Tuesday Apr 21, 2009

Tube across europe

Crossing London on the Tube, to get to Kable's "Open Source in the Public Sector" conference reminds me of the weekend in Barcelona, both the prices and experience were better in Spain, although I didn't travel on the Metro during a rush hour.


Sunday Feb 15, 2009

Trusting the customer in the hospitality trade

Or where to get cheap food and drink. The Guardian last week seemed quite keen to publicise some bars and restaurants that offer you the opportunity to pay what you think they're worth, in London and Berlin.


Monday Jun 30, 2008

Back to Berlin

I am travelling to Berlin via London City airport for the first time. I am flying with Lufthansa. Its a longer journey to the airport than Heathrow but hopefully the airport experience is better and Lufthansa's flights to Berlin from Heathrow are somewhat limited. The overground journey is pretty OK. Taxi, Train and DLR, at least I am not driving. I leave at 6:20 am and arrive at City at 8:30 am. The queues are not well advertised; it seems you must use the automated check in machines so it may be best to do it online before you set out; Lufthansa have only two kiosks and today one was broken. The queue was longer than I'd hoped.


Monday Mar 12, 2007

The Embankment

It was a nice walk across Jubillee Gardens, and one of the protest groups has hung a banner from one of the cranes by the parliament building.


The Embankment & Paliament, London



Fantastic Day

OpenSolaris: Innovation Matters I'm just setting off to Sun Live, and I'll be dropping in to the London Open Solaris User Group (losug) at about 6:30 pm at the Westminster Central Hall.

Sun Live, is tag lined as "Evolution + Innovation = Revolution" and the revolution starts here. I always thought is was Electrification + Soviet Power; but we live and learn.

I publish on San Francisco time, the event is taking place on Tuesday 13th. 


Tuesday Nov 14, 2006

Open Solaris User Group in London

The London open solaris user group is meeting in Sun's Customer Briefing Centre (Regis House) tonight (18:00) in the City. I'm just about to set off to it.


Thursday Aug 24, 2006

Che Guevara: Revolutionary & Icon in London

I visited the V&A's Guevara, Revolutionary & Icon exhibition. This exhibition is based on the famous photographic image of him and its use, so less political and a bit of design. Lawrence Lewellyn Bownen does socialism. Sadly the V&A prohibited photographs, even of the plaques they made themselves. So here is a re-sized copy from wikipedia.


The Korda Shot of Guevara 220x148


More on Che at Wikipedia

I wasn't expecting a reference to SUNW at the exhibition, but then I wasn't expecting a mention of HP either and there were two. The first was a picture of a young cuban? boy, who had made a toy news camera out of scrap including an HP printer box, and decorated it with a picture of Che. The second reference was on a logo collage using US company logos made into a black and white representation of THE face illustrating the US companies involved in Cuba. I have no idea if Sun's absence from this picture is due to our longevity, trading practices or the artists ignorance of Sun's existence. All the other usual IT industry suspects were there.

I was shocked to to discover that a Hollywood film, starring Omar Sharif as Che and Jack Palance as Castro had been made in 1969 which was only seven years after the Cuban Missile Crises. IMDB have it cataloged here.... Their trivia article states that "The film was seen as so offensive in Chile and Argentina that Molotov cocktails were reportedly thrown at the screen in some cinemas." That good huh!

Many of the posters and pictures were lent to the V&A by the Center (sic) for the study of Political Graphics based in Los Angeles. Their museum must be worth a visit. It was a stunning collection varying from pictures, posters and paintings to films and other artifacts, including coffee mugs and watches.


Che Guevara Mug


The exhibition curator Trisha Ziff, has written a book called Che Guevara: Revolutionary and Icon [amazon uk...] which I didn't browse on the day, but I have put on my wish list. All in all an interesting couple of hours - although if you want to see this exhibition, you'd better be quick, it closes on Tuesday.


Sunday Aug 06, 2006

More Real Burgers, or is that Realer

I really like Burgers, which as a Brit has been a real problem over the turn of the century. Fortunately, cooks are begining to concentrate on this glorious food once again. I mentioned an article in the Guardian in this blog about 6 months ago and they have had another look in their Readers' Restaurants column.

I will try and del.icio.us tag them over the next day or so with the burger tag. Maybe I should build a Yahoo MapApp of these sites Yeah, right!


Thursday Jul 27, 2006

Citybreaks, Vienna, London & NYC, but mainly London

LondonI'm planning a trip, to Vienna and met up with one of my Austrian colleagues to ask his advice. He lives there and was almost surprised that people would come and visit. It reminded me that I've often wondered how visiting one's home city and pretending to be a tourist would work, and for me this would be London. Another provocation is "Management Today", the magazine of the Chartered Institute of Management, which has a serial called "business travel". Over Xmas, it published an article written a New York based women working for PWC about London. Her hotel choices look cute, but surely London has more to offer in "A few hours to kill" than "We will rock you", the Queen musical.

The first thing their correspondent suggests is the "Red Bus" tour. As a local, I've never done this and may not know what I'm missing. Otherwise I agree with her advice to walk, although her map and vista seems to be the West End only, i.e. not the City, nor south of the river and moving between these areas involves the tube or taxis.The exhibitions at the Queen's Gallery and Courtauld Institute are usually worth a visit, and I spent an hour in the British Museum this time last year and I really intend to get back there.

The web presence for London's "Forbidden Planet", the classic UK based science fiction chain is a bit crap, but to my mind, the shop is better than its NYC equivalent. Obviously London's Films are not going to excite a New Yorker, but maybe a visit to the NFT or the London IMAX are worth a mention. The west london museums such as the Natural History Museum and the V&A (I really must get there myself) are/should also be worth a visit. If you want to go to a play, I'd choose the National or Royal Court. You can use these links to check out what's on. I used to be more adventurous and use Time Out as a guide, but somehow it doesn't seem so easy any more. I have to add the Tate Modern & Britain, both of which I have always enjoyed. I know St. James Park too well, but would enjoy walking around Kensington Gardens, which I've never visited and Kew Gardens again, which I have.

When in NYC, I have always enjoyed the Circle Line round the island tour, but in London, you can catch a boat from central london, travelling east down to Greenwich ( See Google here... or TFL here..). The views and commentary are fascinating, although the view at Waterloo bridge is too low to see the "City" skyline and again too low at London Bridge to see the City & Docklands skylines, although you do get a great view of the Pool of London. Furthermore, at Greenwich, you can visit the Cutty Sark, (a Victorian tea clipper), the original National Observatory and the National Maritime Museum, which in London is worth a look. I've never done the other direction from Westminster or Chelsea pier towards the west, past the London Eye, the Palace of Westminster and the MI6 building towards residential west london including the Craven Cottage, the boat race route and Hammersmith and Chiswick from the river. Again, something to do!

So what's missing, so far from my lightning review of London, is some stately homes. You can visit Buckingham Palace (but not often), the Houses of Parliament & the Tower of London. The National Trust has a number of fascinating houses & palaces to visit in London, and Apsley House, No 1 London, the house given to the Duke of Wellington, near Marble Arch can also be visited.

My problem is familiarity, I know the city too well; I can no longer see and experience these places for the first time and even the grandeur of some views has waned, but you may not have that excuse? It is the fresh eyes thing that makes the MT article and others like it interesting to me, or my anticipation of my trip to ViennaSmile.

I think that I have created enough things to do in this article for myself, I hope I have done so for you.


my lists: London, Culture+London, London+Hotel flickr: London, Docklands




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