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London from Above, at Night
August 29, 2008 6:50 PM   Subscribe

London from above, at night.
posted by cerebus19 (31 comments total) 17 users marked this as a favorite

 
So, you enjoyed the podcast too?
posted by mumkin at 6:54 PM on August 29, 2008


4. The financial district, featuring the tip of 30 St. Mary's Axe, known by the nickname "The Throbbing Member"
posted by Horace Rumpole at 6:57 PM on August 29, 2008 [1 favorite]


Huh?
posted by cerebus19 at 6:57 PM on August 29, 2008


Thanks, nice images...
posted by HuronBob at 6:58 PM on August 29, 2008


Huh?

Ah. I was referring to yesterday's podcast, in which MeFi's own kokogiak is interviewed about his creation, The Big Picture. But I gather that's not what lead you to that particular post after all. nevermind
posted by mumkin at 7:05 PM on August 29, 2008


Those are pretty cool.
posted by EndsOfInvention at 7:07 PM on August 29, 2008


Very cool. I'm kind of assuming many of these were done from an helicopter. I wonder at some of the images that required long exposure. I wish I could do that!
posted by Eekacat at 7:10 PM on August 29, 2008


Isn't #13 the dread sigil Odegra?
posted by weston at 7:10 PM on August 29, 2008 [2 favorites]


Hey! See that guy walking toward a bus in the "Commuters and traffic at Oxford Circus" shot? That's PeterMcDermott! That's PeterMcFuckin'Dermott!! HI PETER!

And he lives in Liverpool, so what're the chances of that, huh? Amazing!
posted by flapjax at midnite at 7:18 PM on August 29, 2008


Saw this earlier, and was so impressed by the first image that it's now my desktop. Did the classic "I can see where I worked" thing. I am however a bit annoyed that I can't buy a larger version easily - went to the photographer's site, and you have to submit a request in order to get a price. What's the point of having a web store if you have to get an email from the guy giving you a quote so that you can download it?

/grumble
posted by djgh at 7:28 PM on August 29, 2008


I'm kind of assuming many of these were done from an helicopter.

Yeah, that's what the writer says.
posted by Airhen at 7:43 PM on August 29, 2008


Some of the streets are suspiciously empty. Photoshop? Or early morning?
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 8:20 PM on August 29, 2008


Pretty cool.
posted by grouse at 8:35 PM on August 29, 2008


Looking at 14, I'd say early morning.
posted by Monday, stony Monday at 8:50 PM on August 29, 2008


Boy, Simcity sure is getting realistic looking, isn't it?
posted by Dave Faris at 9:59 PM on August 29, 2008 [2 favorites]


The buildings wrapped in white in photos 1 and 15 are being dismantled in place piece-by-piece in order to build m much taller ones (20 Fenchurch Street and the Shard of Glass, respectively). The Shard will be the tallest building in the country, and possibly Western Europe.

The junction in the foreground of #1 is Bank station.

Some of the streets are suspiciously empty. Photoshop? Or early morning?

The City of London (the "financial district") is absolutely deserted outside office hours, as the only entertainment facilities are pubs for office workers, the only retail is sandwich shops for office workers, and virtually nobody lives there. You can walk through main streets there on a Saturday afternoon and not see a single other person or open shop.
posted by cillit bang at 12:26 AM on August 30, 2008 [1 favorite]


Living on two separate occasions, first in 1992 and again in 2002 was like a dream for that very reason, cilit bang - it was like commuting without travelling. Admittedly, the Internet boom in the early 2000s brought a good deal more life to the Farringdon and Smithfield areas than was present ten years previously, but there was still an amazing quiet and calm to the areas outside of work hours... Weekends were blissfully relaxed, and the cusp point, where restaurants like Smiths were open but people weren't frequenting the area quite so heavily was probably the ideal time to have lived in EC...

Sadly, I can't get the site to load at the moment - probably getting hammered!
posted by benzo8 at 12:53 AM on August 30, 2008


Living in the City of London* .. D'oh!
posted by benzo8 at 12:55 AM on August 30, 2008


Nice photos. But it would have been nicer to get a greater variety of London beyond lots of office buildings. Something like the Mexico city aerial photos.
posted by vacapinta at 1:40 AM on August 30, 2008 [1 favorite]


Very nice pix - many thanks for posting. I'd like to see someone photograph The East End as it goes through a rebirth, but on the ground not from above.

