diamond geezer

 Sunday, November 30, 2008

 the capital fanzine
 online edition 3 - November 2008

Welcome to London's essential online newsletter! londonerama is the number 1 internet mag for Europe's number 1 city. We have all the news, all the goss and all the up-front info. Well, some of it anyway. Read on...

Badly's Drawn Boy's Deface ValueMetal monsters, deviant art, scrapyard sculptures and a 3 ton dog - not the sort of thing you'd normally see at the straight-laced Tate. But this exhibition's a completely different affair, running every Fri/Sat/Sun up to Christmas on the eastern fringes of the City. The venue is Cordy House, a 6-storey warehouse turned events venue (in Shoreditch, where else?) with a perfect industrial vibe for alternative art installations. The event's curated by Mutoid Waste and brings together "inspiration, evolution, energy ART and LOVE". Tracey Emin was round on Thursday defacing a Phil Collins album cover, and you can see various celebrities' scribbled results upstairs. I'm not convinced that David Cameron quite got the hang of what was expected of him. I also enjoyed Giles Walker's mechanical robot dancefloor, but didn't stay to endure the wheelchair delights of the You Me Bum Bum Train. Definitely leftfield, convincingly heartfelt, well worth a prowl.
Event blog here, Flickr set here.

It's the same all across the capital. New housing developments are infilling gaps and green spaces everywhere, building unwanted flats for non-existent tenants. Andrew's alerted me to one such proposed development in Forest Hill where 76 apartments are destined to be shoehorned onto a patch of secluded woodland behind Honor Oak Road. Local residents are aghast that these supposed "eco-friendly" homes will be anything but, and are campaigning hard using a classic biodiversity defence. I know that Andrew, and the local stag beetles, would be most grateful for your support.
Read & see more here. Newspaper story here. Sign the petition here.
National Geographic Store (stairwell abstract)America's big yellow travel magazine, National Geographic, has opened its first ever major retail outpost in Regent Street. It's a flagship store (for which read "big"), and takes up several degrees of the curved end near Piccadilly Circus.

From outside you'd be mistaken for thinking that the glazed frontage concealed a leafy restaurant or maybe an art gallery, and you'd be sort of right. But venture inside and you'll spot a fair amount of ethnic merchandise liberally scattered amongst the three-storey marketplace. Candles and baskets and trinketty boxes abound, along with more useful travel stuff for the discerning middle class nomad. There are Gore-tex jackets galore in the basement, along with other posh clothing overseen by sales assistants in neat khaki uniforms. Upstairs you can grab a map of Everest Base Camp, or buy a dead expensive pair of shady eyewear, or book yourself a landrover safari to somewhere distant and dusty. It's definitely not Milletts, and it's not quite a Brit-angled store either. Oh, and look carefully by the door and you might even find some back copies of the magazine that started it all. Just don't expect to see any of the other shoppers flicking through them.
Unimpressive website here.

Severndroog CastleHidden amidst the trees on Shooters Hill is a three-cornered brick tower, erected in 1784 in honour of a reformed pirate. It used to be open to the public, with a tearoom inside, but closed in the late 80s and has been crumbling ever since. Now the Heritage Lottery Fund has come to Severndroog's rescue with a quarter of a million pound grant, and volunteers will finally be able to complete their preservation work. Eventually it's hoped that this folly will be open four days a week, not just one weekend a year, and then everyone can enjoy the great views from the roof again.
Severndroog website here.

Nerdy London bus map mashup: onabus
Plots any London bus route on a Google map
(via Time Out's Big Smoke blog)
dg 2008)

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