Brian Micklethwait's Blog
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Most recent entries
- A picture of a book about pictures
- To Tottenham (8): Zooming in on some Big Things
- Playing golf versus following cricket
- Quota bicycles
- Another Capital Golf car
- Battersea Power Station then and now and soon
- Timing shits instead of forcing them
- Lincoln Paine shifts the emphasis from land to water (with a very big book)
- Classic cars in Lower Marsh
- Stabat Mater at St Stephen’s Gloucester Road
- A selfie being taken a decade ago
- Gloucester Road with evening sun
- Lea River footbridge
- “Yeah, no …”
- … but there were some cute lighting effects
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Category archive: Bridges
So far, I have only managed seven photo-postings about my expedition to the big old Tottenham Hotspur Stadium, which is now in the process of being turned into a bigger new Tottenham Hotspur Stadium. Tomorrow, Spurs play Chelsea in the semi finals of the FA Cup, and in honour of this confrontation, here is Tottenham posting number eight.
I made my way eastwards from the stadium, towards the park and then the canal beside which I hoped to walk south. But before I got there, I encountered this:
This footbridge is to be found next to the level crossing at the north end of Northumberland Park railway station. I climbed up on the footbridge and took this shot, looking south, of that railway station:
My main reason for showing this is to show you how far away the Big Things of the City are from this vantage point. This sort of circumstance being why God invented zoom lenses. Look what happened when I cranked up my zoom, on my trusty Panasonic Lumix FZ200.
What you see here is the miniscule portion of the above view that you see if you follow the railway lines straight to the horizon, and then shift a tiny bit to the left, just past that big spikey thing, to those tiny little things sticking up, just beyond the big spike and to its left, as we look:
And what we see is that those tiny things are the Big Things of the City of London. Gherkin. Cheesegrater. Shard. Plus intervening clutter of course.
Over to the far left of the station view photo you can also make out the towers of Docklands. But they aren’t that special to look at. If it weren’t for the pointy one, you’d hardly know how to spot them, because they’d just be a few anonymous lumps. What Docklands needs is a mega-skyscraper of a distinctive design. Maybe a thin tower, with a huge revolving restaurant at the top. Something along those lines. But I fear that the nearby presence of City Airport would make that impossible, for the time being anyway.
I like this footbridge, and I like this photo of this footbridge:
We are looking down from the road bridge that takes Twelvetrees Crescent over the River Lea and Bow Creek. It’s a delightful spot, to be found at the top right end of the Limehouse Cut. On the right, we see the Limehouse Cut about to make its bee-line for the Limehouse Basin. And on the left, the River Lea is about to wend its very winding way down to the River. Where the Lea empties itself into the Thames is right near where I took these fish photos.
The reason I cross-reference all these photo-postings of mine is because the idea of these expeditions is not just to see amusing things in isolation, but in addition to that to build up the bigger picture in my mind of what that part of London, and in particular its waterways, is like. All these walks need to join up with each other, in reality and in my head. The latter I achieve by trawling back through my photo archives, by repeatedly meandering about in google maps, and by connecting up this blog posting with that one. And by going on more expeditions.
As related yesterday, yesterday’s walk was basically pretty boring. But by this I do not mean truly boring. I mean: boring, if I had not had a camera with me. But I did have a camera with me, and I kept a more than usually alert eye out for incidental photoable fun.
What had got me out and about in the first place was the hours of cloudless sky that were going to happen, and this lack of clouds enabled the sun, combined with all the bright shiny objects that abound in a city like London, to create some photoable fun with reflected light:
I don’t know exactly how that first effect was created. I was in too much of a hurry to get to the Limehouse Cut. The middle one is light bouncing off the water onto the underside of a bridge over the Limehouse Cut. And the third one is light bouncing off windows opposite.
Here, by contrast, is a picture of light going nowhere:
You see a lot of these things on the tops of canal boats, and this makes sense, more sense than it does having them on the tops of houses. The difference is that electricity on a boat comes with a cost not only in money but also in time and both. The time it takes to transfer the electricity into your electricity store. And the bother of finding one of the terminals you’ll be using, which is not so easy, especially if there is a queue. So any topping up of your electricity store that you can do automatically, without having to stop at a special terminal, is very welcome. Especially on a day like yesterday.
