city snapshots – night and day

February 18, 2011

Hazlitts, in Soho, was a boarding house when William Hazlitt lodged and died there. Now it is a  ’boutique’ hotel which is an up market boarding house. On Hazlitt’s grave stone in St Anne’s churchyard, part of the inscription reads . . . . ‘A man of true moral Courage,  Who sacrificed Profit and Present Forms to Principle,  And a yearning for the good of Human Nature,  Who was a burning wound to an Aristocracy . . .’   So, not a man who would be interested in how or why Soho, surrounded by woods and fields, came to be named –  ‘Soho and away’ was a hunting call. Different forms of pleasure are to be found here now in Frith Street at night.

Dramatic lighting in Langley Street off Longacre in Covent Garden. Powerful stuff and as bright as natural daylight. But round the corner suspended above Floral Street is the Bridge of Aspiration  which I find magical whether day or night.

In front of the extension to the Opera House, trees become quite magical too. They wear their glittering evening diamonds well . . .

 . . peering down from the terrace at the rear of the Floral Hall, the market buildings sit very comfortably within their space . . .  the lighting is spare, in keeping and just floods the access points sufficiently . . . along the facade, new geometric shapes of light emerge. 

And inside, golden light and much anticipation for the tinkling notes of Mozart but unfortunately Callas is long gone but thankfully her singing carries on.

The following morning, the city appeared quiet and the pleasing lack of traffic, pedestrians and foliage means that the buildings and the spaces between are easier to absorb.

Opposite the NPG, Edith Cavell stands firm and upright . . .

 . . looking stern and maybe judgemental of what is going on around her feet and also on her shoulders.

More London planes at Tate Britain where one of the current exhibitions is on the work of Susan Hiller. I know that photography is forbidden but couldn’t resist this installation. The title is ‘Witness’ – 400 speakers and 400 audio tracks that are just about at ear level – ‘ a mappa mundi’ – every individual telling a story in many languages. I found it beautiful, and my sister did too.

I found the image below without a ghostly figure on the web – it’s good. The whole exhibition is very good if you have an interest in collections. My sister found it generally annoying for a good reason that she should explain herself! 

Finally, leaving the city via Hungerford Bridge, glimpses of the Eye conjures up memories of funfairs and playgrounds. It’s good to take a break and play. 

If you will tell me why the fen
appears impassable, I then
will tell you why I think that I
can get across it if I try.  Marianne Moore  I may, I might, I must.

3 Responses to “city snapshots – night and day”

  1. Kathryn Says:

    I have not been to London since 2003, and you made me miss it!


  2. hello julia, thanks for checking out my blog. your friend wendy got in touch with me. it’s good to connect in this way. i like your blog and have subscribed. i really love your photos and your words too. you come from a very different perspective from mine, which i like. richard x

  3. julia fogg Says:

    hello back Richard. I might be talking to the converted but Angie’s poems that she wrote last summer and were published before she died by Ed
    http://edboxall.co.uk/bee-fever-by-angie-biltcliffe/
    are quite beautiful and raw, understandably, at the same time. I read them often.I like what I can find of yours – keep going – do you know David Johnson, a performance poet in Bristol? Partner of a friend of mine. Have subscribed likewise. J


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