Thursday, 5 August 2010
BoJo's bike idea
They're here in town, whether standing in their serried ranks of Barclay's blue or wobbling under the weight of a novice. I saw my first one (novice, that is) in Kensington Gardens yesterday - uncertain but very jolly as I passed and welcomed her to the joys of London biking. And I spied the first stable on Saturday as I cycled on my own bike to the Sondheim Prom, so I snapped them.
Who knows, I might even use the scheme myself if there are occasions when I want to cycle to a venue and not back again. It's not exactly cheap. But fundamentally it's something we salute curate's-egg Mayor of London Boris Johnson for introducing.
Much more ambivalent about his abolition of the peace camp which showed its rainbow colours outside the seat of power for several months and even grew a thing or two in Parliament Square.
It was an uneasy realpolitik coalition of anti-war protesters, rightfully (in my view) wrathful objectors to treatment of immigrants, and a few disaffected anti-everythingers who got very drunk and abusive and spoilt it for everybody else.
As I ambled around a few weeks back, I didn't exactly feel comfortable (and my snapping wasn't what they objected to, as no-one noticed). But believe me, one protest I will be joining is the one when the Pope comes here in September. And I salute our American friends on the overturning of California's Proposition 8 opposed to gay marriage, something to celebrate and the first item on the BBC World Service news this morning.
Finally, another bright idea which I like but don't quite love as I did the first of the Serpentine Pavilions by Toyo Ito, nor believe quite works as daring architecture as did Frank Gehry's departure from the norm two years ago. This is Jean Nouvel's red devil.
I liked the table-tennis tables outside, and the different seating zones, though the cafe staff were in chaos when I visited, and J said that there was a fundraiser chugging* visitors for money, which he thought was a bit of a swiz when you're already paying inflated prices by patronising the cafe. And if you're going to offer something no(u)vel and beautiful to the public, do it with a good grace.