The Anonymous Widower

One Good Feature Of My Hotel

My room in the hotel did have one good feature; a good view of the Palace of Culture and Science.


Note the night time picture.  Why was just one light on?

Thinking about it though, was it a good feature, as although Joseph Stalin might have liked this sort of architecture, we can certainly do better today. Unless it comes to The Shard.

April 28, 2014 Posted by | World | , , , , | Leave a comment

The Shard Mucks Up My Journey Home

I had lunch today in Carluccio’s at Canary Wharf and afterwards went to the excellent Waitrose there to get some shopping that is difficult to find closer to home.

As the DLR wasn’t running due to engineering works, I decided to get the Jubilee line home.  I can either change to the Overground at Canada Water station or go to London Bridge station and get a 141 bus home.

But on windy days like this, only a large person would go via London Bridge, as the wind around the Shard makes the bus station a rather unpleasant place.

So I used the Overground!


March 23, 2014 Posted by | Transport | , , , | Leave a comment

Three Reasons To Join The Tate

Obviously, if you join the Tate as I have, you get various advantages with the entry to exhibitions, but there are other less obvious ones.

In the Tate Modern, you get to use a Member’s Room with good views over the river.

The View From Tate Modern

The View From Tate Modern

This picture probably shows the Barbican and St. Paul’s better than the one I showed in the gallery. The Member’s Room also serves a mean cup of tea.

A Two Pound Pot Of Tea

A Two Pound Pot Of Tea

At a mean price, I should say too, as I got two cups from the pot for just two pounds.

There are also two viewing galleries off the Member’s Room.

The Shard From Tate Modern

The Shard From Tate Modern

I only explored the South-facing one, which sadly is overlooked by the dreaded Shard.

Even if you’re not a member, the Tate has several cafes and restaurants and none seem to be small.

July 21, 2013 Posted by | World | , , , | 1 Comment

Room At The Top

The Times today has a big article about how the office space in The Shard has not been letting very well.

If we assume their report is correct, then could this be because, The Shard is not a building that those who live in this great city, don’t generally like the building. I don’t think I’ve actually met anybody who lives here, who has visited the viewing galleries or speaks positively about the building.  Admittedly, I’ve met a few from out of town, who have liked the experience.

So does this negative attitude amongst the people of London, put decision makers off renting space in the tower.

Apart from the fact, that it gets into every picture you seem to take of London, with the notable exception of the cable-car, where Canary Wharf is in the way, the biggest problem I have with the building, is that is has questionable aerodynamics. When I end up at London Bridge station and want to get home, I go to the bus station and get a friendly 141 bus to perhaps fifty metres from my house. But on a breezy day, the turbulence around the base of The Shard can be fearsome. So I now take other routes on breezy days!

I suspect, anybody interested in renting space on a windy day, would go elsewhere!

The Shard is a classic case of a designer not making sure all the consequences of his design are covered.

Perhaps the building is only suffering from the same sort of problems as did CentrePoint in the late 1960s, which stood empty for five years on completion.


July 6, 2013 Posted by | News | , , , | Leave a comment

Irving Sellar Does A Guy De Maupassant

Prufrock in the Sunday Times reported that Irving Sellar, who developed the Shard, has his own table in the restaurant on floor 32.

He must only be following the reasoning of Guy de Maupassant, who often  ate lunch in the Eiffel Tower. Wikipedia says this.

Maupassant was but one of a fair number of 19th-century Parisians who did not care for the Eiffel Tower; indeed, he often ate lunch in the restaurant at its base, not out of any preference for the food, but because it was only there that he could avoid seeing its otherwise unavoidable profile.

So does Irvine Sellar feel like that about the monstrous Shard?

May 22, 2013 Posted by | World | , , | Leave a comment

The Best Free Camera Platform In London

I was on the top of One New Change, this morning in the sunshine.

You can also see the Shard all too clearly.  But I didn’t take a picture, as it’s ruined enough of my pictures already.

It really is the best free camera platform in the centre of London.

May 5, 2013 Posted by | World | , , , | Leave a comment

More Appalling Architecture In Seville

I’m not totally against modern architecture, as after all, I used to live in one of London’s most modern brutalist tower blocks, but s0me examples like the Metropol Parasol are not to my taste.  Here’s a couple more.

Does Spain have planning rules to stop the worst of these buildings getting constructed?

Call me a Philistine if you like, but I believe truly great buildings enhance the buildings around them, rather than obscure their features. That is why One New Change is a much better building than The Shard.

March 30, 2013 Posted by | Transport | , , , , , | 3 Comments

Demolition At London Bridge Station

Work has properly started on the new London Bridge station, as the pictures show.

The bus station is still closed, but according to a guy in the buses information booth, it might be open next Monday. I think he did mean the 11th and he blamed the weight of the Shard for the damage to the sewer that caused the need for closure. He didn’t like the building either, as I don’t!

For more details on the rebuilding of the station, look here on the Network Rail web site.

March 3, 2013 Posted by | Transport | , , , | Leave a comment

The Shard In The Afternoon Sun

I took these pictures deliberately this afternoon, with the sun directly behind The Shard from a DLR train on the way into Bank station.

It’s of course, breaking the rule of not shooting pictures looking directly into the sun.

February 28, 2013 Posted by | Transport | , , | 1 Comment

A Real Winner From The Shard

The Shard is not my favourite building, but I do admire the skill of those who designed and built it, even if the overall shape and height are in my opinion not right for London.

But they have now announced that London-based Mace will team up with British firm EC Harris to create the Kingdom Tower in Jeddah. There’s more here in this article on the BBC’s web site.

So we must be good at something!

February 22, 2013 Posted by | World | , , | Leave a comment