Ten days to go. At one point it was 2578, and now it's ten. Hardly seems possible, to be honest. So I've been for another walk around the Olympic Park, this time slightly further out because several closer paths have now been sealed off. And a lot's changed, as preparations for London 2012 hype up for the endgame. Let's go round again.
Around the Olympic Park a) Bow Roundabout to Eton Manor 20 photographs here; map here
• Bow Roundabout: There have been no urgent updates to the cyclist or pedestrian facilities here in the last fortnight, but we do now have some pretty flowerbeds. Two sculptures which say "BOW" in big metal letters have recently been joined by long stone trench-shaped planters filled with earth. There are some red and pink flowers in them too, though they're a bit underwhelming at present and nothing that'll wow Olympic visitors over the next few weeks. At present the irrigation pipes look a bit unnecessary, but I'm sure their moment will come. All credit to the High Street 2012 team for brightening up the space under the flyover, and to whoever suggested the sculpture idea in the first place, well done.
• Bow West: A lot of people are coming to the Games by private vehicle, hence the need for screening areas dotted all around the perimeter of the Olympic Park. The latest is adjacent to the Old Ford junction on the A12, squeezed into an ex-semi-industrial site, allowing very important people access to the Park without having to join the queue driving up Stratford High Street. Workers were out adding the finishing touches to a magenta gateway at the weekend. And, best of all, there are now traffic lights on the overbridge, which makes walking or cycling along Wick Lane suddenly hugely safer.
• The White Building: The area around Hackney Wick station is rammed with former warehouses that are now artists' studios, fantastically so, and now there's a new kid in town. The White Building opened on Saturday at the top of White Post Lane, allegedly a "new cultural venue focusing on innovation and creative practice at the intersection of art, technology and sustainability". The reality's not quite so cringeworthy. It's a white building, obviously, created in a derelict print works and funded by the London Legacy Development Corporation. The plan is for a combined studios and event space, plus a food and drink option to bring the punters in. A craft brewery with bar and pizzeria have taken the ground floor space, with tables along the riverbank for the quaffing of fine ale. Pizzas are £8-10 and look suitably artisan, if you're the youthful, trendy, beardy, hipster type. It all feels atypical for Hackney Wick and yet somehow ideal, as if the heart of Shoreditch just shifted three miles east.
• Open Our Towpath: E9's protesting cyclists organised another demonstration on Sunday. They cycled down the open section of the Lea towpath from the Lea Bridge Road, then politely harangued the quite frankly excessive security presence outside the Main Press Centre. That's the usual G4S security posse in their bivouac, a drafted-in vanful of Metropolitan Police and a miniboat with waterborne hi-vis officials. No soldiers for a change, although they were much in evidence at park entrances further along the Eastway. As the days tick by, the argument that the towpath should be reopened gets increasingly harder to win. But that won't stop them trying, so expect another demo next Sunday.