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In which I continue to seek part time employment as the ruler of the world.

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Category archive: Bridges

Monday April 04 2016

Recently I wrote about footbridges, one in particular, in theatreland.  As that posting illustrates, I especially like footbridges that join buildings (in that case theatres), rather than merely convey members of the public who are on a journey through the city, even though I myself cannot cross such bridges, because I too am only a member of the public.

The London epicentre of such footbridge action is situated near Tower Bridge, on the south side of the river.  Footbridges of greatly varying heights above the ground and almost beyond counting connect the tall brick buildings on each side of whatever the street is where all these footbridges are to be seen.

I knew that on various journeys along the river I had photoed these bridges, but where were such photos to be found?  Oh well, I thought.  They’ll turn up.

Last night, they did turn up.  I was idling through photo-directories past, looking for something entirely different which I may, or may not, be telling you about Real Soon Now, and suddenly I came across a clutch of photos of the very footbridges I had in mind.  I immediately copied all these photos across into the rather recently created Footbridges directory.  Photos like this:

image

None of the photos I took that evening of these bridges were technically very accomplished.  The light was tricky and I think I was rather tired by the time I took them.  But, there they were, the bridges, and the photos of the bridges.

I chose the above photo from the half dozen or more that I had not because it is the best of these photos, but because it contains this vital piece of information, in writing.  Close up:

image

Le Pont de la Tour?  Google google.  Apparently it’s a posh eatery, for the kind of posh people who now live in these now very posh buildings.  And immediately I had the name of the street.

Shad.

Don’t ask me how you are supposed to say that.  Shad?  The Shad?  Shad Thames?  I don’t know.  But there’s the name.  Shad.  Sounds like Sean Connery saying Sad.  (Do you suppose that the reason Sean Connery pronounces S as Sh is because of how Sean is pronounced?  Jusht a shuggeshtion.)

Armed with this address, I could pin down exactly as opposed to approximately the location of this footbridge clutch, so that I can return there, and take better photos, and look them up on the www some more, and generally celebrate these striking structures.

And the moral is: when you are (I am) out and about taking photos, always get wherever you are (I am) in writing, by photoing writing.  Photo signs of shops, signs outside places, street signs, or, in this case restaurant signs.  That way, you can work out where everything was, even years later.  The above picture was taken nearly six years ago.

Friday March 18 2016

Yesterday I duly climbed to the top of the Big Olympic Thing, but today I want to show you some creature pictures.  Having decided to broaden Fridays out from mere cats, to any non-human living thing, I have been wandering through my photo-archives with half an eye for any nice looking non-human photos.

Here are a couple of snaps I particular liked:

imageimage

These were both taken on a photo-walk that I and G(od)D(aughter) One did in May of 2011.  We spent the day walking along Regent’s Canal.  I did a couple of postings about this walk at the time, but took many more good snaps than that.

The two birds above are occupants of the Snowdon Aviary.  At the end of that link it says that this Aviary contains some “white ibis”, ibis being, apparently, the plural of ibis.  Are those things ibis?  Could be.  I’m hopeless at which brand of bird is which.

The sign, which actually includes a cat, is over an entrance to the footpath beside the canal, from the road.  I think.  You walk under it, I’m pretty sure.

Strangely, if my photos of the day are anything to go by, we didn’t see many swimming birds that day, in the actual canal.  But when we got to Paddington Basin we saw a few.

I often try to photo such birds, but only rarely come away with anything that strikes me as very interesting.  The world is, after all, full of extremely Real Photogaphers who like to photo birds.  So, what can I add to all that?

These two birds are maybe a bit nice, if not actually what you’d call interesting. The feathers on the one on the left have come out quite well.  And the one on the right has an interesting (because pink) beak, which doesn’t look normal to me:

imageimage

GD1 and I don’t talk much on these walks.  We each tend to concentrate on our own photoing.  I occasionally photo her from a distance though, with other interesting things (such as bridges) in the background.  And occasionally, she photos me:

imageimage

I like how, in the picture of GD1 photoing me, there is another photographer operating, in the background, on the left as we look.

Saturday March 12 2016

I am a collector, and a way for me to satisfy this itch without taking up too much physical space is to collect not particular things, but photos of particular things.  I collect such photos by finding them in the big wide world, mostly the London bit.  But I also find such photos in my already vast but mostly very incoherent collections of photos that I have already taken, stored on my hard disk in directories with titles like “Misc(51)Aug2011”.

Typically, I start collecting a particular sort of photo even before I realise that I am doing it.

Rather recently, for instance, I have started noticing footbridges in a big way, conscious that I am doing this.  But in truth, I have always been entertained by footbridges, especially urban footbridges that join buildings together, and have long been photoing them.  But the tendency has been, after photoing such a bridge, to forget about it, and to move on immediately to the next photo-op.

