Shops, Flags and the BBC: Regent Street in September, a set on Flickr.
Back in December, I promised to publish five photo sets from the 1,700 photos from September that I hadn’t had the time to make available at that time (out of the 7,300 photos of London that I have taken since last July, which are still unpublished — compared to the 1,500 I have already made available). I published three sets, Blue Skies and Golden Light: The River Thames in September, Top of the World: Nunhead Allotments, and the View from the Hill-Top Reservoir and Memories of Summer: Photos of the Thames Festival on London’s South Bank, and then it was Christmas and New Year, and I wanted to post some seasonal photos, and then, in swift succession, I travelled to the US to campaign for the closure of Guantánamo on the 11th anniversary of its opening, and returned home to a rare snowy interlude, followed by a massive protest to save Lewisham Hospital from being butchered by the government and the management of the NHS, and a visit to Brighton for another Guantánamo event. I have also just begun to post photos from New York, taken as part of my US trip.
Consequently, the publication of the fourth of those five sets from September has been delayed — until now. Dating from September 10, this set records a journey I made down Regent Street from Broadcasting House, the BBC’s headquarters in Portland Place, after I was asked to be a guest of the BBC World Service, on the “Newshour” programme with Robin Lustig, to discuss the plans for the handover of Bagram prison in Afghanistan from US to Afghan control. Read the rest of this entry »
Back Streets and Shop Fronts: Photos of Soho, a set on Flickr.
This is my second set of photos of Soho (following my first set here), taken on September 7, 2012 (a very sunny Friday) as part of my ongoing project to photograph the whole of London by bike. The 24 photos in this set are also the 47th set of London photos that I have so far uploaded, in a project that continues to grow beyond my capacity to make it all publicly available.
Just to give you an insight into how the project has grown, I have another 200 sets of photos to post, containing 4,300 photos in total, from nearly 70 separate journeys to points north, south, east and west. These were taken over the last three months, so please bear with me if there’s a part of London you’re hoping to see. I’ve covered a lot of ground in the last three months, and discovered some wonderful places, as well as some unnerving developments, and although vast swathes of the city are still untouched by my wheels and as yet unphotographed with my trusty Canon Ixus — especially in the west — I aim to remedy that in the months to come. Read the rest of this entry »
Soho: Berwick Street and Around, a set on Flickr.
I can’t imagine London without Soho, which, as the jazz and blues singer George Melly explained, was the only interesting place in the whole country in the 1950s. I first visited Soho in 1976, as a teenager, on a trip to London with my mum. We were staying, somehow, in a big hotel on the edge of Soho by Piccadilly Circus, and when I wasn’t going up and down in the lifts, pretending to be working there, I wandered off in search of Marvel comics, somehow discovering Dark They Were, and Golden-Eyed, an extraordinary shop in a basement on St. Anne’s Court, off Wardour Street, which was apparently the biggest science fiction bookshop and comic store in Europe at the time, where I obviously thought I had stumbled onto the closest thing to heaven, and spent as much time as possible browsing and stocking up on favourite comics — a list that, at the time, included Steve Gerber‘s the Defenders and Howard the Duck, the X-Men, Spider-Man, the Fantastic Four and Daredevil.
Dark They Were closed in 1981, sadly, but by then Forbidden Planet, originally based in Denmark Street, took over, by which time I had also visited London on a few occasions in a completely unsupervised manner, once staying with friends of a friend’s parents in a flat in a mews in Mayfair, of all places, when we spent an entire long weekend in the arthouse cinemas that proliferated in Soho at the time, and, if the tunes in my head are anything to go by, also listening to Motown Chartbusters Volume 3. We watched 17 films in five days, if my memory doesn’t deceive me — Easy Rider, Gimme Shelter, probably some Antonioni … Read the rest of this entry »
Retail Frenzy: Oxford Street on a Saturday, a set on Flickr.
As part of my project to photograph the whole of London by bike, which I began in May — and which I still don’t have an official title for, or any funding — I have been making almost daily bike trips around London, accumulating several thousand photos that I haven’t yet been able to post, in addition to those already published on Flickr. I intend to post a set a day for the foreseeable future.
Initially I started cycling around with a camera to get fit, and to devote time to photography, a love of mine that has been overshadowed for the last six years by my dedication to exposing the US crimes at Guantánamo and elsewhere in the “war on terror,” but I soon became enthralled by my city, the one that I have lived in for 27 years, but which, it turned out, was quite unknown to me, beyond familiar areas. Cycling is a perfect way of getting to know a place, and since May I have covered extensive sections of south east London, and also ventured into north and east London, south west London, the West End and the City. Read the rest of this entry »
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