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Thread: London streetlife, sex district and a hat

  1. #1

    Default London streetlife, sex district and a hat

    Thanx to imageshack.us

    Hi, this thread was originally posted on skyscrapercity during the heatwave of 2003:

    This is the London not so apparent from the usual picture postcards and surprisingly rarely photographed- the streetlife, the people, the human stories away from the visitor beaten paths, the real city away from the usual tourist wonders and blunders. Here are a handful of curio places not usually on the itinerary; my pics from a few random trips last July:
    - so no Canary Wharf/ City skyscraper pics, no palaces or cathedrals, horseguards or red phoneboxes, but enjoy anyway, hope you like them
    summer in the city:
    everywhere you look you catch those 'London moments':





    an alleyway kiss (didn't notice them till after)







    weirdly empty street


    symmetry


    more people who need to get a room:
    Last edited by zupermaus; June 20th, 2006 at 12:39 PM.

  2. #2

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    first off, Soho, the sex district also doubling as the gay/media/restaurant district with Chinatown on the side, bars, restaurants, cafes, theatres and clubs - over a million people pass through this district each night:














    I caught these Brazilian-esque revellers going to a bar opening:



  3. #3

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    Chinatown, the nearest London gets to a single community 'ghetto' though there are over 350 languages spoken and of the 85 communities 1/3 are of non white ethnicities, another 1/3 foreign born. Even then Chinatown's actually only a few streets and 180,000 other Chinese are spread out through the capital like the other minorities:






    floating fish


    check out the tattoo:






    Last edited by zupermaus; June 20th, 2006 at 12:42 PM.

  4. #4

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    my truly fave part of london, the sex district, just like any other part of the city, just the backdrop's different:






    spot the pimp






    with the famous record stores on every corner:






    and one of 350 streetmarkets:

  5. #5

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    more area cafe culture and pub crawls,
    getting an outside seat in this cafe is golddust to watch the worlds most interesting streetlife pass you by on a Friday evening, and trying to distinguish the media whores from the whores, rich from poor, male from female:


    life on the main drag:


    spot the couple






    West End shopping, a retail wonderland or inhuman nightmare depending on your wallet:


    BBC Braodcasting House rebuild and All Souls



    Piccadilly Circus, once the neon and advertising covered every inch of the facades from the Nineteenth Century till the Sixties - from which the council gradually took down to reveal these beautiful buildings:


    usual bunch of naked golden women divers


    although one last facade remains, by er, 'tradition':

  6. #6

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    (and by night)


    more shop till you drop, an Oxford St palace to consumerism


    liberty's


    Centrepoint Tower, demarcation of the tacky end of Oxford St




    Late workers heading home and depopulating The City (financial district)- density 400,000 per sq mile by day, 1400 by night and weekend:




    before night falls




    tat-land, Leicester Sq:
    Last edited by zupermaus; June 20th, 2006 at 12:34 PM.

  7. #7

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    Millennium Bridge - three groups of people chance meeting on the same spot


    Louise Bourgeouise:




    Surreal but cute

    these people are actually in a light installation in a huge coccoon- the walls change colour and allow you to practice your snow-blindness in shades of mauve, pink, white, green etc.



    welcome to the Barbican, in The City, a total sixties timewarp of deeply unpopular luxury brutalism:
    the first stairwell:


    leading up:


    and into the open, brown concrete, walkways, laundrettes and rubber piping suppliers in all their glory (I kid you not):


    a flat here still sells for a £1million ($2 million/ 1.5 million Euros)
    Last edited by zupermaus; June 20th, 2006 at 12:34 PM.

  8. #8

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    a few abstracts:




    postmodernism ventured outside


    and the bridge between the Barbican and the outside world:


    Harringey, a community recently in the news for violence between Turkish, Kurdish and Greek organised gangs:
    one of the main streets, full of mediterranean delis and caffs:


    the sidestreets to the main blew me away, each marching uphill:


    peace and quiet contrary to the scaremongering:

  9. #9

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    more 'village' london, follow the hat through Hampstead:






    breakfast with a view












    posh suburb

  10. #10

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    with posh trappings:


    the heath


    deeper into the woods


    and discovering a ruined folly



    200 year old vines


    lookout over a secret garden - met a long lost schoolmate down there just after this photo was taken (and one of the people sunning themselves)


    journey's end:

  11. #11

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    London is so cool!

