Sunday, November 23, 2008

Scanning London

The FM (VHF) band London is fairly full. It is not impossible to listen to many of the main BBC stations, or Resonance FM and the others, but there is often interference. I have bought two DAB radios and also listen via the Interweb... needs must.

As I walked through Hackney, Queensbridge Road, one dismal night, I listened to many of the pirate stations and legal stations, playing house, hip hop, dance hall etc etc, and I guess a few low power community stations as well. Walking from place to place, I often re-tuned the radio on my mobile phone, when I tired of one of the stations. This process was repeated a few times, so I guess I was picking up the strongest stations as moved around (scanning for strength 5?). If I was in a car or a bus, I would find new stations more quickly, but I like to walk.

If I went North, I would expect find Greek and Turkish language stations, as I went towards Stoke Newington and Green Lanes.

This might be more fun in Tokyo, where there have hundreds of very low power FM stations, which can only be heard with a few blocks, or less. The peak power of transmission is one watt!

See for example:
Community Ties and Revitalization: The role of Community Radio in Japan

Friday, September 19, 2008

Riding shotgun on a 25 bus

There is a seat on a bendy which everybody wants. It is the seat at the front, next to the driver, looking ahead through the front window... riding shotgun

I reached this position, and held on to it, from the driver changeover at Bow Church until just before Aldgate. So everybody else was behind me. I had reached a higher level.

But behind me, there two separate arguments, with raised voices and some bad words. I had travelled about five klicks, and yet I was still subjected to these bad vibes. What was the story? It was not the heat of the summer, and the bus full but not overfull. Is the bus just a bad place?

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Concrete in the 1930s and beyond

Originally uploaded by LoopZilla

Kingsley Hall (designed by Charles Cowles-Vosey) in Bow (East London) was opened in 1928 and the Prescott Channel (1930) nearby were both over engineered with concrete, the medium of choice of that era. At Harrow on the Hill station, and others in Metro-land, concrete slabs abound. Charles Holden designed many stations with concrete, such as Rayners Lane Station

Rodney Gordon was responsible for many buildings that were described as "concrete monstrosities". He was trained in part by Bauhaus architect Arthur Korn.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

The First International Gonzogeographic Congress

The First International Gonzogeographic Congress took place in London on 19th August 2008. Delegates from around the world gathered in a coffee bar in London's Oxford Street (at number 48).

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Doing the Stroudley Walk

Stroudley Walk
Originally uploaded by LoopZilla

Stroudley Walk is a small shopping precinct, with some housing above the shops. The only pub has shut down. 10-12 Stroudley Walk is Grade II listed building... "late 18th, early 19th century , three storeys, stock brick with shop on ground floor. Attached to the Rose and Crown Public House.

Poplar HARCA have recently taken over the area...

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Cotall Street, Poplar.

Cotall Street
Originally uploaded by LoopZilla

The only building in Cotall Street is a block of flats, 1-94 Cotall Street, which will demolished soon. All tenants will leave by December 2008. The ground will be used to extend Bartlett Park, including the road, so that the park will extend to the Limehouse Cut canal.

The postcodes for this block are E14 6JX and E14 6JY (and seem to have been given out in a random way across the 94 flats).

The block has been used for short term letting for a few years, and it has been run down. In the middle of Bartlett Park is a clutch of self build houses, and a burnt out church, St. Saviour's

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Mighty Monkey

Mighty Monkey
Originally uploaded by LoopZilla
Looking good on a blue background!

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Iain Sinclair out on a limb

This audio was broadcast on the Today programme, and is full of factual errors and false information. It is called "The Northern Outfall Sewer" Mr. Sinclair, and has been since about 1852.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

A correspondent in the field

Gathering research data in the Lower Lea Valley. I am aware that I am being photographed. I have informed my attorney... who has instructed me to remain calm...

Iain Sinclair woz here, but you can meet this correspondent in person on the Limehouse Loop on Sunday 27th July

Living on the Lansbury

The Lansbury Estate was created in the post war East End. It was opened as part of the Festival of Britain in 1951.

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Outside the Blue Wall, in the Real World


Outside the Blue Wall
Originally uploaded by LoopZilla

Life continues outside the London Olympics Exclusion Zone. But is the blue wall so "blueish" in the sense of Blue Meanies?

Walking along River Lea can continue; we may not be able to reach the Old River Lea, and Pudding Mill River may have gone, but more to explore! It we are excluded, then we should walk further along the River Lea Navigation.

The closure of the mega buildng site that will be the London 2012 Olympics Park will last years. The effect is squeeze walkers out of the zone, and hence development of the Three Mills Loop and the River Lea Vale Walk

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Saint Saints

St Andrew's
Originally uploaded by LoopZilla

Saint Saints, the fictitous hospital in Little Britain has been demolished to make way for the first major project by London Thames Gateway

The new development, called St Andrew's will deliver over 950 new homes, many for families, and significant community benefits such as high quality open space and health facilities for the Primary Care Trust.