Today, while clicking away pretty much at random among my many photo-directories, I came across this photo, in Misc(51)Aug2011:

image

That particular footbridge connects the back of the Coward Theatre with the back of the Wyndham’s Theatre.  I know this because immediately after taking the above photo of the footbridge, taken at 19:58pm, I took the following two snaps, also taken at 19:58pm:

image
image

If you look carefully in the footbridge photo, you can see both of these signs, which are on opposite sides of St Martin’s Court, near Leicester Square, in London’s Theatreland.  What exactly is transported across this bridge - scenery?, props?, actors? - I do not know.  Cleverer and more determined googlers than I could perhaps quickly learn.  That these two signs match suggests quite a lot of cooperation, that has been going on for quite a while.  Common ownership, perhaps?  Sorry about the Wyndham’s photo being so blurry.  What matters is that it is legible.

As time passes, I will spend less time out and about taking yet more photos.  One of the things I hope then to be doing instead is rootling through my existing photo-collections, collecting, e.g. all the photos I have already taken of footbridges, and putting them into one giant directory, of footbridges, and then showing them here, and thinking about them aloud.

Friday February 26 2016

Regular cats have kittens, but this cat is big, and has cubs:

image

Mick Hartley had a picture of an underpass, at Mick Hartley, today.  I went to where that underpass picture came from, to try to understand the underpass picture.  I still don’t understand the underpass picture, but I did find the above mega-feline.  Rather than reduce the whole picture and lose feline detail, I cranked up the cropper, in square mode (of which I am particularly fond).

Monday February 08 2016

More and more, as I browse around in places like dezeen, I come across pictures looking like this:

image

The this in question being the idea of connecting the tops of towers with footbridges.  And that particular picture having been produced to advertise a new scheme for jazzing up Paris.

I love bridges of all kinds, and footbridges just as much as any other sort, so I have been paying attention to such pictures as the above for quite a while now.  And I reckon there’s now something of a buzz developing around this idea.  Simply, there are about to be a lot of such bridges as those fantasised above, connecting the tops of buildings, and often for the use of the general public, rather than just the people in the buildings directly connected.  There will, in some big cities, in only a few years, be entire new alternative worlds at the old roof level, where you will be able to travel for miles without ever touching the regular old ground.

I am now going to scroll down at dezeen, to see if I can find more pictures like the above.  Bear with me. …

Well, it took a while.  Dezeen has lots of postings about stand-alone little modernist buildings, which, frankly, don’t interest me that much.  My feeling about such stand-alones being: we already know how to do those.  Modernist versions of big sheds or older school houses are just stylistic tweaking.  Nothing profound is going on.  But pictures like this …:

image

… and this …:

image

… (which I found in this posting, and which I remember being very struck by when I first set eyes on them) tell me that a seriously different urban future will soon be happening, in cities all over the globe.

The underlying story here is that cities are ceasing to be mere machines for living in and for working in, with occasional little spots that tourists will like to visit and have fun in (but which the locals ignore).  They are becoming nice experiences.  Everyone is becoming a tourist in them, you might say.

Central to this process is the banishment of big old road vehicles, and an alternative emphasis on being a pedestrian.  Or even a speeded up pedestrian.  Think of how the old dock districts of big cities are being turned into nice new developments with lots of waterside footpaths.  Think of what has been happening to canals.

What’s going to happen is that one city – maybe Paris? – will do this in a big way, and tourism, including by the locals, will surge upwards, in the city and on the graphs.  People will love it.  And then lots of other cities will do it.  Including London, because London has a natural pre-skyscraper height at which this will make sense, and because London is now so full of stuff that is worth seeing from this particular height.

A big reason why all this is going to happen is that it will not be all that expensive to do, one of the big reasons why pedestrian footbridges are already a major design flavour the decade being that public money is now tight, and footbridges are relatively cheap.  Designers love them, because although footbridges do not involve that much metal or timber or concrete, they do often involve a lot of design.

The picture at the top of this posting has the words “Ternes-Villiers, La Ville Multi-Strate by Jacques Ferrier” attached to it at dezeen, and I just googled those words.  And, I immediately found my way to this, here:

image

It’s not clear from this picture just how public these bridges are intended to be.  Other pictures suggest that the “community” able to use these bridges will just be the people who live in the apartment blocks thus connected.  But this doesn’t alter the fact that the general public are going to want to get involved in all this high-level fun and sightseeing (and photography), if only because it will all be so clearly visible from below.

Saturday January 23 2016

So today, I did two Samizdata postings: this and this.  And that was going to be it here, for today.

Except that just now I came across this bizarre bridge, in Poole, of all places:

image

Amusing Planet amuses again.

Sunday January 10 2016

For the purposes of this posting, bike fishing means fishing for bikes.  Not: fishing while on a bike.

