Monday, September 3, 2018
Faces of Cricklewood
As I walked Olga along Cricklewood high street on Saturday morning, I happened to glance up at one of the shopfronts and notice that it had faces carved into the corners -- above the walls dividing one shop from the next. I've walked that street a million times but I'd never noticed this before.
It's common in Victorian architecture to have carved ornamentation, and I've seen many faces in other areas, but as I walked along I began paying attention to the incredible diversity of Cricklewood's faces. Each and every one is different.
I went back yesterday morning with my camera (and Olga) and took pictures of 67 of them -- nearly the entire street. I'm sure I didn't get them all, but I got a representative assortment.
(By the way, if I ever again get the bright idea to try to walk the dog and take pictures at the same time, talk me out of it. It always turns into a nightmare of Olga pulling at me while I'm trying to aim and focus, and then I get mad and she gets sulky. I've learned this lesson before, but I always seem to forget. Anyway, she consoled herself by furtively eating mysterious bits of food she found along the street -- God knows what, but it hasn't killed her yet.)
As I said, the faces are very diverse. Some have crowns, some have hats, some appear more lion than human, some have wings coming out of their heads. Some are more skillfully carved than others. There are women...
...and what appear to be people of different races.
Because it's such an intensely developed commercial area, a lot of the faces are covered by wires and pipes and have signs planted in their foreheads.
I'm tempted to go back and double-check to make sure I've got all the good ones, and then put a book together for a colleague of mine who's running a volunteer library in the area. Wouldn't it be cool for them to have on display?
Pigeon photo bomb!
I especially love all the colors. It's very common in London to see building ornamentation painted right down the middle, with the owners of the buildings on either side responsible for each half. That leads to some interesting combinations, especially with all the signage and CCTV cameras and whatnot!