    Thanks for the tour.

    Sorry abou the red X's.

  12. #12

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    Nice photos

    Interesting statistics about the 400,000 people per square mile by day, 1,500 by night.

    I always feel in London that its a lonely city at night.

    Unlike NYC and a lot of European cities.

  13. #13

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    thats funny, London is VERY alive at night, but just in my experience. Those stats were for 'The City', a specific district of London, not the city overall if you know what I mean. Anyway, where did you spend your time? The suburbs and shopping districts are quiet indeed, as is The City (the financial district I was referring too) as, well, no one lives there. You should come down, id love to show someone a real night on the toon.

    Some places are more crowded than during the day, Soho alone has over a million people passing through it in a night and the West End overall gets very crowded at 6pm (after works drinks), 8pm (people going to the pubs), midnight (pub closing time), 2am (bar closing time), and 4am (first club closing). Its a nightmare for the police, with 500,000 clubbers on any given night, and literally millions of drunks that make the streets into one big urinal.
    London gets trumpeted as having the world's best nightlife at the moment, though Madrid with 40,000 bars and where people are still preening in front of the mirror by the time Londoners are already drunk and looking for night buses, might have something to say about that. But the London 'scene' at the mo is shit hot, its all about the music though, not the accompanying crowds - live music, theatre, comedy and clubbing is very, very good - i just wish the people would vomit less and not punch each other so much .

    But yeah, as hinted at, London has little in the way of life-as-life-is-lived after dark, even if it is crowded. It calls itself a 24hr city but one of Londoners bitches is that the only thing you can do after 10pm is eat expensively, drink and snort drugs. The shops, cafes, libraries etc are all shut unlike NYC, with a few exceptions here and there admittedly. But hell even the tube shuts down at midnight and youve got to manhandle your way onto a complicated, overcrowded and sometimes dangerous nightbus network, or run the even riskier gauntlet of minicabs.
    Last edited by zupermaus; June 22nd, 2006 at 02:04 PM.

  14. #14

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    Quote Originally Posted by zupermaus
    i just wish the people would vomit less and not punch each other so much .

    But yeah, as hinted at, London has little in the way of life-as-life-is-lived after dark, even if it is crowded. It calls itself a 24hr city but one of Londoners bitches is that the only thing you can do after 10pm is eat expensively, drink and snort drugs. The shops, cafes, libraries etc are all shut unlike NYC, with a few exceptions here and there admittedly. But hell even the tube shuts down at midnight and youve got to manhandle your way onto a complicated, overcrowded and sometimes dangerous nightbus network, or run the even riskier gauntlet of minicabs.
    I agree - compared to a lot of cities I feel as if London is dangerous at night - the streets aren't full of people like some other cities. You can't walk everywhere safely, and no night trams like you get in Europe.

  15. #15

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    Quote Originally Posted by Gregory Tenenbaum
    I agree - compared to a lot of cities I feel as if London is dangerous at night - the streets aren't full of people like some other cities. You can't walk everywhere safely, and no night trams like you get in Europe.
    Coming from someone residing in New York which not only has a far larger history of violence, but is still significantly more violent than London (nearly as many murders committed in New York as in all of the UK!), I find that pretty funny! I think you'll also find that murder rates and the likes although not as high as that of American cities, tend to be higher than London (per head).

    Also hardly any European cities operate night trams or heavy rai services (other than the odd late-night service), most cities resort to night bus services (London so happens to have the largest night bus network in the world). The main reason for this is not lack of express lines (London actually has more extensive express line coverage than New York has), but because closing the network in hours when people are less likely to use it is far more beneficial for repairs, upgrades and modernisation programmes.

    The result for not running 24/7, is that the network is far cleaner, trains operate faster, there are less accidents and delays, stations are more accessible and contain modern amenities yet historical aspects have been restored. Sometimes you have to sacrafice something to get the better end result.

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