Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Sudden scale shift at Collier Street almost causes a pile-up

Much poring over the map of North London and much wheeling of the bike up sudden one-way streets in Islington, Barnbury, Holloway, King's Cross and the adjacent areas reveals that the fabric of North London, like space-time, can be deeply incomprehensible even given intense study. How do the roads bend back on themselves, like Romanian gymnast children? Possibly emigré trainers. Probably misreading the maps.

Easily in my top ten favourite books ever, and certainly this week:
The London A-Z.
I've been using the spiral bound AA version from 2006 since I arrived in The Village... it's looking a little dog-eared, it has to be said. I may replace it with something from Geographers' A-Z Map Company, in tribute to the originator of the concept, the magnificent Phyllis Pearsall, may her name be sung by all bemused mid-century party-goers and lost cyclists, getting honked at the lights as they stand in the road frowning and thumbing between pages 75 and 9.