Today I had what I suspect may prove to be a once-in-a-lifetime experience. I say that because it was so boring that I may never do it again. I walked the length of the Limehouse Cut:
The thing about the Limehouse Cut is that it is dead straight, as purely man-made things so often are. So, when you are walking along next to it, you find yourself staring forwards at an infinitely receding, dead straight, unchanging canal-side path. The Limehouse Cut is dead straight, and hence dead boring.
Click on that dreary little map of the Limehouse Cut, above, and you will get the context, which shows also how most waterways in London look. Not straight. And that makes them much more amusing to walk next to. Usually, when walking beside a London waterway, there are constant twists and turns. New things regularly come into view. The whole atmosphere of the journey keeps changing. But when things straighten out, like they did today, it can get very repetitious.
Here are some pictures that make that point:
I have long noticed something similar when it comes to walking along roads. Long straight boulevards are an ordeal. Twisty and turny walks, with lots of visual variety and with obstacles in the way so you can’t see miles ahead, are, I find, much more appealing.
The point is variety. Anything that just keeps repeating itself is dull. Even if it is something you might think picturesque, like a waterway with lots of boats on it. But that gets dull also.
I was actually not surprised by this. I was expecting it. But, I was hoping against hope that there might be a good view in the distance, like the Shard maybe. Or that it wouldn’t be boring. Well, it wasn’t entirely boring. There were things to see that were surprising. Plus there was a park that I was able to visit. But basically, it was boring.
But the thing was, what if the Limehouse Cut was really exciting? I had to make quite sure that this was not so. So, there was a meaningful mission today, and it was accomplished. And it didn’t take that long.
It’s always sad when a bridge collapses, and there is a special poignancy about the recent collapse, in Malta, of this one:
That picture comes from the best report (courtesy the BBC) that I could find of this sad circumstance, the best because it had both a before and an after picture, of the bridge, and then of the same place, but without the bridge.
Malta’s famous Azure Window rock arch has collapsed into the sea after heavy storms.
Prime Minister Joseph Muscat said the news was “heartbreaking”.
The Azure Window rock arch didn’t collapse because the top of the arch failed. Rather did the pillar in the sea succumb to erosion.
Here’s wishing Durdle Door, Lulworth Cove, Dorsetshire …:
… happiness and long life.
This Dezeen story about robots doing construction work includes this very tasty image:
This is when google image searching does work. You type in “robot bridge” or some such word combo, click on images, and find the story immediately.
MX3D’s CTO Tim Geurtjens explains:
“We start with a piece of metal attached to the canal bank. The robots start from one side of the canal, they print their own support structure, so essentially it prints its own bridge. It stands on the floor of the bridge, 3D prints out more and keeps moving,” ...
There are many more pictures, including, which is how I found this linkage, this:
That second photo being, I’m pretty sure, the original unphotoshopped version of the photo in the first photo, above.
Very pretty. It would seem that the big difference between a regular structure and a 3D structure is that, with 3D printing, joining bits of metal to bits of metal is not a problem, because it’s all one bit, which means you can have as many joins as you like. And the other thing is that you can make everything the exact size it needs to be, and make it like a sculpture, rather than what we are used to in a structure, where all the bits tend to have unvarying shapes in section, if you get my meaning. Once they finally get their hands on this kit, the architects will go mad with it.
This story dates from a couple of years ago. But never mind, these things always take a long time to go from something that is about to explode, to actually exploding. And then when they do explode, it all happens in a completely different way to what had been envisaged.
Yesterday I told you about a photo I took on January 20th of this year. Earlier that day I had journeyed to Bromley-By-Bow tube station, then walked south along the River Lea, and ended my wanderings at Star Lane Station. It was a great day for photoing, and I especially enjoyed photoing this witty sculpture:
But who did it? This evening I realised that I seemed to recall Mick Hartley having something to say about this, and so it proved.
It’s by Abigail Fallis, and it is called DNA DL90. Well, I say that’s what it’s called. That’s what Abigail Fallis called it, but I bet nobody else calls it that. I bet what most people call it is more like: Shopping Trolley Spiral. I’m guessing further that Abigail Fallis regards her sculpture as some kind of critique of late capitalist consumerism. But such ArtGrumbling need not stop the rest of it thoroughly enjoying the thing, and also continuing to relish our trips to the supermarket, there to sample the delights of early capitalism. Because you see, Abigail, capitalism is just getting started.
