Together we crossed the canals, walked the way, immersed ourselves in sea among floating dead bees & Alexander’s armada. We played frisbee down endless shores and performed from the amphitheatre stage to an audience long dead. You were with me that crazy humid night when you crushed peanut shells on the colonial hotel floor and again weeks later when we stood in the pitlane by the big wheel as dawn broke over the west. I remember when we walked for days, hundreds of kilometres from the nearest town, baking in the dry ancient bush and tripping over termite mounds in the dark to the endless thump of the bass. We mingled at the peak of a goldmine’s spoil heap during the total eclipse of the sun, spent days on trains, hours on planes and minutes on boats. Disappeared to Reval and back, over and over through sudden & persistent snow. We had one hell of a journey, I’ll never forget you.
Here it is, three weeks work in Cinema 4d & After Effects. Made for an international digital agency. Where we’re going we don’t need roads.
Verdict: Very high quality at gourmet burger prices.
The Diner is one of a chain of seven around London, each set up to feel like a 1950s American style Diner, albeit a 1950s American style Diner perhaps imagined by some vague historian in a distant dystopian, minimalist, future, sci-fi world. All the elements are there, the booths, the soundtrack, the americana, the garish lighting, the neon. All just sitting in the uncanny valley somewhere between The Fifth Element and IKEA.
That said, the food is really good. Quality ingredients, well prepared an plenty of them. The sides are huge and well cooked. I have honestly never left The Diner in any way hungry. The selection of drinks is wide, from quality micro brewery beer & cider to ‘hard shakes’. Definitely one of the best burger joints around London but at a price just a bit too premium to be regularly visited, save it for special occasions.
Hackney Wicked 2013, a set on Flickr.
It really is a worldwide fashion now, nearly every city has it going on. Hipsters, artist communities, reused industrial spaces, massive facial hair, old fashioned bicycles, street art, archaic time consuming hobbies, lovingly brewed craft beers, reclaimed building materials… Hackney Wick has one of the best examples and they throw a very eclectic yearly festival, of course.
This year I was lucky enough to work on some of the onstage motion graphics for Robbie Williams’ Take the Crown Stadium Tour. Always fun to make visuals for a big tour but this time it became a lot more personal and magical when I discovered the Estonian stop on the tour would be broadcast live to cinemas worldwide from the song festival grounds in Tallinn. It was my first event at the song festival grounds and I thought it was awesome, the atmosphere was just incredible due to it being Estonian re-independence day.
Massive Fjord Panoramic Images, a set on Flickr.
While travelling through Norway’s Fjords, on the Hurtigruten in 2011, I made massive panoramic images. Most were photographed using a Carl Zeiss wideangle lens and stitched using Hugin. I will be exhibiting wall size prints in London.These are all published at 25% of full resolution and are available for any purpose, contact me if you would like to license them.
Verdict: Mmmm, I do like Bill’s.
To first of all qualify my bias, I like Bill’s… when it comes to brunch in Central London I think we can all agree it goes, in order of greatness; Joe Allen’s, Kopapa then Bill’s. I have breakfast in Bill’s far too often really and the only thing that now lets Bill’s down is the brand expansion, there are now another four Bill’s within walking distance of the original St. Martin’s Courtyard location, each of them with the same rustic, farmhouse produce stacked, raffia & dried chilli draped, trendy shabby chic design that made London’s first Bill’s stand out.
I hadn’t tried the burger, or indeed the afternoon in Bill’s before and seeing as it is almost exactly halfway between Shake Shack and 5 Guys I decided to do a quick comparison. The burger is the same price as 5 Guys (except you don’t pay extra for the fries) and the quality is as you would expect a proper London gourmet burger, big, chunky, succulent and flavour full. The fries are a decent portion of standard skinny fries.
Once you pay extra for the fries in Shake Shack the cost is about the same for a burger and fries. The cost actually comes in less than 5 Guys once you add their extra cost of the fries. Given the queueing at these ‘American’ restaurants, sitting at a table with waiting service takes about the same time for the food to arrive and when it does the quality and portion size at Bill’s is far superior. If you are in the area and about to spend £10 on a burger and fries then definitely choose Bill’s. Or head there for weekend brunch, but expect to wait on a table if you haven’t booked.
Kayaköy (Livissi) 36.574, 29.0913, a set on Flickr.
Livissi, now known as Kayaköy, was an important Greek village in western Lycia, situated just a few miles south of Fethiye in Turkey. Shown on maps from the 17th & 18th Centuries, the village was eventually abandoned at the end of the 1919-1922 Greco -Turkish War as part of a population exchange agreement. The village was intended to be repopulated by Turkish citizens who would relocate from Greece, this didn’t happen and in 1957 an earthquake damaged most of the remaining buildings. Today Kayaköy is a tourist attraction and museum, signposted as a ghost village. It also is the unofficial start point of the Lycian Way, an ancient walkway along the coast of Turkey, the official start of the marked trail being a few miles further south in Ölüdeniz.
Verdict: Quality Fast Food at near Fast Food Prices, except without the ‘Fast’.
“They just opened a Shake Shack on the block and there’s never a line” said Lily in a recent episode of How I Met Your Mother and within days they did open a Shake Shack on the block, well, in Covent Garden Market Piazza. A mere coincidence, a sign from the universe or targeted brand placement during franchise expansion? I guess we will never know, but one thing is certain there is always a line, a queue, a long queue.
It was my third attempt to eat there when I found the queue short enough for my patience. Average wait at peak dining times is around 30 mins to place an order then 10-20 mins for the order to be ready. Between Lunch and Dinner time on a Thursday afternoon was about 5 minutes to place the order and 8 minutes for the order to be ready, so still not as fast as a fast food burger restaurant.
However Shake Shack are not really a fast food joint, although they resemble one, and they are not really a gourmet burger bar either, although the quality of their food is close to that level. The burgers, hot dogs & fries are all flavourful, the meat is certainly top quality, the bread is succulent, the frozen custard dessert is delish. My main criticism about the food would be that the portions are all very small, and indeed scaled to match each other and the bottles etc, so that in photos they appear full size… like a miniature village. The fries are average crinkle cut frozen fries, the cheese sauce is exactly the fake goo you would imagine and again the portion is small, so I think the cheese fries are ridiculously overpriced. However they are probably the only menu item that is so overpriced, everything else comes in at around standard fast food prices. The Kernel Brewery London supply some very nice bottled beers.
Eclipse Fest 2012 Queensland Australia, a set on Flickr.
November 14th Total Eclipse of the Sun, far north Queensland Australia. What a show, what a trip.