Thursday, 5 July 2012
London is always in a state of flux. At a smaller level there's the varied installations along the South Bank (currently a South African arts project). And the recent addition of the logo to Tower Bridge.
Because of my delayed entry to the capital today I found myself gently looking for the early signs that I was approaching the middle, by spotting the obvious markers on the skyline.
Anyone that commutes will recognise some of the symbols. Red buses, four rails on overground tube train lines, distant but distinct buildings. Like equivalent glimpses of New York's skyscrapers on the way in from JFK.
But the familiar landmarks of London are changing rapidly too. From the older outline of Battersea Power Station, or Westminster Tower, to Canary Wharf's HSBC and Citicorp, the later Gherkin and Eye and more recently the newly completed Shard. Then there's the emerging and slightly inappropriately named City Tower next to where the new American Embassy will be (in Nine Elms, sarf of the river) and now the Cheesegrater in the proper City just along from the Gherkin.
And Thursday evening marked the preview opening of The Shard, accompanied by laser beams and Schardenfreude from Boris.
Only a week or so since the new cable car opened across the Thames.
Some are being critical of the new skyline, but I'll embrace it. A few more symbols on the map for the capital city. We can have a separate debate about ownership.
And alongside these bigger changes we have the whole central area getting its short term pink and blue makeover.