Elizabethan London

Elizabethan London
Tyburn was an infamous execution spot west of London, used since medieval times. The Tyburn "tree" - a unique, multi-person gallows - erected in 1571 became a popular public spectacle, drawing crowds of thousands.Tyburn Tree blog is less blood-thirsty but hopefully topical, interesting and informative, if slightly bent to my personal topics of interest - books, writing, history, technology, with a smattering of politics and dash of pop culture, science and the downright strange. So "take a ride to Tyburn" and see what happens...

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

New York, NY

Over the great bridge, with sunlight through the girders making a
constant flicker upon the moving cars, with the city rising up
across the river in white heaps and sugar lumps all built with a
wish out of non-olfactory money. The city seen for the first time,
in its first wild promise of all the mystery and the beauty in the world.
F. Scott Fitzgerald

I had my first opportunity to visit New York last year. 

It seems strange, given its relative proximity, that I had never had the opportunity to go.

I've visited any number of major cities - San Francisco with the framing magnificance of the Golden Gate, the bustle of Fisherman's Wharf and the intricate warren of steep and twisted hill streets; Houston, ultra modern with steely glass petro towers, arctic air conditioning, and a startling mix of affluence lying next to trailerparks festooned with rusted, wheelless cars on cinderblocks; Tokyo, the city of villages with the needle-sharp Ginza, the chaotic buzz of Roppongi and the Blade Runner ambience of Shinjuku slick with neon in the rain.

All of them are great cities in their own way. 
New York has the feel of one of those "world" cities - a city that seems to capture all the granduer, variety, complexity, density and accretion that several centuries of occupation and life leaves in its path. 

The city is a strange mix of the familiar and the unknown.  Familiar, due in part its role as the setting for countless Law & Order episodes.  New York is that staple of television and movie copland - and so the place names roll off the tongue with maddening recognition, though their true geographic veracity lies only in the imagination and often vague generalities - Battery Park, Soho, the Brooklyn Bridge, mid-town, Times Square, Central Park, Harlem... Their true location is less than the perceived map of the imagination.

The reality is one that television and media  fails to capture a sense that can only be understood through visiting - an appreciation for the sheer hubris and scale of the place.  You need to experience it, you need to see it stretch out at your feet into the humid, thick June air from the deck of the Empire State Building.  Manhatten fades into the distance in two directions, relentless in a long and langourous stretch of pavement, steel, ambition and concrete piled high upon itself, a canyonland of skyscrapers, windows, fire-escapes, water towers and rooftops, the fine details visible only through a .50 cent telescope, relentless and geometric, tidy only at a distance.

So this was New York.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Welcome to Tyburn Tree

Welcome to Tyburn Tree!  Formerly this was Booklinker, my book review site now converted over into my online home, so if by chance you've wandered over from Booklinker, welcome to the new digs.

You may have noted that for the last five years there has been, well, a paucity of posts.  This is primarily due to switching my writing efforts from online over to working on my book.  As noted in the earlier posts, the book is now done and the long journey towards publication has begun.