No plans for a school then? And the site is next to the busy A12 (Blackwall Tunnel Approach Road). Still, there is a pub nearby... The Duke of Wellington

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Obstructing the pavement

See here? The BBC are obstructing the pavement, with some help from JCDecaux. The BBC get paid by the licence fee, a tax on most households in the UK (and via the profits from BBC Worldwide). So why should the BBC pay the local council, another publically funded body, to advertise on the streets? And what are we being encouraged to watch? The 2006 World Cup on the telly.

Monday, June 2, 2008

Circle Line Party

British Transport Police
Originally uploaded by LoopZilla

It started out with an idea. An idea that spread like a rash. Some people cloned the idea. Some people who took the idea to Facbook said it was just a thought (experiment) and anybody who wanted to party was daft.

So it began. The Circle Line is great for a party. One you get on you never need to get off. As long as the booze flows, the train takes you nowhere, so you never arrive. The party goes on and on.

So it conspired, so it continued. But the revellers were reviled.

As the evening progressed, lizards appeared, but not lounge lizards. Many "party on dudes" seem to have confused a party with a protest. No sane activist would go on a demo with a bottle of booze and an attitude. The lizards continued awash in broken glass and a variety of liquids. Staff and police were assaulted.

Was there away out? No exit for the idea that went sour. Many seemed to have missed the point, not least that the Police already had powers to deal with passengers who drank alcohol (before 1st June 2008). Does Boris know this?

Tube booze party was 'far uglier'

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Desire Path (curved)

Desire Path (curved)
Originally uploaded by LoopZilla
First time for everything? This desire line is a curve, rather than a straight line. The tree seems to have got in the way... but why did the path only emerge on one side of the tree?

A new semantics for a new generation

"Faster, faster, until the thrill of speed overcomes the fear of death"
said Hunter S. Thompson. This quote appears here and gives a new direction for research. The London taxi as a black art, a species apart, which wends a tricky way through the streets of the capital. The driver has The Knowledge, and hence a bigger brain. She has learned a new language - I had Screaming Lord Sutch in the back of the cab last week... and an answer to every question, except one: Will you take me to South London?

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Lea Bridge Sluices

Lea Bridge Sluices
Originally uploaded by LoopZilla
Heavy rainfall leads a torrent of water over the Lea Bridge Sluices. Once the lock and flood control systems are in place at Three Mills, this area will not longer be so obviously a river....

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Bank vs. Monument

Bank vs. Monument
Originally uploaded by LoopZilla
This leaflet is a lie. There is almost complete freedom to interchange between Bank and Monument. The only real change is that the new tunnel from Monument to the Bank DLR level is closed, and that there are some one way systems in places, depending on the time of day. The entrance in King William IV Street seems to open past the normal 9pm weekday close, since this is the only "official" route to the DLR / Northern Line.

Some signs have been covered up so that newbies and tourists cannot find the quick way from A to B. My guess is that the fire and safety rules would not allow the scheme described in the leaflet!

Green Park Station

Green Park Station
Originally uploaded by markhillary

A picture of the flow of humankind through the tunnels and channels of the Tube at Green Park. Nice.

The flow of suits and black clad office workers takes place throughout the day, but at night a different species appear, the Yellow Jackets

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Wide Screen

Wide Screen
Originally uploaded by LoopZilla
The biggest hoarding on the planet?

Stratford, so good they named it twice!

Just in case you are in the Outdoor Market in Stratford, and need to know that you are in Stratford E15 and not Stratford Upon Avon....

A bendy bus ride

Originally uploaded by LoopZilla.

I was on a 25 bus in the City of London, and seemed to me that "gonzogeography" was a term in search of some meaning, much like "psychogeography". I was then mindful of "The Meaning of Liff", where the names on signposts are given a use, to stop them loafing around doing very little.

The talk given by Merlin Coverley (the author) at Housmans Booksellers this week was interesting, and it left me wanting more. What was "psychogeography" as distinct from geography (as understood today)? I guess I had to catch up with some reading and the events of 1968 and the "Situationists International".

But there seemed to be plenty of research material on the 25 bus, a bendy bus that snakes from Oxford Circus to the wilds of Essex.

Get in the back of the bendy bus, and you realise that it bends left and right, up and down. The ride is raucous. Some call it the free bus, since you have to swipe an Oystercard or a ticket before you board. Inspectors descend like a host of locusts, but you might just be able to swipe before they get to you... ooops I have just had my wallet stolen!

Walking as an art form. That sounded the business. What could we learn from taking a few steps?

Walk on.... a long the Three Mills Loop around and around. Each time you complete the Loop, you get a little deeper into the groove.

Monday, May 19, 2008

The Olympics

F... the Olympics
Originally uploaded by LoopZilla
London's warm welcome to the Olympics...