Thursday, September 30, 2010

The London Eye

No, we didn't go on the London Eye. Mr. M. has height issues, and I was able to get my views of London from a number of more historical vantage points. A friend took her family on it and shared her pictures--it looked like fun, except...

I have my photos rotating through my laptop as wallpaper, and this morning this picture of the Horse Guards parade grounds was cycling through. A lovely, historic-looking building--with the London Eye curving between two of the roof lines.

Ahem. I don't mean to offend anyone, but am I the only one who thinks the Eye gives the London skyline a bit of a carnival feel?

I have to admit I'm a born and bred Washingtonian--that is, a Washington, D.C. native. We take our skyline very seriously. Buildings in the city can't exceed a certain height. (According to a recent article in The Washington Post, the limit is 130 feet.) There are arguments about this. I understand that it may be more cost effective and efficient to build vertically. The same Post article said that a 30-story tower is going up in Rosslyn, just across the Potomac in Virginia. But I'm very happy with the height ban. I like the horizontal feel of D.C. I like the way it looks--at least the Mall and government buildings. (Another confession--when I was around 13, my girl scout troop visited New York City, and I found all the tall buildings a tad scary.)

Not far from the house I grew up in, a religious group built a very large building. I have no problems with that religion and I actually think the building is quite attractive. What I don't care for is its effect on the skyline. If you've ever driven the Capital Beltway in Maryland, you probably know which building I'm thinking of. When you see it rising out of the trees, you might wonder if you'd detoured to Disneyland.

I have similar feelings about the London Eye.

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