Heart of the Underground

(photography by Nick Redman)
I feel an incredible sense of nostalgia when I see the escalators of the London Underground.

Yes, you end up waiting behind the dawdler with no cares in the world. Yes, there’s a stench in the air you can’t quite decipher. Yes, you have to have impeccably slick weaving skills, a good pair of shoes and cat like reactions for any attempted pick pocketers. But it takes hindsight to really appreciate the authenticity of the city. It doesn’t try to be anything other than what it is, what you see is what you get.
You might think I’m ridiculous for gushing over the shitty parts of the city…Don’t get me wrong, when I lived here, my once care free attitude was eradicated and I had morphed into the monster that is the London commuter. Now I enter London once again, with the air of the north in my lungs and a sudden appreciation for the beauty that is our capital city.
The complexity of the underground is a thing of incredible intelligence and something which people readily take for granted. It is the Picasso of transportation!… Ok, that might be slightly romanticised, but I most definitely couldn’t have orchestrated it’s launch!
Sitting on the tube, glaring at my phone like the majority of people, it seems I am not the only one appreciating London and taking care with it’s disgruntled inhabitants… A young boy beside me went to sit down before announcing that…
“It’s not fair for a child to sit down” And allowed an elder to take a well deserved seat.
Apparently some people in the city actually have manners and it’s a treasure to see.
Then of course, there’s the classical harpist in Leicester Square station; completely unappreciated by the majority of passers by, with a few pound coins in his hat to allow him some gratification. It’s the people like that who are invisible in London. Swallowed up by the rush and confusion of the city that it readily becomes background noise.
I challenge the everyday Londoner out there to take the time during your everyday commute, to find something that can make you appreciate the city you’re living in. What’s the point in living somewhere that causes you stress and angst? If you can find one thing per day, you might find that you actually start to love where you’re at and consequently, have a relaxing journey to work each morning!

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