Looking At Edinburgh

16 December 2008

Seizure: art in London

I have a problem with my computer, which is a Hewlett-Packard POS. That’s a technical term for computers which have power connectors that break down easily, and which (because they break down easily) are not covered under the 1-year warranty because Hewlett-Packard argues that since they made the power connection so fragile that ordinary use can easily break it, any damage to the power connection is assumed by Hewlett-Packard to be the fault of the user, not the manufacturer. In summary, though I bought this laptop less than 18 months ago, I need to buy a new one. And I think it will probably cost me less if I leave it till after Christmas. As I can’t really afford a new laptop at all, that’s probably a good idea. But as it’s 16th December today, even though I have a couple of photos saved to post ahead, I’m going to have to share a dozen photos with you of a work of art in London. Think of it as a test pattern. Without the annoying whine. Well, I guess this is an annoying whine. Sorry.

“Seizure continued Artangel’s long tradition of transforming urban housing into large-scale immersive works of art.”
The housing estate where Artangel produced Seizure

“For his first work within an urban site, Roger Hiorns made a radical shift of scale and context, and developed an extraordinary chemical intervention in the heart of the city.”
The flat where Artangel produced Seizure

These photos are available on Redbubble: Seizure: transforming urban housing and Seizure: 157 Harper Road, London SE1.

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14 December 2008

Wooden Doors

Filed under: buildings, Current events, photos, river — Tags: , , — EdinburghEye @ 8:00 am

wooden doors

This photo is available on Redbubble: Wooden Doors.

1 December 2008

World AIDS Day

Filed under: buildings, Current events, pubs — Tags: , , , — EdinburghEye @ 8:00 am

the red ribbon in the Regent Bar on Montrose Terrace

This photo is available on Redbubble: Red Ribbon Regent.

29 November 2008

Burning off the double yellow lines

Filed under: Current events, people, photos, roads — Tags: , , , — EdinburghEye @ 8:00 am

workmen removing double yellow lines

This photo is available on Redbubble: Double Yellow Lines.

15 November 2008

The Forth Bridges Accordion Band

Accordion and Drum band playing on Princes Street in front of Register House

There I was walking along Princes Street feeling a little down (not excessively so: just kind of Saturday-afternoon-shopping-down) and suddenly I could hear lively music like a marching band, with accordions and drums.

Which turned out to be The Forth Bridges Accordion Band (on bebo) which “are a new marching accordion band started up in the East of Scotland in South Queenferry … to provide learning facilities for people who want to learn an instrument such as the drum or accordion.” Though they’re also looking for experienced players. They sound great. Band Practice is Wednesday 7pm-9pm at Vennel Halls, according to the card one of them gave me.

This photo is available on Redbubble: Forth Bridges Band.

(One of the band members contacted me via Redbubble to let me know this was their first public performance: it sounded great, and I hope it’s the first of many.)

5 November 2008

Morning in Portland Street

Filed under: buildings, Current events, photos, roads — Tags: , , — EdinburghEye @ 8:00 am

Morning sunlight in Portland Street

“This is our chance to answer that call. This is our moment. This is our time, to put our people back to work and open doors of opportunity for our kids; to restore prosperity and promote the cause of peace; to reclaim the American Dream and reaffirm that fundamental truth, that out of many, we are one; that while we breathe, we hope, and where we are met with cynicism, and doubt, and those who tell us that we can’t, we will respond with that timeless creed that sums up the spirit of a people: Yes We Can.” – Barack Obama, 44th President of the United States of America

This photo is available on Redbubble: Street sunlight.

4 November 2008

Round stairs to Lothian Road

Filed under: Current events, photos, stairs — Tags: , , , — EdinburghEye @ 8:00 am

round stairs next to Lothian Road

This photo is available on Redbubble: Round stairs.

Completely irrelevantly to the photograph: this blog endorses Barack Obama for President.

23 October 2008

Royal Museum of Scotland: Empty Steps

The museum on Chambers Street

The Royal Museum of Scotland (44 Chambers Street – you can’t miss it, though you also can’t get in now) was designed by Captain Francis Fowke of the Royal Engineers, and the building was begun in 1861: Prince Albert’s last public act was to lay the foundation stone on 23rd October, 147 years ago. (Prince Albert died on 14 December that same year). It was then called the Museum of Science and Art, and in many ways it still is – or was: I don’t know what it will be when they’re done with it.

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19 October 2008

Edinburgh mosque at night

Edinburgh mosque at night

*yawn* Sorry for the delay in posting this: I was out late last night at a friend’s birthday party at the Auld Hoose, and while I do have better photographs from the past week waiting to be categorized, tagged, themed, uploaded, etc, this was what caught my eye on my way home last night.

Edinburgh has more than one mosque, of course, but this one is the only purpose-built mosque – a lovely building begun in the 1980s. Inside there are rooms for study and a main hall for prayer, with balcony rooms for women. When not in use for prayer, I was told, the main hall is popular with students as a quiet place to sit and study: Edinburgh University’s George Square campus is just over the road, and the mosque kitchen daily produces one of the cheapest lunches to be had in that part of town.

It is always difficult for someone not part of the targeted group to know how much bigotry is daily directed towards that group. I’m aware from news reports (and from comments on some news articles) of an ugly undercurrent of Islamophobia in Scotland, in Edinburgh: from the shops that belong to Asians are more likely to have metal shutters, because the police warn them, an Asian name on the shop front makes it more likely that the shop window will be broken by a party of drunks, to a mosque on East London Street that was firebombed in December nearly four years ago. It’s ugly, as all bigotry is: the long-standing sectarianism between Protestant and Catholic is a joke – perhaps – to everyone except kids who got beaten up for giving the wrong answer to “What team are you?” but it’s been ugly in the past, and hatred of Islam is no different.

On the way home, I bought a pakora supper from Kebab Mahal. I was too tired and too full of Hobgoblin Ale to think about it then, but I’ve thought it before and since: when it comes to food, Scots are basically the most tolerant people on earth. We’ll eat anything – so long as you can deep-fat fry it. (Even salad: what else are spring rolls but deep-fried salad?) And if you can’t (think what happened to pizza when it first came north of the border) we’ll dip it in batter and fry it anyway. That’s how we came to be heart-attack capital of Europe. Now if only we could all learn to be as tolerant of each other’s religions as we are of each other’s food…

2 October 2008

LRT buses: a space defined

LRT buses - the wheelchair space
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