We live just off Commercial Road near Stepney Tube. When I bought my flat here in 2001 this part of London was designated a deprived area and Stamp Tax on the purchase was waived.

I wanted to live in The East End not only because I'm frugal and this is a remarkably inexpensive area of London (Band B property, Council Tax of sixty nine quid a month - whoot!) or due to it's proximity to London's Financial districts (Zone 2, I can walk to The City in about twenty minutes, Canary Wharf in about twenty five), but because of the history.

This is The East End of The Blitz, of Dickens and before that the countryside surrounding the Roman port we now call The City. This part of London, dense with plague pits and bomb sites and stunning examples of Victorian and Edwardian architecture and almost forgotten cemeteries just oozes history for an Anglophile like myself.

Buildings that have were abandoned and sealed up, unused, in many cases for decades are now being renovated, while existing structures are being repurposed. Lots of luxury flats are being built, and even more of those fractional ownership schemes (that I'm against from a banking point of view, but seem to be wildly popular nonetheless). Lots of people are moving here, and between the new folks and the new construction composition and appearance of the entire East End is drastically changing.

When I first moved here, The Tarling Estate just south of Commercial Road had several very large, abandoned and partially bricked up tenements. I say partially as many of the bricks closing the doors had been punched open, the structures being used for drug deals and associated business activities.

We had lots of problems in the 'hood that were directly traced back to this estate and those buildings. I had a run in with an idiot who resided in that tenement. In 2004 (IIRC) they were demolished to build new housing and a significant amount of the petty crime disappeared. There also were at least four missions operating, with the problems that accompany large, unruly crowds drinking and loitering about, waiting for a meal. They've closed two of the missions along Commercial Road and are busily renovating the structures. An old art deco building that previously was being partially used as Mecca Bingo Hall was purchased and renovated into The Troxy conference and exhibition hall. London Royal is going through a massive redevelopment, and have completed several new twenty story tall towers that have changed the skyline as we look towards The City.

I'm not convinced this building boom is solely due to London's 2012 Olympic's either. In New York I lived in The Lower East Side and while looking for a property in London immediately recognised many parallels here in The East End - an economically depressed neighbourhood, long neglected and in urgent need of investment, a large percentage of recent immigrants, walking distance to The Financial District and (best from my viewpoint) lots of galleries and clubs. The changes since in New York's East Village fortell to some extent what might happen here.

But the redevelopment is not all good news: about six months ago a Starbucks opened on Whitechapel Road, and there is now a Tesco Express on Commercial Road, both attracted by the folks who are purchasing the luxury new build flats that seem to be squirting up everywhere. Mrs Mutant and I have been spending lots of time on the ground as it were, scouting out possible new neighborhoods that might suit us should this part of London get a little too upscale.

In any case someone should photograph The East End now, 'cause it's changing and changing fast.
posted by Mutant at 3:41 AM on August 30, 2008 [4 favorites]


Shit I lived right round the corner from you, Mutant! Practically on the corner of Cambridge Heath and Mile End rds. Almost got mugged in the surrounding council flats myself.

I miss London.
posted by nudar at 4:46 AM on August 30, 2008


how the hell did he take these pics? helicopters cant possibly stay that still to get those sweet multi-second exposures without any shaking. was this guy in a blimp or what?
posted by Mach5 at 5:31 AM on August 30, 2008


Mach5: He used a gyro-stabilized camera mount, as the text at the top mentions.
posted by cerebus19 at 5:50 AM on August 30, 2008


my dumbness never ceases to to amaze. thank you cerebus.
posted by Mach5 at 6:14 AM on August 30, 2008


nudar: "Shit I lived right round the corner from you, Mutant! Practically on the corner of Cambridge Heath and Mile End rds. Almost got mugged in the surrounding council flats myself."

In which case, you and I pretty much lived together for a while! I was on Victoria Park Square for a few years!

nudar: "I miss London."

I don't. Each time I return now, I wonder what I ever saw in it - it's dirty, expensive, anti-social, unfriendly and depressing... Now, when I wake up in the morning and blow my nose, it's not black - an every day reminder of what I left behind and why I don't miss it one bit...
posted by benzo8 at 6:34 AM on August 30, 2008


benzo8 I don't. Each time I return now, I wonder what I ever saw in it

So you did see something in it once. And that was tarnished by subsequent returns. Which is perfectly legitimate, I know that phenomenon well, as we all do. Trying to relive the past, but in doing so ruining the original memory.

