Wednesday, January 19, 2005

CentrepointMadness (7).

Something, something, n, something, c, something.

Warning: this crossword clue may induce madness.

Obviously from the quick crossword in Monday's Grauniad. Which is living up to its reputation remarkably well recently.

Hopefully not related:
Go and give Neil a hug - it sounds like he needs it.

I've added a few more pictures to Flickr, but I haven't done all the details for them yet, as Flickr is still ailing.

Other thoughts:
Why is BBC London News so bad? At least with other local news programmes one can laughing dismiss them as provincial. But the programme based in the capital? Vaguely related: Why is one of Matt Barbet's [a presenter, but not a good enough one to merit mention on the LDN site] nostrils bigger than the other? It is one of those things where once you notice, it becomes really hard to notice anything else. Like the news, for instance.

Whilst engaged in such nasal curiosity, one of the news stories was about Arsenal winning a hearing on their right, and the right of Islington Council to use Compulsory Purchase to buy the light industrial properties around their new stadium. I have yet to figure out why a football club needs to buy land to build housing. Especially why they have to resort to CP to do it. Given the fuss David Sucher (Mr City Comforts) is making about a process called Eminent Domain is the US, and as ED sounds remarkably like CP, I wonder what he would make of Islington's willingness to aid and abet a football club.

Another football thing (don't worry, this will be all for this year). Exeter. Manchester United. Having to do it again. In Exeter. And the betting the predominantly student population of St James's Road and Old Tiverton Road suddenly found they were much more popular?

Whatever happened to Old Tiv? Not much probably. A few more slugs probably. And now I'm thinking about different people's houses a uni. I'd better reminisce elsewhere.

And while I'm thinking about walkable neighbourhoods (Victorian, therefore dreadful parking, and driving in Exeter is not worth the hassle), the Telegraph had an article (or two) at the weekend about some American's views on Prescott's Thames Gateway (and other) plans. Unfortunately, this article is in the Telegraph, so a wide selection of people will wilfully ignore it because it is just Tory ranting. Unfortunately number two, the American, Hank Dittmar, has allied himself to the Prince of Wales. Which means a bigger chunk of society which will ignore him regardless of what he says.

The second article also has a delightful quote:
"The challenge is not to foist on England a new US brand of chocolate box urbanism..."
Chocolate box urbanism? What's that - a thatched tube station, or Centrepoint with roses growing round the door? I think the objection is to developments conforming to one vogue, or possibly the vogue to which they conform.

But it does make me wonder which version of urbanism he would prefer. Chocolate wrapper urbanism? As ably demonstrated by the sundry damp, litter strewn, wind blown, concrete estates of modernism the last time round. From quote he seems like on the people for whom vernacular is too staid and traditional, and sees nothing wrong with employing the latest methods and theories, and continuing to always do so. (That sounds as if I'm part of the "if it ain't broke, don't fix it" brigade, but I'm not really, it's just that untested means exactly that, and so people can find themselves in continual loop of experiments. New and improved is just different. It has different faults).

Actually I wonder what he would do if someone asked him for a copy of whichever paper he is citing when he speaks about the claimed need for a cappuccino bar per head. He may be mocking such a notion, but what is prove that the notion is not of his own invention? Create a cardboard cut-out enemy, and then illustrate one's heroic prowess in vanquishing it.

I think I had better stop now.


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