The Victorian Dictionary: A motley collection of primary source documents and reference materials about Victorian London by historical thriller author Lee Jackson. Read the 1841 Census, browse peroid advertisements, zoom in on the 1881 Pocket Guide to London or just learn some dirty words.
Echo Bazaar is a place where you can play The Greatest Game, or seek your Ambitions, or, what the heck, just Seduce an Artist's Model! Ever since London was dragged one mile below the Earth's surface -- and one mile closer to Hell -- by a huge flurry of billions of bats, finding your fortune in the city has been something of a different beast. [more inside]
Uneven Terrain is a series of short documentaries about urban exploration, about 10-15 minutes long each. There are six so far, about monumental ruins in New York, Centralia, the Pennsylvania town where an underground coalseam has been on fire since the 1960s, abandoned missile silos in the US and how they're being turned into homes, oil drilling in Los Angeles, the Teufelberg listening station and the abandoned bunkers under Tempelhof Airport in Berlin and pirate radio in London and on the old Redsand sea forts. Each short doc has a different presenter. All have accompanying photo galleries. [These are produced for the bootmaker Palladium, but it's pretty low-key]
LONDON, the Metropolis and Glory of the Kingdom, was anciently the Seat of the British Empire; and since, stiled commonly, the Royal Chamber of our Kings. The Kings Chamber, the Heart of the Commonwealth, and a Short Draught of the whole Kingdom: As it was once described by Sir Edward Coke, sometime Recorder of this City. It may boast it self to be the largest in Extent, and the fairest built, the most Populous, and best inhabited (and that by a Civil, Rich and Sober People) of any in the World. And for a general Trade throughout the Universe, all other must give her the Precedence. [more inside]
To accompany collections of posters and photographs, the London Transport Museum has recently added a number of short films to its website, including All That Mighty Heart (autoplay) showing a day in the life of London's transport in 1962. (previous 1, 2)
If you're in London these days and are serious about your coffee, then you'll know what a Flat White is. It is part of the emerging coffee scene in London, host of 2010's World Barista Championship and home of last year's winner - Gwilym Davies. Here's a guide and map from London's TimeOut to the city's best coffee shops, many of them staffed by antipodean baristas.
Predictably, Starbucks in the UK wants a piece of the action.
Predictably, Starbucks in the UK wants a piece of the action.
"Half a million dirty Britons wash their bed sheets only three times a year, a survey discloses laying bare the disgusting bedroom habits of the nation. One in six people also admitted waiting at least a month before washing their bed sheets." "Londoners have the dirtiest bed sheets in the country." [more inside]
'A site dedicated to songs about London. The only rules are that the songs must be brilliant and that the blindingly obvious numbers are excluded.' The London Nobody Sings takes you on a musical tour of the capital, by bus, train and tube, via Camden Town, Parliament Hill, Portobello Road, Shepherd's Bush, Southall, Tottenham and Tooting Broadway. And if it's too late to take the Underground? Don't worry, the trams may have gone, but you can always catch the Nightbus home.
London's transport system has a visual identity instantly recognised (and often imitated) around the world, of which a key part is Edward Johnston's typeface, originally designed for the London Underground. (Previously.) However, this may not be the case for much longer; the Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, has revealed plans to give all official London bodies a unified identity, based on that of the Visit London tourism campaign. There is already a Facebook group protesting the proposal.
If You Could: Collaborate is the fourth annual If You Could exhibition. Aiming to provide a platform for creatives from all over the world to question their conventional working methods and outcomes. The contributors have been challenged to produce something a little unexpected, by working with a partner of their choosing from any discipline, profession or background. These are the 33 collaborations. Previously, the Print Series 2008. [on display at the A Foundation Gallery until January 23rd]
An excellent short film about a branch of the London Underground that was never built.