So I'm glad you said that. It makes me realise that there is that possibility that if I did go back expecting to find the same place I left, I might not find it. I'm glad that when I think of London, even the crazy east end where I shared a flat with North Korean refugees and vainly tried to convince gypsy beggar children on Whitechapel road to stop begging and go to school; I cast aside all the squalor, the filth, and the depressing weather, and I remember the culture, the history, energy, and character of one of the greatest cities on the planet. That is what I remember about it.

That is what I miss.
posted by nudar at 7:25 AM on August 30, 2008 [1 favorite]


I was there for 13 years and definitely the excitement, culture, scale and history was enough for a long time to mask the negatives. But yes, having left now, have that discontinuity and having got used to something else - yes, returning is always a disappointment. Of course, one of the main reasons you can never return somewhere and recapture the memories is that a place is one thing, but the people with whom you share it are another, and they've always moved on when you go back - things can never be the same.

Now, when I go back to London for work, or to catch up with the few friends who haven't left themselves, I manage about a week before longing to come back to Barcelona and every time I get on the plane I say "Never again - next time, they can come and visit us!"
posted by benzo8 at 7:54 AM on August 30, 2008


every time I get on the plane I say "Never again - next time, they can come and visit us!"
That shouldn't be too difficult, from what I hear Barcelona f'kn rocks. Bummed I didn't get to visit it while I was in Spain.
posted by nudar at 8:30 AM on August 30, 2008


Christ, my homesickness for London (which was only home for about 2 years out of the 5 I spent in the UK) is getting out of hand. These pictures made me all teary eyed. I watched 28 Weeks Later a few days ago and all I could think about was how much I miss London and its rage-infected inhabitants. Fucking love that town.
posted by slimepuppy at 9:34 AM on August 30, 2008


it's dirty, expensive, anti-social, unfriendly and depressing

So am I, that's why I love it.

Great photos.
posted by Acarpous at 11:09 AM on August 30, 2008 [1 favorite]


nudar -- "Shit I lived right round the corner from you, Mutant! Practically on the corner of Cambridge Heath and Mile End rds. "

Howdy Neighbour!! So when were you there? Did you ever go into The Blind Beggar pub? They used to have big pix of the Kray Twins all over the place, but now they're gone, the place seems to be trying to upscale or something. Another divey bar used to be The Grave Maurice on Whitechapel. Now they've become some kind of wine bar serving food. Why haven't these places learned they really can't compete with chains like Wetherspoons? At least The Mad George is still down and dirty (so down and dirty it's tough to get Mrs Mutant to carouse there as she's proper), good place to drink with live bands and other entertainment most nights. That's on Jubilee street, about five minutes walk from our place.


benzo8 -- "Of course, one of the main reasons you can never return somewhere and recapture the memories is that a place is one thing, but the people with whom you share it are another, and they've always moved on when you go back - things can never be the same."

Interesting observation; I lived in Manhattan (Lower East Side) for thirteen years and everytime I return I can't see myself living there, at least for a protracted period of time again. It's radically different, and while I do appreciate a lot of what New York has to offer, in terms of living space I've got about 1000 square feet in London - a two bedroom, two floor garden flat - and a place like this in Manhattan would probably approach one point five million dollars, even factoring in the credit crunch.

Money like that belongs in the market or in the bank, working for you so you can achieve financial independence, not invested in a relatively illiquid trophy asset.

So I guess what I like most about London, and especially The East End: we can live very cheaply and still have access to lots of galleries and clubs, see lots of bands and walk about. New York used to be like that but I don't really think it is any longer.

Amsterdam actually has a lot going for it in that regard; when Mrs Mutant & I married we kept her flat there and get back once or twice a month. Now that's a place I could easily live, lots going on and definitely cheaper than London.

Barcelona seems pretty happening every time I'm there. I always try to get out of tourist areas and talk to the locals, and the people living there that I chatted with seemed very content and happy, must be The Med or the Absinthe or Tapas or all three, I don't know.
posted by Mutant at 6:50 AM on August 31, 2008


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