True to the spirit of Smoke: a London Peculiar magazine, From the Slopes of Olympus to the Banks of the Lea is a collection of reflections, photographs and illustrations documenting the changes and moods of urban life and landscape during the Olympic Games. From being awarded the Games to the building works and to the closing ceremony, Smokes reflects the politics and social issues raised by the event (2005-2012).
The book offers the views and ears of the people living and working in and around the Olympics sites. These are stories gathered in the old streets, the factories, the pubs and the allotments: that ‘urban wasteland’ (the controversial message the government put forward), that disappeared under the relentless march of the diggers. Expect little from what actually happened in the Olympic Park during the games, but plenty of political undertones. This is the real London, everyday life in the capital, the dealing with the tube travel (and the tfl website precious advice), the tourists, the missiles placement, odd cycle lanes, new traffic rules etc. The stories beautifully reflect the changing mood from the initial negativity and apathy to the sense of accomplishment and success.
British sense of humour transpires thorough the book, while the black and white photographs and illustration enriches this fine and witty example of urban research and observations.
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