After a thoroughly depressing, wet Sunday (eat> run> shower> eat> darts> work> darts> clean bike> look outside at the pissing rain and realise what a sodding waste of time that was...) I strive to bring some sunshine to your Monday morning.
The stretch of Brixton Road from The Oval down to The Academy has long been a happy hunting ground for me. It changes every 100 yards or so with the different businesses catering for the different communities passing through. I've always thought it important to document my little patch of South London as it changes every six months or so. Not in a grand social-historical context; but simply it fills my days and gives me great pleasure when looking back through my hard drive.
Brixton Road has yet to experience the Clap'ham-isation that other areas around here have fully embraced. It's never going to be the King's Road. I doubt it's ever even going to be Clap'ham Road, either.
The main business seems to be tyres and fridges - perfect for fast food on the move. There are a number of lovely local organisations within this stretch - community groups for kids, the Van Gough Cafe and the cheap as chip dally jumble sale put on by my local Church (as in it's near, not as in I'm a weekly tambourine shaker).
It's the people that make up a place, but geographically, it's the weather that also defines Brixton Road. It's located so as to catch the early morning sun in full flow on the West side, and then around eight hours later, the East side across the road is illuminated as the sun sets over Brixton.
This is the first set of sunny Brixton pictures, showcasing the sunset over the East. I've tried to catch the early morning glory for the past month, but I've have had a number of disasters, both photo and weather wise. I'm not holding my breath (or camera) for success sometime this week.
I was hoping for a better effect here with the shadow on the staircase. I seem to have caught the shadow at 180 degrees straight on. Perfect timing from me, for once. If only I was five minutes later...
I'm not sure of the current ownership of this grand old red brick building, but if you peer through the windows you can see a magnificent collection of historical hats. It's either a theatre production company or the private residence for a family of bald men.
For all the 'raw, edginess' of Brixton, much of SW2 / SW9 is actually quite suburban. These houses wouldn't look out of place in the middle of Surrey. I know where I'd rather live.
Wonderful architectural symmetry. It reminds me of one of those Swiss clocks where the characters come out of the front door each hour.
Natural street lighting.
A futuristic style roof. Futuristic for Brixton, anyway. It reminds me of some sort of spaceship.
Brixton Road is a mixture of grand old town houses and new estates. Here's the former, boasting sizable windows for any local curtain twitcher.
An interesting colour scheme for a local playgroup hut.
These estates stretch back Eastwards all the way to Camberwell.
Pity the poor Postie.
A local tyre shop. It previously housed a Fagin's Den style bike shop a few years ago. I'm not normally in favour of seeing a bike shop give way to a Petrol Head premises, but this particular case was an exception.
I've no idea of the long-term history, but I reckon this building was originally a boozer, something that is sadly lacking along Brixton Road.
A familiar site to anyone in the Brixton / Camberwell / East Dulwich area. The all-important feature to focus on here is the registration plate. Ever think that this van follows you around South London? Ha! *there are at least half a dozen of them doing the rounds, all with an identical paint job*
Jamm has rejuvenated Brixton Road in recent years. As well as DJ sets by former Oasis chord churners, the pub / club puts on a truly diverse selection of nights. The ace Offline is always fun, as are the band nights organised by HDIF. Plus Jamm hosted the first ever Ska / Burlesque night in London. Golly gosh.
A building (on the Westside) that has clearly seen better days, but with a bit of TLC, could actually become something rather interesting.
And so that's the late afternoon Brixton Road Eastside. If the sun ever puts his hat on sometime around 7am on the Westside, I've got a wide angle wonder all ready to poke in his radiant face. More to follow, hopefully.