A Journey to Canary Wharf

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It’s Wednesday the 19th, 11am and I have just finished work.
Canons Park Station is the start point of this exciting journey and it will take of at Canary Wharf Station. So, for this, I catch the Jubilee Line, sit down comfortably and observe the almost empty train.

In this first stop station, my fellow travellers are elderly people who might be retired because at this time of that day, I would say that residents either work or study.

It is a bright but cold day and everything that surrounds me, look pretty calm.
Passing through an Indian area, Queensbury and Kingsbury Stations, I finally see the giant ring, as I call it, from Wembley Stadium, which is a very familiar object to me.

The journey is still long and with so many delays, it gets longer.

Looking from the window, all I see is rail ends, next Stop, Wembley Park Station. A more tourist area where people fill the empty seats left. People between their 30’s and 40’s are walking, coming from trips with their hand-luggage, talking, eating, using their phones and listening to music.

As I go through other stops like Neasden and Dollis- Hill, I look through the window again and pass by this massive warehouse called ‘SENECA’ which is a company that believes in ‘Re-imagining waste as a Re-source’ to extract the maximum value from every waste material. Back to the reality inside this train I observe around me and see posters and posters that advertise movies, music albums, shows, companies and much more.

Near Willesden Green Station and all I see is traditional English houses, a structure that is repeated over and over again; A mix of cultures is more pronounced and I start to seeing familiar faces, as it is a Portuguese area.

Outside the Autumn colours stand out, green, red and yellow are the colours that make this place feel alive.
Stopping at Finchley station and I start feeling the movement of the city, more people come in, it’s lunch time and the English accent is heard. Passing through Baker Street and the train has no space left, sitting or standing, this train is packed! Cultures, races, age, gender, everyone exists at this moment. ‘(…) an unfortunate habit of collapsing underneath the capital’s traffic-clogged streets.’ [1]

Next stop, Canary Wharf, the train journey is finished and I start walking. As I go through the station, I feel a lost. Everything is grey and people pass by and don’t notice me. It’s like a routine or a path to follow, like they do it every day. The ceiling is bright enough to see the light of the day, coming out of the station and I only see buildings! People in suits it’s what is seen the most, probably on their lunch break or smoking a cigarette while chatting to their colleagues. Finally, I meet Diana, a colleague from my course, and we start a new journey. A walking journey through Canary Wharf, a place where ‘One of the more peculiar contradictions of the English city of the 1980s is manifest (…)’ [2]

As we walk along the different streets, again, I feel lost. This place is enormous to me, however, very familiar to Diana who has been there before. We follow the path as we read ‘America, E14’ from Williams. We have passed by the huge ‘Canada Square‘ , ‘The building’s size and technical innovation were unfamiliar un London.’ [3]; By the DLR station, an amazing infrastructure ‘faced manly in glass’ [4], ‘Cabot Square’ and finally by the ‘Reconstruction of Victorian portico at the entrance to West India Dock, at West India Quay’.

A very peculiar thought of mine is that this place looked almost for business issues. Even though there are restaurants where tourists or business people can have a meal, and there is a shopping centre too, there wasn’t a single small commercial shop; Something that I normally find anywhere in London. My favourite place to visit was the roof garden at Crossrail Place; an urban garden among the towering buildings of Canary Wharf. I really felt peaceful and it was like nothing else existed beside that lovely place. I quickly started imagining myself siting there, drawing for hours while losing track of time.

In the end, it was quite a cold and crazy journey, as it looked like a maze but it’s always great to get to know new places, especially historical and popular places like these.

[1] KERR, Infrastructure.pdf

[2] WILLIAMS, America, E14.pdf

[3] WILLIAMS, America, E14.pdf

[4] WILLIAMS, America, E14.pdf

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