Friday, October 31

Skate Punks

And yes it is Friday again. I snap this image walking from the Tate Modern to Waterloo. The skate-boarders congregate underneath the Southbank Centre home of iconic Royal Festival Hall, Queen Elizabeth Hall and The Hayward. This is where the London philharmonic plays next to jazz, modern dance and poetry. More than any place else, it is Britains cultural destination since construction in '51. Unfortunately too it reflects the architecture of that period: cement, and lots of it. London needed cheap buildings following the WW and concrete the answer. As for the skate rats, they occupy the dark, ground level space looking perfect for a good mugging. The designer must have had something in mind - maybe parking? - but instead unused and eventually derelect despite the splendors above. The yuf made it their own and following a many-years struggle with the police and blockades London finally said WTF not? and let them have it. I watch blacks, whites and Pakis show their stuff mostly riding cement blocks or jumping from platforms. They are self-contained and ignore the idle observers - of which there are many. In the end, as with everything, it is just another freak show.

So the US Treasury prepares its >$40 billion program to help delinquent homeowners avoid foreclosure. The problem is negative equity - it is anybody's interest to stop making their obligations if their $1 million borrowings supports a $600,000 house. The government agrees and contemplates reducing prop values (and hence P&I payments) for those who cannot make ongoings. How they prevent an all-in is beyond me.

"I can press when there needs to be pressed; I can hold hands when there needs to be -- hold hands."
W., on how he can contribute to the Middle East peach process, Washington, D.C., Jan. 4, 2008