There was, for about 10 years I think, a dedicated Parkour space, called the Chain Store, on Trinity Buoy Wharf. That’s right smack on the Thames, in the Docklands (far eastern) part of London.
I’ve been there several times, and the first time I went there—as I often do wherever I go somewhere new—I took the time to stroll around the surroundings. Around two corners of the building, I found this odd little display. It was sort of like a wooden phone booth—American-style I mean, not the British style—or sort of like a little shed. It had a sign on the little door, in a pinkish or perhaps simply very faded, sort of printing. It was odd. There’s absolutely zero foot traffic at that spot. It’s around the back of a building, facing directly out onto the Thames. (Which at this part, is a huge wide muddy dolorous river with these enormously high wharf sea walls going straight down into the water. i.e., unapproachable by water.) The spot with the sign is off a light-rail transportation, turn the easy-to-miss “other” way on the platform, down those other stairs, hug a huge fence, walk around a traffic circle, down a side street, round a corner between high walls fronting on construction sites . . . out onto the end of a wharf that’s surrounded by “water” . . . you get the idea. Way out nowhere.
Anyway. Little shed. Sign. I open the door. If memory serves, it was literally a shed. With a little phone in it. Looking behind me—seen too many movies, so I’m watching for someone to sneak up behind me while I’m distracted by the phone… Looking behind me I pick it up to listen…
I read the sign again. It has this circular sort of design that looks like an elementary school drawing of the solar system. And says, “Longplayer.” I took a photo, and went back to my wandering the surroundings.
While I was wandering around Trinity Buoy Wharf (where the Chainstore parkour facility is located) I discovered this sign. A musical instrument designed to play, without interruption or repetition, for ONE THOUSAND YEARS ?! Yes, seriously. Check out http://LongPlayer.org
Leaving St Pancras station this morning en route to Paris. When I was in high school, I saw a TV show (yes, pre-internet) about some crazy engineers who were going to try tunneling thru the chalk under the channel. “How awesome would it be to ride THAT train?!” Bit sad to say goodbye to all my friends (old and new) in London, but we will meet again! Allez! Allez!
Across the pond. But before I meet up with some other ‘Yanks tomorrow, I’ve a bucket list item to tick off. Heathrow, to Paddington station, to St Pancras station, to a certain Southeastern traing . . .