A showcase for British horticulture
One of attractions of London is that it is a huge cosmopolitan city with lots of greenery. There are parks and squares in every neighbourhood, which makes this city a livable city despite the traffic and dense housing.
I was particularly curious when I heard that wild flowers would be planted all over the Olympic park. And as I expected, the greenery and flowers really made a difference to the park against the backdrop of contemporary architecture. I think the park would have looked soulless and more like 'Disneyland' without the green landscape, so this was a job well done!
I was also glad to colour-coded recycled bins all over the park, but I wish that more councils esp. Westminster would apply this in Central London soon!
I don't want to mention the hideous Olympics logo and mascots, as I think they are insults to a country full of talented and creative designers! But I was keen to examine the park's signage and graphics, and overall, I think the designers did a good job. Personally, I am so not sure about the shocking pink, but I guess it is unmissable to say the least!
As much as I respect Anish Kapoor, like many Londoners, I fail to understand what he was thinking when he decided to create this 'art or statement' piece. I walked around it, tried to take photos from different angle and yet I did not feel warm towards it. In fact, I think it is quite ugly and utterly pointless.
Luckily, over on the other side of the park, there is an inspiring interactive pavilion, the Coca Cola beatbox designed by Pernilla & Asif, whose work has probably outshone stadiums and structures designed by more well-known architects and artists.
In many ways, it was a relief to know that many stadiums like the basketball are only temporary because I think it is more sustainable in the long run.
The Coca-Cola beatbox, basketball stadium & Velodrome
Despite the economic groom in the U.K., I think the overall impact of the Olympic games will be positive ( psychologically) in the long run esp. after seeing how excited, united and supportive everyone has been throughout the games. ( N.B. the tubes are also running better than normal!) When times are hard, people need this 'community spirit' to get through things, so perhaps the government need to re-focus on the mental well-being of the nation ( like Bhutan) rather than constantly focusing on the economical aspect. And like the vision of Danny Boyle, it is the people and values that matter, not the wealth.
I have never seen such joy and pride in London and like many Londoners, the Olympics have made me realise how much I really love this city! I just hope that this is the turning point for things to really change in the country: back to basics.