On returning from Burnham-on-Crouch yesterday, we lingered at Liverpool Street station for a coffee. Afterwards, as we walked through the station, it occurred to us to go for a little wander around Broadgate.
The narrow escalator (too narrow for overtaking) gives access to a long corridor. This may be busy during the day when people are at work but in the evening it was eerily quiet.
It was so quiet in fact, that in one of the doorways, a pair of lovers were curled up together in an embrace apparently oblivious to importunate passers-by such as ourselves.
Looking up, I noticed that the bridge-like cross beams were all different colours. Either they are made of different stone or of some composite material dyed differently. I am not sure which.
This mysterious entrance gives access to the Bishopsgate office complex and yet another Jamie Oliver restaurant, Jamie’s London, but the doors are unlocked only between 6.30 am and 7 pm.
A set of floor-level windows almost matches a corresponding set of windows in the station building next door, allowing the curious observer to see into the station, “as through a glass, darkly”.
Through one of the last windows we get a glimpse of a massive sculpture outside in Exchange Square. It is necessary to go into the Square to appreciate the object fully.
Viewing the lady from behind is perhaps not the most flattering perspective but it shows, by comparing her with the chairs nearby, how massive she is.
From the front, the Broadgate Venus reveals all her considerable charms. No emaciated catwalk kitten is she and the adjective “plump” can hardly characterize her massy figure. Love her or hate her, she cannot be ignored.
In fine weather, office workers come here to rest and eat their lunch. There is a grassy arena,
a water feature,
and even a pair of ping-pong tables for those who like the rest vigorously.
Or you could look over the railings into Liverpool Street Station, here where you have a good view of the platforms, and watch trains setting off for exotic destinations such as Southend-on-Sea, Chingford and even Burnham-on-Crouch!
For us, though, it was time to go to the bus station (entering from the end where we rarely go) and catch a bus for the Angel and home.
There are seemingly endlessly many odd corners of the city to discover and explore and a visit to what is all too boringly familiar to one person may seem like an interesting adventure to another. Quite often we follow the everyday path, looking neither to left nor to right when a step one way or the other might reveal an entirely new landscape.