Category Urban decay

This London cafe will make you cry with joy…

I guarantee this cafe will bring back a few memories. OK, the coffee’s crap (instant), the tea ain’t much better, but I’ll give a million pounds you can’t get this experience anywhere else. It lies somewhere in deepest, darkest SE11. I say ‘somewhere’ because that just about accurately pinpoints its location, a crossroads with a […]

Calm inside a storm

Take away the car and a space very quickly becomes real. Suddenly you have people. You have calm. And everything becomes a little more civilised. You have to wonder how the four-wheeled beast became so popular. They are destructive on so many levels, from the aural to the visual. Like many cities of a similar size, Sydney […]

Scenes from Sydney, the town that grew

An old water reservoir has been turned into a sunken park. In some ways, this is representative of Sydney, which reinvents itself every ten years or so. It’s a city of aspiration and also a lot of regret. It’s scarred by bad planning though these mistakes also maketh the city. Paddington Reservoir is like something […]

If Honkers is bonkers, Kowloon’s a loon

You want architecture? We’ve got it. Lots of it. The more the better. Across the bay is the immodest city of Kowloon, part of the city of Hong Kong. It’s on the mainland so the people from the island are a bit sniffy about it but, really, if you want the true warts and all […]

Secret London: An old bit of metal

A cheeky New Year’s Eve special. And I present to you – the water pump. And what a lovely water pump this is. Looking like a cross between the Tardis and a Royal Yeoman, you can find this little number in Lincoln’s Inn. Are there others in London? Oh, and why is the tap so […]

Walk with the dead in the City of London

A cemetery such as Bunhill Fields Burial Ground is a potent reminder of a more youthful London, particularly as space in the city has become such a premium. How Bunhill hasn’t gone the way of so many other graveyards is anyone’s guess, more familiar are we with the sight of headstones lined up like teeth […]

A twinkle of Brooklyn

Sometimes you have to leave Manhattan to see what it was really like before the glitz and glamour. The Peter Pan donut shop with pink-and-turquoise-clad waitresses and Formica table tops is the real deal. On a Saturday morning, we take the L train and meet H and Brother H to consume too much in the […]