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john davies
notes from a small vicar
from a parish
in Liverpool, UK

    Wednesday, September 22, 2004
    This is good. Smoke: a london peculiar. It's a magazine about the city, written by enthusiasts for the city. Deals in minutae, with features like BUS OF THE MONTH (this issue: Number 325, East Beckton to Prince Regent DLR) and articles like THE BINS OF PIMLICO ("... small urban disclosures, both candid and discreet, right there on the side of the road as you trudge to the tube.")

    Some of the contributors are walkers - Laura Oldfield-Ford walks diagonally through Epping Forest, Jude Rogers does a (satirical) Mayday walk between the six Hawksmoor churches. Many of the contributors are possessed by the highs and lows of London Transport. Some are poets, some photographers, and some cartoonists. Others are skateboarders - Stuart Hammond celebrates London's skatespot netherworlds, Southbank, "a high temple of skatedom" and the winter wonderland of the London Wall Car Park (which is "like stumbling into a vivid wet dream concocted by Andreas Gursky, JG Ballard, and the pop-video director who styled Michel Jackson into a youth-gang-leading, street-fighting nutter.")

    Smoke is only two quid and whether or not London is your city there's plenty in it to illuminate and entertain.