As already noted here before Christmas, Amusing Planet has become a regular internet spot for me.  I especially liked this report, complete with photos like this:

image

Favourite line in the report:

Bike fishing has become one of Amsterdam’s unique tourist attraction.

My immediate reaction was: So, anyone can do it?  Do you need a license?  But what they really mean, presumably, is just standing there and watching while somebody else does the bike fishing.

A bike fishing competition might be really something.  And it still might be if it was fishing while on a bike.

Other recent favourite Amusing Planet posting: The Lady of the North.

Thursday December 31 2015

I spent a lot of today doing an elaborate Samizdata posting with twelve photos in it, and now I am doing the same here.  Most of these ones are just of the I Just Like It sort.

Whether I have the time and energy left after posting the photos to say something about them remains to be seen.  Anyway, here they are, one for each month, in chronological order:

image image imageimage image imageimage image imageimage image image

Okay, let’s see if I can rattle through what they are, insofar as it isn’t obvious.

1.1 was taken outside Quimper (which is in Brittany) Cathedral, where they were selling that sugary stuff on a stick called I can’t remember what.  I stalked the guy for ever, until he finally obliged by sticking his sugary stuff on a stick in front of his face.  Never clocked me, I swear.  Although, when others stalk me when I’m photoing, I never notice them.

1.2 is the amazing coffee making equipment owned by the friend also featured in these earlier pictures.

1.3 is the men’s toilet in the Lord Palmerston pub, near Suicide Bridge, photoed soon after I took those.

2.1 explains itself.  2.2 is Anna Pavlova, reflected in the House of Fraser building in Victoria.  2.3 was taken on the Millenium Footbridge.

3.1 is 240 Blackfriars.  What I like about it is that in some photos, such as this one, it looks like a 2D collage stuck onto the sky, instead of a 3D building in front of the sky.

3.2 is the new entrance to Tottenham Court Road tube/crossrail station, outside Centre Point, seen from further up Tottenham Court Road.

3.3 is the Big Olympic Thing, seen from Canning Town railway and tube station.  A tiny bit of it, anyway.  To me, unmistakable.  To you, maybe an explanation needed.

4.1 shows me photoing shop trivia, in this case a spread of magazines dominated by the scarily intense face of one of British TV’s great Tragedy Queens, the actress Nicola Walker.  I first clocked her when she was in Spooks.  Now she’s in everything.

4.2 and 4.3 are both film crew snaps.  4.2 features a London Underground Big Cheese, who is a bit put out to find himself being photoed by the wrong person instead of by his own tame film crew.  He was drawing a lot of attention to himself, so I reckon him fair blogging game.  4.3 is another film crew, in Victoria Street, just loving the attention, who will be ecstatic when they hear about how they have hit the big time.  I like how there’s a movie advert on a bus right behind them.

There, that wasn’t so bad.  Although there are probably several mistakes that I am, as of the smallest hours of 2016, too tired to be fixing.

Happy New Year to all who get to read this.

Monday November 30 2015

Incoming from 6k ...:

image

… which he encountered here.  As is noted in that tweet, Wikipedia has things to tell us about this scheme, as does this posting

This was a 1960s scheme to sell glass, dreamt up by minions of glass superbusiness Pilkington’s.  It was never going to get built, but had it been, it would have been a walk away from where I live, and would have been my route to Vauxhall railway station.

6K is right that this kind of thing, and in particular this kind of bridge, interests me.  See the first picture and the commentary on it in this posting here, July 2015.

Quote (if I don’t regularly quote me, who will?):

… this shows old London Bridge, with all its buildings.  What fun it would be for London to build itself another such bridge.  One of the reasons I so welcome the new Blackfriars Station, on its bridge, is that it sets a precedent for just such a bridge with buildings some time in the future.  This new Ponte Vecchio on Thames probably shouldn’t be in the middle of London, though, because that would spoil a lot of views.  Why not a big bridge of this sort further downstream?  Any decade now …

Indeed.

LATER: Meanwhile, a very different bridge ...:

image

... is to be built across the river, just upstream from the actually existing Vauxhall Bridge. That is the picture the winner of the competition produced.  On the basis of that, among other things, this winner will “design” the new bridge.  Looks to me like he already has designed it.

Also, yet another bridge has been proposed to join Docklands to the other side of the river.

Tuesday November 24 2015

Photo taken in 2008 by me, from a train, just past Queenstown Road railway station, on my way from Waterloo to Egham, the railway station of my childhood:

image

That’s not two towers joined together by a bridge.

This is two towers joined together by a bridge:

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Those two towers are going to be built in Copenhagen harbour.  They’ve just received the go-ahead.  Here’s hoping they do indeed go ahead.