Yes. I was right. Says Hartley:
It is, says Fallis, a symbol of modern society’s consumer culture, which has now become entwined in our genetic make-up. They can’t help themselves, can they, these artists?
The usual bitch about Artsists is that they are predictable, and indeed they are. But this was something else again. I literally predicted this, before I read it. How predictable is that? Very, very.
I took the photo with this marriage proposal in it in March of 2009, in Sheffield. All I thought I was photoing was a footbridge (I like footbridges) with graffiti on it. Did I even clock it was a marriage proposal? Maybe, but if so, I immediately forgot about it.
Click on that, and you actually get a different picture, which shows two footbridges rather than just the one, which means I prefer it. Two footbridges on top of each other is a bit strange.
Pictures are hard to google, or hard if you are me. Can you now say to Google: “Show me all the pictures you have like this one”? Maybe you can, but I can’t. But words I can do. And I just typed “clare middleton i love you …” (helpfully, the graffitist supplied a name) and google immediately got what I was on about, and, well, here‘s the story:
One spring day in 2001 a tall man walked into Sheffield’s Park Hill flats and along a street in the sky. He strode past the brutalist flanks, out on to the footbridge. He thought: this’ll do.
Jason didn’t look down; he gets vertigo and he was 13 storeys up. He leaned over in his yellow Puffa jacket and sprayed her name. “Clare” came out haphazardly and “Middleton” hit the ledge. He planned to take her to the Roxy on the facing hill, to show her. So now he began again, bigger, clearer: “I LOVE YOU WILL U MARRY ME”. It was his two-fingers-up at the social services office opposite. He scarpered. Seeing it, Grenville, one of the estate’s caretakers, said to the on-site office: “How are we going to get that off?”
They didn’t. The graffiti stayed, high above the city, while the city argued about what to do with the flats. Park Hill, the concrete estate behind the railway station, had become notorious. The city projected abandonment on to Park Hill, so the graffiti started to look like love yelling at the top of its voice in an estate thought to be desolate.
Soon it was also looking like PR. ...
It wasn’t a happy story, ever, and it had no happy ending.
Park Hill, Sheffield, is one of those famous bits of architecture that the architects go on and on about, but which the public hated, until such time as this public said to knock it all down, at which point it became clear that a different part of the public had grown quite fond of the thing.
One of the architects of Park Hill was a man called Ivor Smith, in whose office I worked, briefly, when I was trying to be an architect. He was personally a hugely likeable man, with a delightful family who put up with me when I was at maximum unputupwithability. But, his politics did not appeal to me, and those Park Hill buildings were all part of that.
To Tottenham (1): A fine day (especially for scaffolding)
London Bridge lit up (in 2006)
The underneath of Tower Bridge
Lighting up the bridges of London
The Dome and Tower Bridge aligned
Strand Palace Hotel footbridge
Glass bridge in China closes thirteen days after opening
M20 bridge destroyed by passing digger
World’s tallest and longest glass bridge opens in China
Bridge in Germany with houses on it
Another place to photo London’s Big Things from
Millenium Bridge with boats
Asian wedding photoshoot
Did the ghostly Blackfriars Bridge columns make the new station more buildable?
The hottest day of the year (4): An antique view from Waterloo
Photoers photoing the views from the Tate Modern Extension
Views from the new Tate Modern Extension
A Docklands footbridge about to be put in its place
A great new bridge in Iran
Seven London bridges (again)
More South of France bridges
A bridge in Narbonne
The footbridges of Shad
Regent’s Canal creatures (and a photographer)
Cat and cubs
Footbridges in the sky
Two bits for Samizdata and a weird bridge in Poole
Bike fishing in Amsterdam
Twelve 2015 photos
Fantasy Vauxhall Bridge with lots of glass
Four towers joined together by two bridges
A viadukt and a tunnel
Painting the bridges of Richmond
View of the footbridge - view from the footbridge
Photoing down by the river
iPhone with added fish eye lens
Cranes and a bridge (but not in a good way)
Golden Cheesegrater with cranes
Photographers by the river
Tomorrow I will get out less
Old London by the Buck Brothers
Shard - Guys - Tate Modern - Blackfriars Bridge - photoed during Magic Hour
Hungerford Footbridges photographers
London is getting more colourful
The receiving station at Swains Lane (and the previous version of it)
The view from Suicide Bridge
Shadow photography (again)
Golden Gate being built – Severn Road Bridge ditto – C20 photography – Hitler’s paintings
Some photographers last November
Christmas Day photos
To Covent Garden (1): The twisty footbridge
In the City with Gus
Tower Bridge glass shattered by beer bottle
Looking down through the see-through Tower Bridge walkway – but what about looking up through it?
