls on Manhattan, On the High Line, day and night and The Big Apple in black and white. The photos of London at sunset were taken from […]
The architecture of London’s Southbank has always divided opinion. As brutalism goes, I can think of much better examples. Yet viewed through the camera lens rather than the human eye, there is something quite striking, even beautiful, about its concrete starkness.
It was a glorious day in London yesterday, a perfect excuse to have a wander through the City. There are few places in which architecture ancient and modern is so jumbled together. I stumbled across a little space that I never knew existed. St Dunstan in the East is a church originally built in the eleventh century, and rebuilt by Christopher Wren after it had been damaged in the Great Fire of London. It was bombed and almost destroyed during […]
Sociologists have traditionally thought about the consequences of ethnic diversity in one of two ways. The ‘conflict’ model claims that the more that diverse groups interact, the more social tension there will be. The ‘contact’ model, on the other hand, suggests that the more that different groups interact, the less they will fear each other. Unsurprisingly the first model is favoured by conservatives to justify restrictions on immigration, while liberals often call on the second in arguing for multicultural education. […]
This is the full version of my essay on London and immigration policy that was published las month in the International New York Times (I could not contractually published it on Pandaemonium till now). Not so long ago there was a beer commercial on British TV in which two pointy-headed aliens order a pint in a rural pub. ‘Up from London, are we?’, the barman asks politely. If the rest of Britain often views London as a planet from outer space, […]
Next month the International Herald Tribune is reborn as the International New York Times. I will be writing a monthly column for the new paper. But, it seems, I write columns faster than the New York Times launches new brands. So my first essay, on the debate about London and immigration, is published this weekend in the New York Times and in the unreconstructed IHT. I cannot contractually publish the full essay on Pandaemonium until next month, but in the meantime here are […]
A weekend of glorious sun in London and I’m almost nostalgic for the misery of the previous eight months of rain and hail and wind and fog. More than once during that time I was reminded of the T-Bone Walker song: They call it Stormy Monday But Tuesday’s just as bad. They call it Stormy Monday But Tuesday’s just as bad. Lord, and Wednesday’s worse And Thursday’s all so sad. Not to worry, the rain returns tomorrow. So, in celebration […]
Last month I posted my collection of favourite songs about New York. Now it’s London’s turn. Like the previous list, this one is personal, eclectic, even eccentric. Some great tracks (from Madness, Bowie, T Rex, the Jam, Blur, Ian Dury, etc) are missing – I had room only for 20. Despite the title of the post (and the image) London Calling is not on the list. I don’t much like it. (White Man) in Hammersmith Palais is, on the other hand, […]
A series of photos taken last week on Blythe Hill Fields in south London on a day in which rolling fog mixed with blue skies and occasional bright sunshine to make for a sense of ethereal otherworldness. The photos are roughly in chronological order, from midmorning to late afternoon: