Snowy London

The grimy city streets of London transform under the yearly dusting of snow that has been known to pull the city to a halt. Things went pretty well this time around, unless you were at the airport, but we won’t talk about that tired topic. It’s warming up a tad here in London this week (at least temporarily), but I wanted to share a few photos with you that I took over our snowy weekend and a few that were contributed to the Flickr pool as well.

Friday night (not last Friday but the one before), Jorge and I wandered down to Sloane Square to see the gigantic Boris Bear that’s nearly twice as tall as me:

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The light was beautiful against the snow coating the sleek black benches.

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Fountains in the center of Sloane Square dripped with growing icicles, water spraying over the top of them.

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We wandered through the back streets to get there, noticing the way people interact with the snow, having a bit of fun. Here’s a car someone turned into a cat, for example:

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And of course a classic snow on a red English post box shot:

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I moved house during the weekend of snow so unfortunately I didn’t have a lot of time to go out and enjoy it. I spent most of the weekend dragging suitcases through it! I did however, pay a little visit to The Chelsea Gardener the next day to snap a few shots of snow on plants.

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The snow was still falling that day, so you can see the little flakes in the background. It was soft, pure and untouched.

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I love it when the seasons mix, when the leaves get covered in snow in the first breaths of Winter, or the snow settles on early blooming flowers.

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It reminds me of when the winter starts to thaw in New York, when the snow melts away and the sprigs of new hyacinths poke their leaves up from the ground. No hyacinths this day, but some pretty plants nonetheless.

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There was some rosemary…

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Some pussywillows…

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Some pretty orange hamamelis…

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And a garden pot with a perfect ring of white.

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After that, I made my way to King’s Road to pick up a few important storage organizers for my move and went back to work unpacking, but I spotted a fun snow-covered bicycle:

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And a fun little street scene involving a bus stop and a corner shop:

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Luckily there’s been plenty of additions to the Flickr pool to make up for my lack of exploring the city in the snow, so I’ll share a few of those with you below like these shots of the Tube, surprisingly working on most lines.

Train
Photo: Central Line by markdbaynham

Departing tube train
Photo: Departing Central Line by markdbaynham

Steve Reed found a snow covered palm.

Palm Snow
Photo: Palm Snow by Steve Reed

And a cafe with a crooked roof “where friends meet”.

La Bodega Cafe
Photo: La Bodega by Steve Reed

Alastair Humphreys walks over Westminster Bridge:

A wintry Big Ben in the snow
Photo: Wintry Big Ben in the Snow by Alastair Humphreys

Lastly, Andy Worthington is going to take us on a little tour! I love all of these ordinary London streets that show off the “real” London. Here we go, driving through Lewisham…

Lewisham Way in the snowPhoto: Lewisham Way in the Snow by Andy Worthington

Algiers Road is a quiet side road off Vicar’s Hill, the steep hill in the borough of Lewisham that runs down to Ladywell from Brockley:

Algiers Road, Ladywell
Photo: Algiers Road, Ladywell by Andy Worthington

Then he takes us down to Millmark Grove, a suburban road of 1930s houses off Shardeloes Road, in New Cross near Brockley.

Millmark Grove in deep snow
Photo: Millmark Grove by Andy Worthington

Then we swing by the junction of Malpas Road and Geoffrey Road in Brockley…

Snowy junction
Photo: Snowy junction by Andy Worthington

Then we head around Coulgate Street nearby:

Coulgate Street in the snow
Photo: Coulgate Street by Andy Worthington

And, by explanation from Andy, “This is the junction of Coulgate Street and Foxberry Road in Brockley near the station. The famous murals of Brockley are visible, on the walls of the MOT Centre that is scheduled for demolition, to be replaced by yet another faceless mixed-use development of overpriced housing and retail units that excites the developers (who stand to trouser a small fortune in the process) and the snobbish and out-of-touch enthusiasts for gentrification, but that appals everyone else.

Crossroads in the snow
Photo: Crossroads in the Snow by Andy Worthington

On Brockley’s St. Margaret’s Road, a traditional red phone box still stands:

London phone box
Photo: London Phone Box by Andy Worthington

Still in Brockley, Andy takes us up to the top of Hilly Fields:

The top of Hilly Fields in the snow
Photo: Hilly Fields by Andy Worthington

Don’t the trees look pretty lined in white?

Snow-clad trees
Photo: Snow-clad trees by Andy Worthington

Andy’s lived in this area of London for 13 years so he knows it well. He took his son to have a bit of fun on the hill.

Hilly Fields in the snow
Photo: Hilly Fields in the Snow by Andy Worthington

Anyone for a game of basketball?

