Visually, my favourite map is definitely the one entitled "Social and Functional Analysis", which has a beautiful cellular structure:
But lest I get too involved with the aesthetics or content of any one particular map, or the print quality of the book, or the sheer Londonness of the thing, there's also the "Fetish Map of London", whose description warns:
[Chris] Kenny draws attention to the way that maps can become fetishised objects, by creating links between Kongo fetish figures—with their nailed in 'pledges' or 'commitments'—and the pins in a wall map. His map of London is covered in such pins, tacks and nails to the point of rendering it almost unitelligible.
Normally that reference would be enough to keep me quiet, except I'm delighted to find that I'm mentioned in the book, on page 137 for my Travel Time Tube Map. Sadly the link is a little muddled (pointing people to del.icio.us instead of here) but I hope that can be corrected in future editions.
That aside, the book is of a very high quality and full of historical and contemporary mapping gems from all kinds of sources, including many that I can't find anywhere online (who says print is dead?). I've taken a few snaps of my favourites so you can get an idea of what's in store if you buy a copy, and I can definitely recommend that you do.
I'd been saving this title for a potential Pecha Kucha presentation, covering 20 different maps of London, but it doesn't look like happening any time soon. Meanwhile, maps of London are on my mind: watch this space for some new ones coming soon!
(I started posting to Flickr again, after almost a year without photos. Lots of these shots are thanks to Ben's magic powers, the convertible dérive.)
One or two dinners and brunches at Suppenkuche:
One or two games of Settlers of Catan:
One or two nouns too many:
Artists messing with tissue cultures:
The canals of Venice, Los Angeles:
Downtown Los Angeles, from afar:
A Korean Temple on a coastal hilltop:
The port that sustains the sprawl:
And the cranes that keep it moving:
Meanwhile, I learned a language that nobody knows:
But not the one that this city prefers:
Reflections on their reflections:
Bill Clinton has a library:
The Northern Irish peace process has a chess set:
Hillary wanted to be a nuclear scientist:
Bill wanted to be a cowboy:
People have a very different attitude to animals than I do (part I):
People have a very different attitude to animals than I do (part II):
San Francisco has secret pockets...
... full of junk:
But fog! And palm trees!
I have seen a Hitler teapot:
Having palm trees outside the studio still stuns me:
As does the radical change in building style, one hour away:
I have seen the Bay Bridge from a funny angle (part I):
I have seen the Bay Bridge from a funny angle (part II):
That fog again, a curious accent:
A curious contrast:
And in between colours:
Now live music is rare:
The transport is suprisingly European:
Meanwhile, brief returns to London take me straight in at the top:
Barclays have launched a combined credit, Oyster and cash payment card for travellers in London (a textbook Greenfield device if ever I saw one). At the moment there are ads for it all over the tube featuring a variety of mocked-up Minority Report-style futurescapes based on present day London. Thanks to Flickr I found that Ned Richards grabbed a couple of snaps of them; he's definitely right that the golf courses aren't as exciting as roller-coasters.
I love this kind of imagery, but my last year of travel has pretty much convinced me that you don't need to mock them up. I haven't been any of the cities that get the most attention for their present day sci-fi realities (Tokyo, Dubai, Shanghai or Singapore), but there are pockets of unevenly distributed future all over the place. Here's a picture I took last week from London's Docklands Light Railway:
And one of the same part of London from the 23rd floor of One Churchill Place:
(apparently it was one of the first skyscrapers to be completed after 9/11 and therefore one with a tough attitude towards security and structure stability, which is good because just over to the right of this photo is London City Airport's runway)
I started thinking about the future-now of Western cities in May when XTech in Paris placed us in a hotel overlooking a tried-and-failed Modernist complex near the Eiffel tower. References to Alphaville were inevitable, the French origins of Parkour were entirely explained.
I'm not the only one taking these snaps though, my friend Adam took this one in Chicago recently. As if the city-scape there isn't sci-fi enough, his phone camera was kind enough to accidentally filtr it into concept territory, just so:
Welcome to the future.
This is what it looks like when I'm doing the washing up., originally uploaded by Just_Tom.
This marks the end of my third week in San Francisco. No news is good news - it's all going swimmingly.
I'll be in Dallas from Tuesday for two weeks, not sure how well my internet connectivity will fare, but I hope to post a little bit about my first month in the US. In the meantime, "happy holidays" and all that.
Mikel Maron is writing up the fascinating things he's found out about a friend's new place in Weaver House in London's east end (see also parts 2, 3, 4 and 5). We were there on Thursday and it truly is a bizarre spot for a building. Today someone found my photo of it on Flickr, and it turns out he used to live there.
I love it when old bits of London are revealed temporarily. Like this poster at High Street Kensington a few weeks ago.
It may as well say, "Hot blonde in short skirt wanted, for typing and stuff." Any idea of the date?
Putting aside the issues about watching repeats of televised events like X Factor (and putting aside issues about watching X Factor at all thank you very much), I'm always amused by the after-thought of "DON'T PHONE, YOU'RE TOO LATE" banners.
I like these ones because they alternate between Simon, Louie and Sharon. I'm not sure who I'm most inclined to listen to, but if Simon Says don't call, then...
I'm back from the U.S.
What a trip - it's taking me a little while to adjust back to London life though. Not just the jetlag, but also the fact that I moved house just before I left and I'm still living out of boxes and bags until I get furniture organised. Once broadband is up and running I'll try and flesh out my thoughts on Chicago, New York, Boston and the U.S. in general.
I'm about halfway through uploading my photos from my trip to the USA, and about a quarter of the way through titling and tagging them.
If I didn't mention it before, our time on the Pacific Coast Highway was a particularly misty one. Enjoy.