Sunday, 29 December 2013

London is an amazing place

Had a great day today, even though the Jubilee line was partly closed - just a little detour required. It was buzzing with visitors, both local and international.

 I finally managed to go and see Jubilee Park as recommended by Julia (NB the one on top of Canary Wharf tube station, NOT the one near Waterloo). It was well worth the visit - really gave me an appreciation of an urban space. It also reinforced Jamie's words of wisdom about people and water. It reminded me that children always walk along walls, even if they contain water so make sure the walls are wide enough. It also reminded me that you need to specify under storey planting very carefully, and also plan the path of cabling otherwise it looks terrible. I'd like to know the methodology for the change in levels - it seemed somewhat random but worked much better than at Mint Street.

I then went back to Southwark. Thankfully Cross Bones car park was open on a Sunday, even though the market was closed.

I love looking at things from the
other side: the memorial ribbons at Cross Bones:

I had another look around and took more photos then walked down to Mint Street. It has to be one of the emptiest parks I've been it. People don't even use it as a cut through, it was literally one man and his dog (no, the owner did not clear up after the dog), until a father came along with his son and made the poor 12 year old play on the climbing frame, even though he clearly didn't want to. I'm sure the space is better than it was but every time I've been there, it's deserted. The change in levels seems to be just for the sake of it. The most excitement was the cat watching something moving in the compost heap.

The recycling bins should be moved and I'm really not sure about the graffiti - I know it's South London but is it really a suitable subject for a children's play area?

One thing that really struck me again today is that it only takes a few metres to go from vibrant, lively streets to deserted, empty and soul-less. At one of the cross roads, I could see Southwark Bridge and the buildings on the north side of the river, and the the corner of Mint Street Park, and it seemed to be a ghost town in between. I suppose it's up to us to come up with some clever ideas to encourage people into these spaces.

Looking North to the Thames and the City
Looking South to Mint Street Park

Is it just me or does the Shard seriously look like a Dalek in this photo?

Something to reflect upon: this is on the side of the catholic school in Red Cross Street:

I'll scan some of the ideas I've been working on and post them tomorrow. The visit to Canary Wharf definitely helped today. Thanks Julia. Not sure I can get to Dalston though, as we're not off to the panto at Hackney this year.

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