A miscellany held together by politicised journeys and travelogues of one sort or another:
I.T on a walk in London couple of days before the G20 farrago, through two lost worlds of British social democracy - the Barbican/Golden Lane, and the fragments of Lubetkin and Tecton's 'Finsbury Plan', isolated and embattled Constructivist experiments adrift in the media/property districts of Clerkenwell and Islington;
K-Punk on the right to the city, container ports, and Containerisation, a subject very close to my heart, as a lapsed Sotonian - a city which I've argued seems to have taken containerisation as the organising principle for an entirely new, if remarkably boring, form of urbanism. While Felixstowe or Tilbury's ports exist in isolation, the Southampton container port is central to a city (of a sort), and does very strange things to it. Am staying there for a few days from tomorrow, so there may be relevant dispatches from that godforsaken non-city, as the container port is walking distance from my Mum's - though you would hardly know it, but for the views of the cranes over the terraces. Much like the Suffolk port described here, it's a fascinatingly quiet place, where 'humans are invisible connectors between automated systems'. Also relevant to a forthcoming piece on English travelogues, which will also mention Andrew Cross' extraordinarily blank containerised English Journey, tracking one of them from Southampton to DIRFT to Manchester...more of which later.
Me in the NS on a travel book dedicated to Latin America and its pink tide. A badly written bit of exotica, yet worthwhile as a sustained discussion of one of the few places where 'we' are in the ascendant - mainly through a fearlessness about using state power, about nationalising things that make a profit as much as things that go bust, and a lack of compunction about using class and resentment as organising tactics.