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Monday, July 2, 2012

LONDON VELONOTTE 2012 – How did it go?

London Velonotte, by Jo Burridge/iGuzzini

First of all, it was a wonderful night in the East End, gentle rain, stormy weather… kind of we really enjoy in Velonotte. Some hundreds of people gathered at the Spitalfields market to explore the narrow streets of the Great East End. The original inspiration for the route came from the canals, and it was great that after several changes, the canal system became focal point of attraction, thus first London Velonotte could be also called Venetian – in terms how much water we had around. 

When the bell stroke midnight, Resonance FM and Jack Thurston started the broadcasting with our dialogues with historian John Marriott on complex relations between the East End and the word “poverty”, architect Richard Rogers has been recalling going out in the 1950s to the local Jewish restaurants, good and cheap, with remarkable quotes like “in those times when the word spaghetti was unknown in England” and “before 1990s London looked more like an Eastern Block city”…Then after passing Curtain rd. with recently discovered remains of the Shakespeare’s first theater, it was Hoxton square, gentrification or better drinkification spot, with Will Palin, historian, campaigner for preservation of this area and ex-director of the Save Britain heritage. Moscow-based art critic Valentin Diakonov has told the concepts behind the White Cube gallery, situated here, one of the leaders in the contemporary art scene.

Rushing through the Chrisp Street Market, by Jo Burridge/iGuzzini

In the middle of the night we’ve crossed Hackney road entering small and cozy Temple street to meet the elegance of Denys Lasdun’s Keeling house restored not much time ago. For this occasion it was illuminated by iGuzzini lighting, changing colors, a pure jewel of concrete.
Not everything was clear in this dark night, some tires broken, some people lost. Almost four hours later, after Bethnal Green and its winding story, Bolshevik’s London, Victoria park, Olympics and Chrisp street market, we’ve joined our final destination - the Canary Wharf. The picnic was staged in a dry place – a fine crystal structure called East Wintergarden. This time no plants, just us and fantastic music. To meet sunrise and Velonotte famous Nic Pendlebury with Trinity Laban string orchestra has prepared a set dedicated to the first light, air and summer... A special tune was about English summer 2012 and it was called… “Winter”! Around 4-44 o’clock the sky in the glass roof became a bit brighter. It was morning. Both musicians and public looking amazed at each other.

First rays of strings...Music dawn with Trinity Laban strings orchestra/Velonotte

Rain almost stopped and we could go home. As usual Velonotte's Central Comittee was last to leave the place, we made some more happy miles and had a breakfast in the Bagel’s place in Shoreditch. Paradise for early birds. Rain dropped in again. Some tires broken again and we are home...

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London Velonotte was based on the dialogues with 13 leading experts - Peter Acroyd, David Adjaye, Ricky Burdett, Valentin Diakonov, Clive Dutton, Kathryn Firth, Linda Hirst, Tom Holbrook, Peter Murray, John Marriott, Will Palin, Richard Rogers and Sergey Romanyuk. We think to publish an East End guidebook featuring these dialogues, in a slightly extended version. We are actually seeking for some English volunteers who can help us to script these dialogues from audio tracks to text file. Please write us an email, if you are interested. We are also looking for a publishing house to do it.
PS: We are waiting patiently for your photos, videos as well as comments. Everything is interesting for us! You can also see and tag your friends in the beautiful photo services realized by iGuzzini

And what about next year? Some of you said you want us to return. Festival has proposed to do it an annual London event. So we start to work on the Velonotte Albertina to discover first machine age places. And of course underground. You might like also join us in Rome, for Velonotte Roma Botanica 2013. Dates to be confirmed a bit later.