If you don't 'take' the Observer on a Sunday then you might have missed this article by Miranda Sawyer in the paper's Sunday magazine.
The piece was written to mark the twenty-year anniversary of the death of photojournalist David Hodge, who was fatally injured during the Brixton riots. During the article Sawyer tries to assess the area in which she's lived for fifteen years and throws up some interesting facts while she's at it:
Brixton has more than its fair share of both the hip (some Dazed & Confused types opened a highly confusing fashion shop on Railton Road last year) and the insane (it hosts 1 per cent of the UK's mental health patients)
As well as looking back to the events of both the 1981 and 1985 riots and the effect they've had on the area, Sawyer tackles the prickly area of drugs legistlation in Brixton.
A slightly 'lighter' retrospective of London appeared in Saturday's Guardian (its Review section to be exact). This time it's the author Margaret Atwood giving her perception of the capital from her first arrival here in 1964.
Everything was so much smaller and shabbier than I had imagined. I was like the sort of Englishman who arrives in Canada expecting to find a grizzly bear on every street corner. "Why are there so many trucks?" I thought. There were no trucks in Dickens. There weren't even any in TS Eliot. "I did not know Death had undone so many", I murmured hopefully, as I made my way across Trafalgar Square. But the people there somehow refused to be as hollow-cheeked and plangent as I'd expected. They appeared to be mostly tourists, like myself, and were busy taking pictures of one another with pigeons on their heads.
Those of a nostalgic nature should beware however, Atwood's article does mention some post-war gems which have long since disappered. For example the "Lyons Corner House on Trafalgar Square, which had a roast-beef all-you-can-eat for a set price".
Finally, a TV programme which we spotted a press release for. In a couple of weeks time The History Channel in the US will be broadcasting a documentary called The Hurricane That Saved London, and if that title doesn't grab you then you're reading the wrong website.
Here's the blurb:
In May of last year, a team of urban excavators shut down a Central London intersection used by 12,000 cars per day in search of the remains of the only allied plane lost over the skies of Central London in World War II. The plane had crashed there more than sixty years earlier after stopping a damaged German fighter from dive-bombing Buckingham Palace during the Battle of Britain.
Sounds good eh?
The programme airs on May 15 in the US but we can't tell you yet when it will appear on UK television. If anyone has any idea how these things work then please let us know. We're dying to know more about this plane!
Update: Ok, we did some digging around on the plane and here's what we found: Apparently Channel Five showed the dig live last year in a programme called (imaginatively) Fighter Plane Dig...Live (why they didnt call it When Fighter Planes Go Wrong we have no idea).
Whether the Discovery Channel programme will be vastly different we're not sure, but what we do know is that the remains of the plane (i.e. the engine) is now on display at the Imperial War Museum in the Children's War section.
There are some pictures of the dig here.