The recreation of London's skyline using fruits and vegetables is best understood through a "making of" video. (via)
A day with mental health professionals in North London - a Guardian article by Deborah Orr
Corey Arcangel is perhaps the internet's most infamous hack, masher-upper, digi/net artist. His work stands for a growing culture of artists who run wildly through animated GIF landscapes populated with corrupted data-compressed bunny rabbits and tinny, MIDI renditions of Savage Garden ballads. As the Lisson Gallery, London, opens its archives to Arcangel's curatorial eye, could digi/net art be set to infect the real, fleshy world, like a rampant Conficker Worm? Has YouTube become the truest reflection of our anthropological selves? Are we destined to roam the int3erw£bs like the mythic beasts of yore, hoping, in time, that digi art can free us from the confines of this fleshy void? [...previously]
Crime: A Tale of Two Cities. When "The Wire" gained popularity in Great Britain, we were contacted by a London-based journalist who proposed a job swap. Mark Hughes, a crime reporter with The Independent, a national newspaper in the United Kingdom, wanted to come to Baltimore to see if the city’s police officers, drug dealers, prosecutors and politicians bore any resemblance to those on show. We agreed to complete the exchange by sending our police reporter, Justin Fenton, to London to compare crime trends. [more inside]
The Open Road London pioneering colour footage from 1927 (SLYT)
Past Tense is a publishing project exploring London radical history. Their website has texts telling us about William Cuffay, the black Chartist tried and transported for levying war against Queen Victoria; an account of an early instance of women's organised labour struggle during the 1908 Corruganza box-makers strike; the drunken uproar of the 18th-century elections for the spurious Mayor of Garratt, really putting the 'mock' into 'mock election'; a yeoman farmer in Kett's Great Rebellion of 1549; the burning of the Albion Mills; and much more, including some walking tours to locations linked to radical history in various parts of the metropolis.
Franny Armstrong is the director of McLibel, The Age of Stupid, and founder of the 10:10 campaign, which aims to cut 10% of carbon emissions in 2010. She was walking through Camden, North London, on Monday night, when a group of young girls pushed her against a car. One of them was armed with a metre-long iron bar. She called for help from a passing cyclist ... who turned out to be Boris Johnson, the Mayor of London. [more inside]
What do Cliff Edwards (1928), Lloyd Price (circa 1959), The Rulers (1967), R.L. Burnside (late 1980s/ early 1990s), Grateful Dead (live in 1993), and Nick Cave (live in 1996) have in common? If nothing else, they all sang some variation of the crime of Lee Shelton, also known as Stack O'Lee, Stagolee, Stack-a-Lee , Stackerlee, Stagger Lee and other names, with as many variations in the details of that fateful night. Join MeFite Paul Slade with his journalistic narrations of murder ballads, tales of Secret London (previously), and other works of long-form journalism (which may or may not be ideal for the web, previously). [via mefi projects; more clips and bits inside] [more inside]
Eiichi’s self-confessed shock is now hopefully more understandable – he was not simply being asked to rework an old typeface, he was being asked to touch up an acknowledged “Old Master.” Johnstone Sans - A Typeface for the Underground. [more inside]
MAPCO's aim is to provide genealogists, students and historians with free access to high quality scans of rare and beautiful antique maps and views. The site displays a variety of highly collectable 18th and 19th century maps and plans of London and the British Isles... [more inside]
Seizure is an art installation by Roger Hiorns (Introducing his work in a YouTube video); "75,000 litres of copper sulphate solution were pumped into the council flat to create a strangely beautiful and somewhat menacing crystalline growth on the walls, floor, ceiling and bath (Flickr sets) of this abandoned dwelling." First opened in late 2008, the deliberately temporary work can be viewed by the public (free) again, thanks to a delay to development at the site in the current economic downturn.
The Present Sound of London -- "I’ve been lured to London by money at the hottest, stickiest time of year. Every time I visit, I’m struck by the noises—not necessarily their volume, but their strangeness and variety in comparison to the quiet humdrum of the provincial town where I live. So this time I’m equipped with an audio recorder." By Giles Turnbull.
Tart cards [NSFW] are the means by which many London prostitutes advertise their services. Step into almost any central London phone box and you can contemplate up to 80 cards inviting you to be tied, teased, spanked or massaged.... [Wallpaper Magazine] asked designers – from students to superstars – to find the tart hiding in every typeface and create their own graphic numbers.... all 450 cards can be viewed here. [NSFW] [more inside]
London Sound Survey collects the everyday sounds of the capital, including the bells of St Clement's, the call to prayer at the Whitechapel mosque, football fans outside Millwall stadium, a demo in Piccadilly, dubstep at the Notting Hill Carnival and a street preacher at Speaker's Corner.. not forgetting, of course, those ubiquitous sounds of London life, 'Big Issue! Big Issue!' and announcements of planned engineering works on the Tube. (Via.)
Secret London has the story of a circulation promotion gimmick that runs awry.
London police are now deleting tourists' photos because "photographing anything to do with transport is strictly forbidden."
