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.



Duke of York

A 150-year-old view from the pub ‘Duke of York’ on Dering street in London. The pub was first licensed in 1722, renamed the ‘Duke of York’ in 1806, and rebuilt in its present form in 1886.