The basketball pitch
Photo: The Basketball Pitch by Andy Worthington

This next one was shot from the footbridge over Elverson Road DLR:

Elverson Road in the snow
Photo: Elverson Road in the Snow by Andy Worthington

And finally, a snowscape, beside the railway in Ladywell as viewed from the road bridge on Ladywell Road, by Ladywell station:

Abstract snowscape
Photo: Abstract Snowscape by Andy Worthington

So, what do you think of the snow in London? Love it or hate it?

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A Stroll From Sydney Street to Sloane Square

London welcomed 2013 with brilliantly blue skies, a perfect day for a walk. So I tossed my camera over my shoulder and headed outdoors, strolling through the bare Winter gardens of St. Luke’s Church on Sydney Street where Charles Dickens was married many years ago but today where teenagers kicked a football across the grass wearing only tee shirts in January.

St. Luke’s Church, Sydney Street

Weaving my way through the side streets running parallel to the King’s Road, I headed toward Sloane Square where I was meant to meet a friend for lunch. It was nice to take the back roads, away from the high street shop fronts. I looked up at the details in the architecture. The clay-coloured chimneys stood in sharp contrast against the vibrant sky.

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The afternoon light cast harsh shadows on the houses that lined some streets with their uplifting colours, this row on Burnsall Street full of oranges and yellows with a bit of bright white in between.

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Instead of window shopping as I would have done walking down the King’s Road, I noticed the little details: the peeling paint of a run down building that stood out against the grand homes all around it…

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…a vivid green door that popped out from the surrounding bricks with its small lion door knob…

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… and the ubiquitous pineapple, the symbol of hospitality that dates all the way back to the 15th century Spanish explorers found embedded everywhere in London architecture.

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A bit further down, I passed some private communal gardens, which I always find intriguing (every since watching Notting Hill where they climb over the wall!). Here are a few sculptures that were dancing among the trees. (Angles aren’t the greatest since I had a limited point of view.

IMG_5215“Dancer with a Bird” in Cadogan Square Gardens by sculptor David Wynne

IMG_5219“The Dancers” in Cadogan Square by sculptor David Wynne

Both sculptures are by David Wynne, the same artist who created the”Girl with Dolphin” piece near Tower Bridge as well as the “Boy with Dolphin” sculpture across from Albert Bridge which I photographed the other day:

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I ended up on Elizabeth Street, a lovely little road tucked away behind the hustle and bustle of Sloane Square and the Victoria Coach Station. Spotted this old sign on one of the buildings:

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The street is only small, but full of little independent shops, bakeries and coffeehouses like Tom Tom’s which is a wonderful place for people watching. Sit outdoors in the sunshine under London’s lovely blue skies or they’ll turn on the heat lamps for you when it’s a bit chilly.

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Next time you walk around a place you think is one of the most familiar for you, like this area is for me, take a camera with you. It becomes a whole new world!

Elephants 201-210

Happy hefalump Friday everyone 🙂

201. The Elephant Outside the Room by Pochoir; St. Paul’s Churchyard
The Elephant Outside the Room

202. Dazzlephant by Pochoir; Green Park
Dazzlephant

Dazzlephant

203. Grayson by Polly Hope; St. James’ Park
Grayson

204. Elhi by HRH Prince Michael of Kent; Park Lane
Elhi3

205. Sir Percy by HRH Prince Michael of Kent; Park Lane
Sir Percy

206. Mr Bojangles by Princess Pea; Cavendish Square
Mr. Bojangles

207. Untitled by Rana Begum; Berkeley Square
Untitled

208.Kingdom by Rebecca Campbell; Sloane Square
Kingdom

209. Harmony by Rebecca Campbell; Green Park
Harmony

210. Harapan by Rebecca Sutherland; Green Park
Harapan

For more photos, interviews and other info, visit my Elephant Parade page. Stay tuned for the rest!

Elephants 181-190

Bringing in the last week of December, here’s another handful of the colourful elephants…

181. Kubella – The Seaside Elephant by Natalie Guy; originally at St. Christopher’s Place
Kubella - The Seaside Elephant

182. Fatima by Natasha Mann; Kensington Gore
Fatima

183. Jaidayal (The Triumph of Kindness) by Nathalie Gouraud; More London
Jaidayal

184. The Human Disease by Nathan McKenna; originally on Great Eastern Street
The Human Disease

185. Less is Morvi by Nicky Haslam; V&A Museum
Less is Morvi

186. Around the World by Nilesh Mistry; BlackRock, King William Street
Around the World

Around the World

187. Heavenly Jewel by Nilesh Mistry; Leicester Square Gardens
Heavenly Jewel

188. MAYUR GAJENDRA by Nilesh Mistry; BlackRock, King William Street
MAYUR GAJENDRA

189. Elephant Farfalla by Nina Campbell; Orange Square
Elephant Farfalla

190. Josephine by Patrice Moor; Sloane Square
Josephine

For more photos, interviews and other info, visit my Elephant Parade page. Stay tuned for the rest!