letter from london | september 2011

courtesy of vitorio benedetti

by Melanie Nelson

I cannot of course report without mentioning the riots, or more accurately the lootings in hotspots (literally), scattered around London in August.  Whilst they were quite shocking and no doubt devastating for those in the immediate areas, for the rest of us life goes on.  In fact, I believe that perception abroad of the level of danger was much greater than what we felt living here.  I go along with Peter Ackroyd’s views (prominent writer on the history of London) and think London is a great city, for all its warts, and I will continue to be an optimist.

“I don’t like those commentators who keep on saying that London will never be the same again.  London is always the same again…Rioting has always been a London tradition.  It has been since the early Middle Ages.” Peter Ackroyd Independent Article


On the day of the “worst disorder in current memory” I was happily exploring an exhibition at the Barbican Art gallery Watch Me Move: The Animation Show.  Definitely worth seeing as it highlights what a diverse medium animation is – from the early days of Disney and the mass appeal of the current animated movie blockbusters to the very dark and often adult rated experimental/art animation.  Another important theme were serious films such as the extraordinary Waltz with Bashir directed by Ari Folman & Justin Edgar.

And I cannot ignore the greatest cultural event held in London every August: The Notting Hill Carnival.  Even as the embers from the fires of Croydon were still glowing, preparations were underway for Europe’s largest street party.  The mood this year was a little subdued and nervous, but the celebrations went ahead and the display was as colourful and joyous as ever.  A celebration of dancing, feasting, drinking and music, where West London streets are overrun by revelling crowds…legally!

melanie nelsonMelanie Nelson is the co-founder of Addison Nelson Design and AND Furniture.  She is based in London working on a diverse range of exclusive private and commercial interiors in South East Asia and Europe.

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