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Thread: Walking in the city

  1. #16
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    the city on a sunday is the best. any unCANNYnees amplified by the complete absence of people. no shops open. maybe a few men in hi-vis vests working on the roads, otherwise ghost town.

  2. #17
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    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    'With Soho, it's like the designer drew an logical, square grid of streets, and then rubbed out some of the interconnecting roads, and added a couple of tiny little streets in between. So you can't rely on certain streets crossing, and other streets are secreted within the gaps with fractal-like detail. It should be so easy, but if you go into it with a gung-ho attitude you're liable to get it in the ass (so to speak).
    '

    that's it exactly derek you#ve hit the nail on the head

  3. #18
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    Round Charing Cross Road is really nice on a Sunday morning too - no people, so you actually get to look around you. London's really beautiful when you get rid of everyone else.

    The city's weird though. I find walking round there my legs get twice as knackered as anywhere else. You feel like you've walked miles sometimes but it's just a couple of blocks. Must be extra specially hard pavement or something.

  4. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by k-punk
    Unlike the forms of exercise favoured by Kapitalism (quick energy burns in the gym so that you are fit for work the next day), walking is a form of energetic activity which has no relation to work whatsoever. Those arch opponents of work, the situationists, were correct to settle on 'aimless walking' (the derrive) as a strategy against zombie consumerism. There is no product, no goal; walking is the very defintion of a plateau.
    If you're going to take a totally eurocentric view, then yeah. Where I live, walking is oppression. Every step is sweaty, sticky pain and a reminder of your lowly status as others zoom past in their air conditioned cabs. Nobody in Asia would walk anywhere unless they had to (unless you're talking temperate northern countries like Japan).

    Of course me, I'm the one in the air conditioned cab so it's kind of irrelevant, but thought I'd point it out.

    I think canals are the walker's secret weapon. They're these instant shortcuts that are barred to any other form of transport and they slice right through the middle of any major british city. When I lived by the canal by Victoria Park I walked everywhere. And you get all sorts of little glimpses of nature by the canal too. Like the dead eels that build up by the locks every few weeks. Anybody know why that happens?

  5. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by Backjob
    If you're going to take a totally eurocentric view, then yeah. Where I live, walking is oppression. Every step is sweaty, sticky pain and a reminder of your lowly status as others zoom past in their air conditioned cabs. Nobody in Asia would walk anywhere unless they had to (unless you're talking temperate northern countries like Japan).
    So you're taking a southern asianocentric view, then?

    Surely it's not only in Europe that walking is liberatory. I know people who live in China and they enjoy walking.

    Newsflash: in the UK, every step is a reminder of your lowly status too, as ppl zoom by in their big cars. But who wants to be in the ruling class?

  6. #21
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    Most of the time walking in London, actually I feel pretty damn superior to the mugs sat in their cars going nowhere in traffic.

  7. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by k-punk
    Newsflash: in the UK, every step is a reminder of your lowly status too, as ppl zoom by in their big cars. But who wants to be in the ruling class?
    Cycling is redemption. I had to leave London because cycling shrank the place so much and there was nowhere left to go on my trusty steed. Having a big electric motor laced into the front wheel didn't help.
    Last edited by HMGovt; 03-02-2005 at 10:11 AM.

  8. #23
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    i've got a bike but i'm too scared to ride it. the traffic intimidates me. i need someone to coax me out.

  9. #24
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    Buy a helmet.

  10. #25
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    so when they find me lying in the path of oncoming traffic with a broken neck i'll look stupid as well as dead.

  11. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by luka
    so when they find me lying in the path of oncoming traffic with a broken neck i'll look stupid as well as dead.
    The canal towpaths are good for cycling* and there are some good cyclepaths between stratford and hackney, which you might already know

    *don't do when drunk though

  12. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by k-punk View Post
    Fabulous piece in the Standard on Tuesday which found that, to no surprise of those of us who do like to walk in the city, walking was actually quicker than the tube for seven common London routes.

    Unlike the forms of exercise favoured by Kapitalism (quick energy burns in the gym so that you are fit for work the next day), walking is a form of energetic activity which has no relation to work whatsoever. Those arch opponents of work, the situationists, were correct to settle on 'aimless walking' (the derrive) as a strategy against zombie consumerism. There is no product, no goal; walking is the very defintion of a plateau.
    (resurrecting this old thread)

    Walking *is* very good exercise.

    People should walk more.

  13. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by k-punk View Post
    I always get lost in Soho too! What is it about Soho that makes that happen do you think?

    The other place I'm hopeless at is Bloomsbury --- all those Squares --- I'll never fathom it lol ---
    for me old st roundabout is like this, regardless of having been there so many times, i still always find my sense of direction is off by about 90 degrees - heading south when i should be west, east when i think i'm going north,

    i harbour a suspicion that there is some juju involved

  14. #29
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    I adore walking through London, as a proper country person who has to contend with The Bugs home town of Weymouth, with all of its three streets - I find the size of it endlessly fascinating.

    I keep promising myself that when I have a bit of spare cash and time I'll just book myself into some lowly hotel and spend a long weekend on my own doing nothing but exploring properly with a camera. Of course it never happens.

  15. #30
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    Two of the things Iain Sinclair identified after the 7/7 bomb:

    a) Many people in London do not wear suitable footwear for walking (primarily women I guess)
    b) Many people who work in London have no clue where they are without the help of the tube map.

    It's a cliche that tourists will get the tube one stop when it's far quciker to walk, but this is also true of commuters. Every time there's a tube strike or similar you see people wandering around by Bank station or Liverpool Street completely confused - and they are there every day.

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