diamond geezer

 Saturday, May 15, 2010

StadiumWatch HA9: The last stragglers have arrived, the turnstile queues have passed through, and Wembley's exterior at last falls silent. The only fans out here on the podium are the unlucky, the curious and the ticket-free. They had their chance, from the anonymous touts mingling with the crowds before kick-off. Now even they have faded away, leaving the off bunch of gossiping policemen and an army of litterpickers in bright pink jackets. There's much to pick up - empty cans, discarded flyers, trodden-on chips. Below the arch, on the other side of the arena's curving glass, the Cup Final is underway. The steady roar rises in energetic peaks. A cheer, a chant, a sudden yell of mass shared ecstasy. Not quite enough screams for a goal yet, I think. But it's impossible to follow the match from the empty perimeter decks, nor do any of the few lost souls out here seem to care. Until the final whistle blows, Wembley is at peace.
posted 15:30

StadiumWatch N5: The transformation from football to flats is almost complete. At first glance, Arsenal's old stadium on Avenall Road looks much as before. A bold white fa├žade, with 'East Stand' written in Art Deco red across the front. But look closer, behind each scarlet-edged window, to spy one shoebox-sized apartment. Look, there's a bloke ironing, there's a wicker chair and lampshade, and there's a box of cereal in a tiny kitchen. The black doors at the front entrance open only to residents - the concierge sees to that. As for the North Stand that's long gone, replaced by bland glass galleries stacked to arena-height. The pitch survives relatively unscathed at the centre of the development, although dressed with tall geometric hedges and dubious bubbling water tanks. Newly installed owner-occupiers cross the hallowed turf, then nip along the Highbury touchline to buzz themselves out through the security gates. Where championships were won, now the suited lady from the Marketing Suite can offer you two bedrooms and a fitted shower. I'll pass, thanks. [photo]
posted 13:00

StadiumWatch E15: Early Saturday morning, and the Olympic Park building site is already a hive of activity. A parade of lorries rumbles along the western ring road, interspersed with bendy buses taking folk to work. The stadium stands tall, its spiky white crown glinting in the sunlight. Between every lighting tower a thin metal staircase launches into the air above the grandstand to allow easy access to something unseen above the arena. Through a gap in the exterior, fluorescent men can be seen scuttling along seatless terraces. Outside, orange diggers are piling up earth to form new level surfaces, perched precariously on top of their freshly-scooped plateaus. Even three years on from the start of demolition, the contours of the landscape continue to be transformed. Up on the Greenway, with the yellowbox cafe not yet open for the day, every view of the stadium is obscured. Not just along the razorfence bridge, but now temporary metal barriers block the View Tube's infant shrubberies. Don't get too close, the stadium's unspoken message, I'm not ready to welcome the public just yet. [photo]


<< click for Newer posts

click for Older Posts >>


click to return to the main page


...or read more in my monthly archives
Jan17  Feb17  Mar17  Apr17  May17  Jun17  Jul17  Aug17  Sep17
Jan16  Feb16  Mar16  Apr16  May16  Jun16  Jul16  Aug16  Sep16  Oct16  Nov16  Dec16
Jan15  Feb15  Mar15  Apr15  May15  Jun15  Jul15  Aug15  Sep15  Oct15  Nov15  Dec15
Jan14  Feb14  Mar14  Apr14  May14  Jun14  Jul14  Aug14  Sep14  Oct14  Nov14  Dec14
Jan13  Feb13  Mar13  Apr13  May13  Jun13  Jul13  Aug13  Sep13  Oct13  Nov13  Dec13
Jan12  Feb12  Mar12  Apr12  May12  Jun12  Jul12  Aug12  Sep12  Oct12  Nov12  Dec12
Jan11  Feb11  Mar11  Apr11  May11  Jun11  Jul11  Aug11  Sep11  Oct11  Nov11  Dec11
Jan10  Feb10  Mar10  Apr10  May10  Jun10  Jul10  Aug10  Sep10  Oct10  Nov10  Dec10 
Jan09  Feb09  Mar09  Apr09  May09  Jun09  Jul09  Aug09  Sep09  Oct09  Nov09  Dec09
Jan08  Feb08  Mar08  Apr08  May08  Jun08  Jul08  Aug08  Sep08  Oct08  Nov08  Dec08
Jan07  Feb07  Mar07  Apr07  May07  Jun07  Jul07  Aug07  Sep07  Oct07  Nov07  Dec07
Jan06  Feb06  Mar06  Apr06  May06  Jun06  Jul06  Aug06  Sep06  Oct06  Nov06  Dec06
Jan05  Feb05  Mar05  Apr05  May05  Jun05  Jul05  Aug05  Sep05  Oct05  Nov05  Dec05
Jan04  Feb04  Mar04  Apr04  May04  Jun04  Jul04  Aug04  Sep04  Oct04  Nov04  Dec04
Jan03  Feb03  Mar03  Apr03  May03  Jun03  Jul03  Aug03  Sep03  Oct03  Nov03  Dec03
 Jan02  Feb02  Mar02  Apr02  May02  Jun02  Jul02 Aug02  Sep02  Oct02  Nov02  Dec02 

eXTReMe Tracker
jack of diamonds
Life viewed from London E3

» email me
» follow me on twitter
» follow the blog on Twitter
» follow the blog on RSS

my flickr photostream