One man died on the day of the G20 protests in London. He wasn't a protester, wasn't a police officer. Ian Tomlinson was a 47 year old newspaper seller trying to get home, who collapsed and died of heart failure. Three minutes before he collapsed and died, this happened. [more inside]
Protests against today's G20 summit in the UK turn predictably bloody. The main financial hub, the City, is closed off as a retail bank is broken into and dismantled. Another street, in contrast, is taken over and turned into an encampment.
I'll tell you one thing: if I was in London, I'd mosey on over to the Kinetica Art Fair. It looks like fun.
Blind Justice..... Sir John Fielding, 1721-1780, brother of novelist/playwrite Henry Fielding (Tom Jones), was a blind magistrate at the Bow Street court (known as the "Blind Beak of Bow Street"), home of London's first professional police force, the Bow Street Runners. [more inside]
User El_Greco of the SkyscaperCity Forum presents "Lost London", an absolutely stunning photographic thread of old London architecture.
"Let them arrest me". Vehemently anti-Islamic Dutch MP Geert Wilders was scheduled to travel to London tomorrow to attend a screening of his controversial short film Fitna (wiki, mefi). Yesterday however, the UK's Home Secretary notified Wilders that his presence in the UK would pose a "serious threat to [...] public security" (PDF), presumably intending to refuse his entry into UK. Wilders plans to board the flight anyway, daring British authorities to arrest him. [more inside]
London's Charing Cross Road was once a renowned as destination for bibliophiles. However this has changed as a number of bookshops have closed, the crime specialist Murder One being the latest. The Guardian looks how the street has changed between 1940 and now (flash). [more inside]
David Goo and the Variety Band have been gigging in London for a few years, but a recent appearance as a soundtrack to an advert could be what propels them to the big time. Merging ska, punk, indie and klezmer influences, read an interview with them here as they speculate on the concept of 'selling out'
Kamal Chunchie charts the history of the black and Asian community in Canning Town, east London, in the 1920s and 1930s. It tells the story of the Coloured Men's Institute and its founder, Kamal Chunchie, a man who can rightly be called east London's first black and Asian community leader. One of the many excellent East London history projects at Hidden Histories.
Autumn 1944, and London was under attack from space. Hitler's 'vengeance' rocket, the V-2, was the world's first ballistic missile, and the first man-made object to make a sub-orbital spaceflight. Over 1400 were launched at Britain, with more than 500 striking London. Each hit caused devastation. The 13 tonne rocket impacted at over 3000 miles per hour. There was no warning; the missile descended faster than the speed of sound and survivors would only hear the approach and sonic booms after the blast. via Londonist.
Abandoned London is a Flickr set by photographer IanVisits of London on Christmas morning when the city is (almost) denuded of people. Very disorienting if you've been to London (or any major city, really). I got this via William Gibson's blog and I'll let him describe it in his inimitable way: "Christmas, particularly in the early morning, has always seemed so much more liminal to me than New Year's eve. Spectral, deeply in-between [...] something about the way in which traffic, pedestrian and vehicular, controls one's depth of field, fragmenting and animating the experience."
Further to the cover up and the initial claims the jury has reached a verdict in the De Menezes inquest. [more inside]
A less glamorous anniversary passed with little fanfare yesterday: 50 years since the opening of the first stretch of the humble British motorway, the 8-mile two-lane Preston Bypass, which now forms part of the M6. The occasion was celebrated by the official opening of an 5.8 mile M6 extension, closing the "Cumberland Gap", allowing commuters to make the entire 400 mile journey between Glasgow and London by motorway. The total length of motorways in the UK totals around 2200 miles.
London's iconic transportation symbol, the roundel, is 100 years old this year and a new online exhibit at the London Transport Museum features some amazing galleries of architecture, promotional material, livery and a great illustrated history of the mark.
One minute and four seconds in London, 1904. Birkbeck College professor Ian Christie rediscovered this footage in an archive in Canberra, shot for a travelogue by film pioneer Charles Urban.
NextBus uses GPS to tell you the predicted time of the next bus. Google maps show buses in real time, and you can get updates on your phone/PDA. The coverage is limited to certain agencies within the US, so these other sites might be useful: Hopstop covers subways and buses in NYC, Boston, Chicago, San Francisco, DC, and more. (mobile version) Google Transit has many US metro areas in addition to Canada, Europe, and Japan. (previously) Many more locations inside. [more inside]
“There’s probably no God. Now stop worrying and enjoy your life.”
The Atheist Bus Campaign rolls out today in London.
The Atheist Bus Campaign rolls out today in London.
In the 1940's the British Government set about creating eight deep level shelters underneath central London. Now, one of them is up for sale (Photos)