Monday, June 29, 2009

[The Life of Shaun #351] Dinner?

Hey all,
 
Having a great time in New York - though having trouble sleeping past 7:00, even in hangover mode.
 
I head to Miami on Friday, so Thursday night I am going to have a casual dinner at Pongsri Thai.  Nothing fancy, but somewhere I quite loved when I lived here.  If any of you New Yorkers would like to join me, please let me know so I can make a reservation.
 
All right, onto today's excitements - first up?  Cowgirl Hall of Fame - yeehaw!
 
Cheers,
Shaun

Shaun H. Coley
Shadwell, Tower Hamlets
London, UK

http://www.nocirc.org
http://shaunism.blogspot.com

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Saturday, June 27, 2009

[The Life of Shaun #350] Safe in NYC!

Hey all,
 
Made it safely to NYC - so glad to be back!
 
All those of you who I am supposed to see, text me at 917-501-1638 so I can add you to my US phone.
 
Cheers,
Shaun

Shaun H. Coley
Shadwell, Tower Hamlets
London, UK

http://www.nocirc.org
http://shaunism.blogspot.com

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Friday, June 26, 2009

[The Life of Shaun #349] A cruel mistress

London can be a hard bitch, but this is a little rich:




In other news, I am off to New York tomorrow - HOORAH! It's been 18 months since I was there and I need the recharge; I am not sure how I let that happen. It's going to be a whirlwind and I've already realised I haven't scheduled enough time there. <sigh>

From there it's on to Miami to see las familias and then a closing weekend in Atlanta, where my friend Mike McGirr is currently terrorising The Southerners, bless him. I've never been before, so am actually keen about the visit.

OK, time to pack.

Cheers,
Shaun
917-501-1638 <-- for you East Coast folks I'll be-a-seein'

Shaun H. Coley
Shadwell, Tower Hamlets
London, UK

http://www.nocirc.org
http://shaunism.blogspot.com

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Monday, June 15, 2009

[The Life of Shaun #347] Pre-pride drinks

Hey all,

As you know I am heading to New York a week on Saturday. With seven years of history to revisit, busy Pride schedules and the realities of New York minus the N-E-Y for most of you, I am teaming up with my cute Quebecois friend, Gaël, for a collective pre-pride cocktail session. I know many of you are going to have full schedules that weekend, so it's perfectly acceptable to pop in for one or two on your way elsewhere. I just wanted to set something up where I will be in one place for a while so I can see those of you I might not get to in the work week.

So, the details:

Where: Stonewall (well, where else for the 40th anniversary of the Stonewall riots?!)
When: Saturday 27 June, 8-10ish pm

Hope to see you there! (Hoorah! Less than two weeks!!!)

Cheers,
Shaun
Shaun H. Coley
Shadwell, Tower Hamlets
London, UK

http://www.nocirc.org
http://shaunism.blogspot.com

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Sunday, June 14, 2009

[The Life of Shaun #345] A Brutal Day

Most of you know I am fascinated with ugly architecture. It always astonished me the it was possible that anyone ever thought it was a good idea to build these buildings, often placed in the most wildly inappropriate settings. Over time, this astonishment morphed into fascination, and in Berlin, the fascination turned into love.

The style that is the most egregious and delights me is called Brutalist. London, indeed, the UK, excels at it; I don't think you'll find more raw concrete anywhere West of the Iron Curtain.

This Saturday afternoon, I decided to indulge my fetish a bit and take a look at the Robin Hood Gardens estate. It's due to be torn down soon after recently losing a petition to become a listed, and thereby protected, building, so I wanted to see it while I still could. Fortuitously, just up the road from RHG is Balfron Tower, another shining example. Attached are a few pics from my day out in Blackwall, East London.

Cheers,
Shaun

Full album: http://www.facebook.com/album.php?aid=132322&id=713081334&l=ffd1398e3f

01. DSC00004 - Robin Hood Gardens in the foreground, Balfron Tower behind. From Wikipedia:

Robin Hood Gardens is a council housing complex in Poplar, London designed in the late 1960s by architects Alison and Peter Smithson and completed in 1972. It was intended as an example of the 'streets in the sky' concept: social housing characterised by broad aerial walkways in long concrete blocks, much like the Park Hill estate in Sheffield; it was both informed by, and a reaction against, Le Corbusier's Unité d'Habitation.

The estate covers about two hectares and consists of two long blocks, one of ten storeys, the other of seven, built from precast concrete slabs and containing 213 flats, surrounding a landscaped green area and a small hill made from construction spoil. The flats themselves are a mixture of single-storey apartments and two-storey maisonettes, with wide balconies (the 'streets') on every third floor. The complex is located near Blackwall DLR station. It is within sight of the nearby Balfron Tower; both are highly visible examples of Brutalist architecture.


02. DSC00009 - One of the two buildings on the estate; DSC00017 later taken from the top stairwell (where the angled blue metal latticework is) later


03. DSC00011 - The charming wall around the complex


04. DSC00015 - The fetching "street in the sky"


05. DSC00017 - A view across the courtyard to the other building from the stairwell.


06. DSC00035 - What's where in East London


07. DSC00038 - Balfron Tower


08. DSC00039 - This shows you the "streets in the sky" concept in action; the 'tower' in the middle is the lift shaft you take up, then you cross over to the buildings, so you can see there's a walkway only every third floor


09. DSC00046 - I happened upon Chrisp Street Market nearby


10. DSC00061 - Thames Barrier is a large flood control structure on the River Thames, constructed between 1974 and 1982 at Woolwich Reach, and first used defensively in 1983.[1] It is the world's second largest movable flood barrier (the largest is the Maeslantkering in The Netherlands).

Located downstream of central London, the barrier's purpose is to prevent London from being flooded by an exceptionally high tide moving up from the sea, often exacerbated by a storm surge. It only needs to be raised for the duration of the high tide; at ebb tide it can be lowered to release upstream water that backs up behind it. On the northern bank it lies in the area of Silvertown in the London Borough of Newham. On the southern bank it lies in the New Charlton area of Charlton in the London Borough of Greenwich.


11. DSC00065 - Millennium Dome, er, sorry, the "O2 Centre"

Shaun H. Coley
Shadwell, Tower Hamlets
London, UK

http://www.nocirc.org
http://shaunism.blogspot.com

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Wednesday, June 03, 2009

[The Life of Shaun #344] My corner of London

Just a few pics from the past couple weeks:


A rainbow to South London, viewed from my bedroom


My local bus stop sign


A view of Whitechapel, Shadwell and Canary Wharf from Tower 42


The same photo, but with some details added. My building looks to have afunny shape in the outline because I the white tower (one of Shadwell's three towers, the third being the yellowish brick one to the left of the white one) blocks part of it out

(If you look at this pic I posted of the view from my flat, Tower 42 (né NatWest Tower) is just to the right of the Gherkin.)

Looking at these pics, you can definitely see how East London is a whole different city from the leafy, bucolic, green West London that Visit Britain sells to Midwestern tourists to lure them into visiting. It's definitely urban, gritty and edgy; I love it out East.

Cheers,
Shaun

Shaun H. Coley
Shadwell, Tower Hamlets
London, UK

http://www.nocirc.org
http://shaunism.blogspot.com


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