Friday, August 28

Self Portrait XI

We're by City Hall, affectionately known as "the sail" due to Sir Norman Foster's unusual design. The building in Southwark next to the Tower Bridge. This area used to be unused land which I recall fairly well from my early days working in the City at Botts & Co -- I had a running loop from New Fetter Lane via Fleet Street to Blackfriars then along the embankment, crossing the Tower Bridge then the Thames's southside to Waterloo or Westminster Bridge and back. If you've seen the movie "An American Werewolf in London" there's a scene of hobo city just here - the werewolf spotted by a drunk warming his hands over a garbabe-pale fire. The new City Hall, finished in 2002, changed all that with its glass-and-steel design which pulled in multiple, horrible copy cats which now make the area totally unpleasant, in my opinion. I have no problem regenerating but does every architect have to re-build Midtown Manhattan? Prince Charles might have a point sticking his nose into the council's jurisdiction telling them and the public such crap inconsistent with London's traditional red-brick and Victorian history. Or at least the sky-line, which is preserved somehow despite monstrosities like Centre Point. Still, this progress and maybe in 200 years they, to, will become beautiful.

“My mission is to create a structure that is sensitive to the culture and climate of its place.”
--Norman Foster.

"I'm telling you there's an enemy that would like to attack America, Americans, again. There just is. That's the reality of the world. And I wish him all the very best."
-- George W. Bush, Washington, D.C., Jan. 12, 2009