December 5, 2006

London’s Kings Cross

My new job has its offices located in Kings Cross an area of London which is the location for the recent film Breaking and Entering featuring Jude Law, Juliette Binoche and Robin Wright Penn. Sadly none of those folks work in our office. But thankfully the area is not as depressing as depicted in the film.

Kings Cross hosts several train stations including Kings Cross, Thames Link and Saint Pancras. The area is always a hustle and bustle of people, luggage, buses, taxis, bicyclists and endless street construction. Kings Cross is also the home of the Flying Scotsman train which goes directly north to Scotland.

I can tell that are many story opportunities in the area. For instance I was searching for a birthday card for my mother yesterday and wandered into a bookstore. It looked clean, lots of well-displayed books and racks with cards. But the guy behind the register gave me a look like, “what are you doing in here?” Then I noticed that all the books were pornography. So, I had to make like I deliberately came into the shop. I tried to chit chat with the guy as I casually looked at books displayed behind him featuring all kinds of unexpected nudities. Would you believe there was a book of Frida Kahlo art? So, I said, “what a nice selection of artwork. Any birthday cards?” Then I noticed that the card racks were filled with gay porn cards. He said very curtly, “No birthday cards.” Okay, I get the picture. Ended up getting her a card in the Marxist bookstore down the road.

The next shop I explored was Tony’s Organic Café across the street. I felt a cold coming on so I ventured into the shop to see what homeopathic stuff they could offer me. Sure enough Tony the owner was eager to convince me of the benefits of Echinacea syrup extracted from plants that were planted on the eve of a new moon and hydrated with only the best filtered water. I got aggressive, “Look mate, I’m getting sick and I can feel it coming on this minute – what do you have?” He was happy to fill up my bag with all kinds of goodies including the old standby and grandmother favourite Ricola. Ironically the Ricola is artificially sweetened with aspartame.

photo source.