Showing posts from 2012

An easy way to upgrade your iPhone and keep Google maps

Londoners - particularly those of you with iPhones and who've already downloaded 24hourlondon - I feel your pain. It is also my pain.

Not because the app was affected, it wasn't, but because of the kerfuffle with Google maps.

Londoners need Google maps more than nearly anyone else. It's like a space age version of the A to Z and London is a big, complicated place that's hard to get around quickly.

It has a lot of public transport options, including many you wouldn't necessarily think of because they're new or you're in an unfamiliar part of town. For getting from A to B Google maps gives you the quickest routes on public transport, including buses and overground railways.

So Google maps is a perfect example of something I didn't know I needed until I had a smartphone but which has enhanced the quality of my life immeasurably, saving oodles of time.

So living without Google maps in London was not something I was looking forward to.

None of the other opti…

The London Foodie's Japanese Supper Club and The Art of Dining

I've had two extraordinary foody experiences over the last couple of weeks, both of which I'd recommend. I'd do this on the grounds that every once in a while you need Shakabuku, or a swift spiritual kick in the head. I know this becauseI've watched Grosse Point Blank.

First up was the London Foodie's Japanese supper club. Held in Islington in one of those enormous homes with the basement kitchen visible from the street, the London Foodie - aka Luiz Hara - used to be an investment banker but is now using the money he earnt to devote himself to something that he loves. This is the best reason I can think of for having been an investment banker and he's a charming host with it. Plus he's renovated his basement with the supper club in mind, which demonstrates unusual commitment and should give you some idea of the seriousness he brings to his project. He'll probably end up on the telly.
Other people have written about this supper club very welland done the f…

The Mile End Genesis is putting on its top hat

I'll admit it. I could have been feeling more relaxed.

The journey back from work had taken longer than anticipated and I'd already missed one showing of The Artist at the Genesis in Mile End last week for similar reasons. So when I flew into the cinema foyer five minutes after the programme was supposed to have started, shoes pinching slightly from an extremely fast walk, there wasn't really time to digest the reasons why my ticket seemed over-the-odds expensive: just enough time to register that it was and feel vaguely annoyed that they'd put the prices up again.

There always seemed to be something at that place, my stressy, rush-hour Tube head was telling me. I mean, if I'd wanted to pay £10 to see a film I could have got off the Underground in the middle of town couldn't I, instead of whistling straight through to Mile End? And - I thought as I belted down the labyrinth of corridors to my screen - I was lucky that they hadn't tried to wrestle my bag off…

Maybe RBS needs a different kind of boss?

So Roger Carr of the Confederation of British Industry thinks that when Stephen Hester failed to receive his bonus of nearly a million pounds the prospect of finding the best person to run a British bank next time we nationalise one was damaged. He said so in The Times.(Yes, I know. Paywall. Boo.)

"The chances of enticing others to take on difficult tasks of national importance have undoubtedly been jeopardised," wrote Carr.

Let's unpack that, shall we?

First, why does he believe it would be necessary to "entice" someone? What if, when a CEO left, everyone else at the bank moved up a slot in the hierarchy and someone from university were recruited for the job at the bottom of the rung? Is that just too silly as a theory? Or are chief executives of banks so solipsistically creative that you could never learn to do their jobs by watching them closely and talking to them about it five days out of seven? To assume not suggests that the wrong deputy has been recruit…

Why build a new airport in the Thames estuary when there's already one up for sale?

Politicians attempting to get elected like to razzle dazzle the voters with eye-catching proposals. Newt Gingrich is offering Americans a base on the moon. And London's own Boris Johnson has come up with, um, an idea for a new airport... But it's on an island, giving it overtones of Goldfinger (Gold Fingaaaahhhhh... With apologies to Shirley Bassey :-))

Anyway. I haven't had much respect for this idea since I saw Germaine Greer demolish the proposal on Question Time. She pointed out that the area the mayor wants is in the middle of one of the biggest bird protection areas in Europe and thatthe risk of bird strike makes it unworkable. You can't simply move birds because they don't speak English.

Slam dunk?

I'm not against the idea of more airports per se. For instance, I'm susceptible to the idea that in order to do business with China we need flights that go there. But it's not clear to me why we can't send these crucial flights from our existing ai…

Art on the Tube is bad news for small businesses

There are no longer any adverts as you go down the escalator at Bethnal Green tube station. What there is instead is this.

Now, I know there's a recession on and that advertising is therefore harder to come by than it has been. However, I'm deeply unimpressed by this and not just because it is described by TfL as "Art on the Tube". It's somebody's oeuvre. I'm not going to be rude about it.

Before this artwork appeared there were a series of A3-ish sized adverts in frames up and down the escalators. When I rang TfL to ask what had happened, this is the response I got: "The posters were a non-standard size for the advertising industry. Due to the constraints at the station the standard sized panels could not be installed."

I attempted to unpack this with Sylvia from the press office, since it was a little, shall we say, opaque. But it was apparent that she was reading an answer she'd received from someone else and wasn't able to explain wh…

Starbucks in embarrassing grammatical error

Horatio respects and admires the planet as much as the next seafarer. But really...

Anything you can count is FEWER. Not less.


And how would you get "more planet"? Build an extension?

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