Tuesday, November 08, 2005

A miscellany (mostly Londonish, actually)

I went on an unashamedly pleasureable surf just now to distract myself from the looming job (pah) and in the process turned up some rather fine things. The Virtual Tours of Architecture site has a basic layout but gems within. Among them are London’s Black Friar pub (which I’ve never been to and really must go before they ban smoking) and the Frank Lloyd Wright room inside the V&A.

Even if you’re not interested in astronomy, the BBC’s Sky at Night TV series, presented since time immemorial by Patrick Moore, is enchanting. Moore is always fun to watch anyway, but the most endearing thing is that the programme never pitched itself to mass appeal, so you feel you are eavesdropping on geekery. The site’s strength is that you can actually watch the episodes.

Sticking to London (it is autumn after all and I won’t be able to make Thanksgiving with Jonathan), Croydon Tramlink is the capital’s only tram network. Apart from trains and tubes, it was one of my first well-used routes when I lived in South London and had to commute to the meadows outside Mitcham each day.

Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec inspired licentiousness in his own time, and his work has inspired many artists since. The site concentrates on how his work and Montmartre worked off each other.

Belfast has, so far this week, felt very autumnal and raw — lots of high wind and cold wetness. Already the Christmas decorations have gone up in the local shopping-centre, and while I hate that kind of thing because it dissolves the magic of having a very concentrated celebration, this small exhibition of London Underground posters inspired by winter and Christmas is worth a look.

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