Come Away With Me to London's South Bank
If you're like me, you've hunkered down in your house to stay safe and keep the community safer. The new normal is waving across the street to your neighbors as you carefully gauge your distance, facetime with family and friends and lots of zoom meetings and conferencing. There are no more walks in the park, lunch with friends, client meetings or weekend plans. If you're lucky, you are able to walk outside easily while social distancing. Times, for sure are difficult and scary and many of us are struggling. We are social beings and doers. We are worried about the future and our friends and colleagues. There is so much uncertainty. I want to do my part to help, so I've written this article from last summer's trip to England to virtually transport you to the Thames River and London's South Bank.
Picture it, summer of 2019, London. One of the coolest cities I've been to. It's clean, great food, great people and has loads of expansive parks and public spaces and a fantastic waterfront. Above is the South Bank. A gorgeous tree-lined promenade with a generous walkway has plenty of space for vendors and people. It acts as the front yard to the various attractions along the South Bank. And there are many.
Let's start with the pedestrian footbridge that carried us across the river. The pedestrian bridge is a marvel all its own. I'm not an engineer so I can't explain the precise method of the construction, but the angled tension lines which meet at the top of the bridge to form mini mountain peaks has a rhythm that is breathtaking to watch (at least for me).
Let's continue with the entry stair. This stairwell connects above to a pedestrian bridge which spans the Thames River. The glass and metal railings are (1) clean and free of graffiti and (2) architecturally stunning. The change of materials on the landing and the steps is quite beautiful and the different levels in the plaza below make a dramatic entrance. Even the welcoming columns of Southbank Centre with its yellow sign and bold black font follow the angles of the stairs and plaza below.
Inside the Promenade
Benches align with the trees and the trash bins and the railing on one side while the second row of trees creates a perfectly comfortable and cozy space. This essentially creates three zones. The first is the sitting zone for looking at the water or to people watching. The center zone is for strolling and to people watching. And the interior zone is for the attractions and for people watching. Are you getting my point? I really do miss