Image by DICKSDAILY
Exhibition Road is behaving like a restless toddler this week, waaah-waaahing for attention with THREE stories.
First, there's the ongoing saga of its part-pedestrianisation. You may recall that Kensington and Chelsea Council want to remove kerbs and street furniture, transforming this most cultural of boulevards into a shared space for pedestrians and vehicles. Not so fast, say disgruntled locals. The West London Residents' Association believes that the scheme will put the elderly and wheelchair-bound at risk. The council, meanwhile, reckons the changes will bring 'substantial benefits' for these groups. Who's right? Does anyone have any hard evidence from similar schemes or is this all based on supposition?
Maybe Michael Palin could help. He's all set to take over the presidency of the Royal Geographical Society, at the northern end of Exhibition Road. The appointment comes at a time of tension and dispute among the society's members. One faction of 'rebel explorers' wants to steer the society back to the tradition of grand adventures. (A little odd - where's left to go?) The remaining moiety want to carry on with smaller, collaborative projects that potentially give a better scientific return on investment. Palin will take up the post on 1 June.
If the ex-Python can't settle the dispute, perhaps the electro-dance vibes of Banco de Gaia will help. They're playing the Royal Geographical Society on 21 June as headline act at the 2009 Exhibition Road Music Day. Other free music, dance and spoken word acts will play from 10am to midnight at venues such as the Institut français, Natural History Museum and V&A. An open air stage in Kensington Gardens will provide al fresco entertainment. The complete lineup can be found here.