Recently on dezeen
My week in Brittany 2: A crane holding a bridge at Canning Town!
Smaller Old Thing in front of Big New Things
ASI Boat Trip 8: Bridges
ASI Boat Trip 5: Individuals
New London bridge competition
Tower Bridge before it got covered in stone
The Dragon Bridge of Da Nang
I don’t know which building this is but it sure looks fine in the sunset
Two skyscrapers joined by a bridge that is a swimming pool
Jiaozhou Bay Bridge (aka Spaghetti Junction on Sea)
Lego bridge in Germany
Under Blackfriars Bridge
“In order to comply with Google’s regulations …”
Vladivostock from above
Seven London bridges from the ME Hotel Radio Bar
Confirmation that map use has seriously declined
How big should these squares be?
Mark Steyn on Obama’s Hoover Dam and me on paywalls
Michael Jennings photos the bridges of Porto
Crows nest made of coat hangers
Relocating the Porto bridge
Proposed new footbridges for London and for Changsha
I need to photo this again
Edwin is a bad person
The Walkie Talkie and its surroundings
Baltimore: cranes - a bridge - scaffolding
Bridges for animals
New apostrophe-shaped footbridge in Hull
More March 5th photographers (and more spaces between pictures)
Remembering a warmer day
Wandering about afterwards
Four crane photos
Tower Bridge with railway clutter in the foreground
London bridge photos
Viaduct from above
Chelsea Bridge under wraps
The Royal Victoria Dock is not (but looks like) a transporter bridge
A favourite Sunday snap
On the superfluity of the Paddington Basin rolling bridge
The graffiti says he won’t get his keys back
Strange footbridge over brick wall
New bridge in Melbourne
A Spanish high speed train bridge and a Spanish aqueduct
More bridge magic
The Wheel seen through Hungerford Bridge
Bay Bridge plus a new bridge next to it
I do love a steam train on a viaduct
Cats and bridges on Pixdaus
One man’s intellectual theft is another man’s marketing
Rubbish bridge in Shangai
Two bridges in Portugal
Luxembourg church in hill and Luxembourg footbridge
Sailing photos – and another bridge for the collection
Seto Ohashi Bridge
A thin bridge in Wales
Profundity and silliness
Another great viaduct
Craziness done with austerity
Floppy road bridge where the cars nearly get wet
Switching from dumb bombing to smart bombing
The original Burtynsky Nanpu bridge picture
Nanpu Bridge in Quimper
Flickring and Googling for the AMGEN bridge
Billion Monkey seen through the Millenium Bridge!
Malaysian footbridge for everyone except … gephyrophobiacs?
Politics again …
The Messina Suspension Bridge is on again
San Francisco from Sausalito
Outstanding and numerous aerial photos of St Petersburg
The moving bridges of Chicago
I love the internet
Flat viaduct and spiral bridge
Gherkin with men in front
Another target rich environment
Bristol footbridge photo
A Real Photographer comments
The goat menace
Millau Viaduct with goats
Thin Canadian bridge
“Don’t burn your bridges before they’re hatched …”
The bridge that was going to make Westminster a fine city and London a desert
At the dogs
Bridge over bright water
Sunset with bike
Assorted London quota photos
Shadow and light near Tower Bridge
Footbridge in the dark and cricket
Amazing map of amazing new Moscow bridge
New Moscow road bridge
New footbridge in Edinburgh
Me on a bridge by Goddaughter One
The Nanpu bridge approaches
Other people’s photos (6): More bridges
Other people’s photos (5): Red balloons on a monochrome bridge in Paris
London photos by Fabio
By the rivers and canals of East London with Goddaughter One
Pictures of and from Albert Bridge
The Hungerford footbridges