Saturday October 24 2015

The week’s latest manifestation of the Michael Portillo Train Journey Show took us to Austria, and featured a spectacular viaduct, which made it possible for trains to go from Vienna to Trieste, the one big seaport of the old Austro-Hungarian Empire.  This is the Kalte Rinne-Viadukt, which gets the trains through the Semmering Pass.  I think I have that right.

Here is what it looks like, from above:

image

The man who designed and supervised the building of this railway would appear to be a very big cheese in that part of the world.

Now for another picture which tells you about something else that is going on in that part of the world, something Michael Portillo did not mention.

They’re building a tunnel:

image

I found that map (here it is bigger) at a place placed on the www in 1996.  Amazing. 

As part of an on-going programme to improve national and international railway links for the year 2000 and beyond, Austria embarked on excavation of a 9.8km-long pilot tunnel ahead of full construction of the planned 22km-long Semmering base line tunnel through the Alps. The new tunnel is on the domestic route between Vienna and Villach, which is on the main Trans-European railway route between the states of middle and eastern Europe and the Mediterranean harbours in Italy. The new alignment will supplement the existing 41km-long route, which was built more than 100 years ago and winds slowly and steeply up and over the Semmering Pass. At the lower elevation the new tunnel will allow for higher train speeds, ensure continued services through severe weather conditions and reduce travel times substantially. When complete, the new ‘fast’ track will carry high-speed passenger services and heavy freight trains while the existing mountain pass railway will continue as a local community service and as a tourist attraction through the spectacular Alpine landscape.

Work began on the tunnel in 1994, checking out the route, preliminary drillings, that kind of thing.  Amazingly, the tunnel only got the actual green light to be actually made, constructed, dug, drilled, built, tunnelled, in May of this year.  The present schedule says that the thing will only be finished in 2024.

In other words, it’s going to take thirty years from first use of a digger in anger, so to speak, to the last.  That sounds to me like a lot of years.

Thursday October 08 2015

When I photo a scene, I like to get other people’s screens into my pictures:

imageimage

The weather was grim and grey today, when I took the above snaps, but the paintings were bright!

Painting.  Before computers, this was how they did Photoshop.

Tuesday October 06 2015

August 15th of this year was a good photography day for me.  I did particularly well on the Blokes photoing front, although I’m not sure if all the male humans here pictured are actually Blokes.  Bottom Middle and Bottom Right definitely.  But Top Middle and Top Right are probably what you’d call Guys.  Bottom Left might well be a Gent, if we looked at his face, and the face of his lady.  And as for Top Left, well, you decide.

image image image
image image image

Once again, I have confined myself to subjects whose faces are not visible.  Apart from the subject Top Left.  That Top Left one was taken in one of my favourite Strange London Places, which is the little market space, off to the left of the trains (as you look towards the trains) in the concourse of Charing Cross Station.  From it, you can then walk along the side of the street towards the river, but at about second floor level, looking down on the street, until you arrive at the down-stream half of the new Hungerford Footbridges, which are on both sides of the old Hungerford railway bridge.  It’s one of my favourite little London walks.

The two definite Blokes are both photoing Big Ben, I think.  The Bloke holding a “selfie stick” is, I believe, not actually using it as a selfie stick.  I’m pretty sure he is photoing what’s in front of him rather than himself.  Big Ben, in other words.  Could he be far-sghted?

The fountain, being photoed by a Guy, is the one outside the Royal Festival Hall.  The other Guy is photoing that Citroen DS23 that has already been shown here.

The bald Gent photo is not technically very good. But he too is photoing Big Ben, as you can see on his screen, which is what makes the photo non-banal.

Nobody ever comments on my photo-collections-of-photoers postings.  Which makes me suspect that I am the only one here who really likes them.  But, that’s all it takes for a posting here to be a posting.

Monday September 28 2015

Here at BMdotcom, we like a bridge.  Even if, from some angles, it does not look much like a bridge.  Like a bridge that I encountered yesterday, near Epping:

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Looking back through the day’s snaps, I especially enjoyed the contrast between how this bridge looked, above, as I and my walking companion were approaching it, and what we saw, only moments later, from it:

image

That’s the M11, snaking its way towards London, just before it arrives at its junction with the M25.

You can tell it’s London because if you look (carefully) in the top right hand corner of that picture (after you have doubled its size by clicking on it) you can just make out the tops of the Docklands towers.

Thursday August 20 2015

On a sunny afternoon in June, this was the big picture, complete with Big Things, and a bridge, in the background:

image

I homed in on that photosession, down by the river there.

There were making a bit of a spectacle of themselves, so their recognisable faces would have been fair game, but I took lots of pictures of them, and am able to show you only faceless pictures like these:

imageimage

My favourite faceless photo being this one:

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There was a big crowd looking down on all this.  They really can’t complain, and I don’t believe they will, in the event they see those pictures.

Happy day.