Monday, August 29, 2011

Hogwarts Express platform

With its neighbour St. Pancras hotel recently reopened, King's Cross station is still under reconstruction being prepared for Olympics. The adjacent square is fenced to hide its controversial renovation as well, but this bit is by no doubts awesome:

Hogwarts express platform at King's Cross Hogwarts express platform at King's Cross

It could have looked much better without all the scaffolding around, blending with the real environment, but even now everybody's smiling and queuing to take a photo. Clever idea.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

New flags in the sky

Today after work I went to Libyan embassy to see if they're already flying the rebellion flag:

Libyan embassy flies the rebellion flag

And they are:

Libyan embassy flies the rebellion flag

The plaque on the wall is also covered by a sheet of paper - totally drenched though and so unreadable:

Libyan embassy plaque with a drenched paper above

The security guard told me to go away soon as they noticed me taking pictures, and so I left.

The weather is getting worse in London and days are getting noticeably shorter already - for the first time this summer I had to turn the lights on when cycling back home. And as fall season approaches implacably I couldn't help thinking that after the rough but sunny spring the Arab world will also face its autumn soon - which might be even harder to make it through.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Duck and cover

This army vehicle we found near the Maritime museum in Greenwich last weekend from the very first moment appeared too familiar to me. Still, I struggled to remember why do I recognise it:
...until today I saw that post in my reader. Yes, that's what all those jolly yellow tourist wagons looked like once long ago.

Friday, August 12, 2011

It's over now

Let's remember how it all began:

The shootout scene

And how it ended:

Burnt houses in Tottenham

Looted retail park

Robbed shop

The hero father Tariq Jahan said that "a day from now, maybe two days from now, the whole world will forget and nobody will care". I'd agree that very few people apart from those who lost their property and loved ones will remember their own reactions and not the media coverage, that what they have seen and not what they were told.

I'm not blaming the media there, that's a natural way of world to be, but let's keep our own memories as well even if they are not comfortable to, and remember them when coming across relevant discussions. There's something to think about.

Earlier this year Lambeth council celebrated the anniversary of Brixton riot as an "uprising" (still causing controversial reaction). Who knows how these events will be seen in 30 years from now.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

So we've been there

Tonight we were interrupted by door knock - police was asking everybody to leave to house as the next one to it caught fire.

We're outdoors

Outside we discovered it wasn't really the next one but still close. Firefighters and *lots* of police were already there and the shop was smoking with no fire visible from where we were stopped. Apparently we weren't notified right after the event, looked more like everything was already close to the end.

Using their folding step-ladder firefighters evacuated three people from the first floor over the shop (they looked fine but first were just lying or sitting on the ground) and finished with the remaining fire. Meanwhile we and our fellow neighbours had nothing to do but to wait and look at the numerous vehicles around:


Fire brigade command unit

Police vehicles

...and, uhm, dance?

We also witnessed more than 10 riot vans plus some strange armoured trucks passed the street heading north, probably to Enfield where EDL "vigilante" activity was reported:

However, it was quite and peaceful at the area all the time we were outdoors (well, with so many officers around, no surprise). In an hour or so we were allowed to return back home.

Strangely, that accident only made me more confident in the fact the city we happen to live in is gorgeous. Everything will get better, more than ever before.

Take care of yourself.

Update: It turned out later there were no clear evidences that the fire was indeed related to rioting activity in the area. Hopefully that was just a case of unfortunate timing.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

This is England

00:38 9/8/2011: Camden Town, London

© pixel.eight

Laurie Penny on riots

Leaflets around the area

There are lot of opinions on what's going on in London and some other cities these days. That's what I recommend you to read:

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Police and Thieves

Kano - Fightin' The Nation (from London Town)

Tottenham, a day after

The area is still closed and I didn't try to sneak into - anyway, there already are plenty of pics everywhere and actually vandalised shop fronts are not so pleasant to look at, so to speak. I noticed many police vans parked alongside the street but few officers outside. More vans were constantly moving through the junction in Tottenham Hale direction.

So I just took a glance up the blocked High Road which looked absolutely deserted:

Looking up the High Rd, now blocked

One of the burnt police cars:

Former police car

TV crews:

TV presenter

People stopping by

Also to mention, stickers and tags are already there. London stays London, after all:

"London Too Much"

Meanwhile, riots are spreading to Enfield and I also heard about the anxiety in Brixton today.

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Riot in Tottenham

I heard a police helicopter an hour ago, then opened my Twitter to complain about the noise and found that:

(sorry for the lack of original pics, I wasted my chance to become a famous reporter and stayed at home)

First coverage from BBC is also available by this moment (and more).

My first idea about the reason of the riot was obviously that recent Ferry Lane shootup when supposed gangster was shot dead by police (BBC, local Indy).

Earlier anonymous witness told Evening Standard that the man was shot at point blank range pinned to the ground. I don't know if that's true and what exactly happened as there is no official release from Met yet (at least as far as I know) due to internal investigation launched, but anyway most likely that very information has triggered the rioting.

I believe things were not like that especially given the fact on which everybody seems to agree that the man shot first wounding an officer. Also, that place is usually crowded as a huge retail centre is just across the road plus buses to local IKEA stop nearby - so there should have been many people witnessing the operation, and only one stepped out with that version. Still, that information cannot be immediately discharged as total nonsense as the similar thing happened at least once.

So far no reports on wounded or injured people tonight, hope it stays like that.

Spitfire Works and Edgware Road

Today we have stopped by another famous London building yet unknown to us, the Spitfire Works. I won't even bother writing about its history as it speaks for itself:

Spitfire Works building

The building was restored to its current state by architect Terry Farrell, whose offices are now housed inside.

A fantastic Art Deco gem - one side, unfortunately, obscured by scaffolding.

Spitfire Works building

Not only wings on its walls, you can also see easily recognisable Spitfire silhouettes by its roof:

Spitfire Works building

Spitfire Works building detail

If you liked that, check out this fabulous Art Deco London map.


And also I'm going to use this opportunity to show a couple of pics from the other side of Edgware road:

One block away from Edgware road

A narrowboat moored near the glass building

One block away from Edgware road