Sunday, November 19, 2023
The Olympic Park is pretty after dark.
And also dark.
This is Pudding Mill Lane, a massively-overengineered DLR station whose time only came when ABBA unexpectedly turned up.
After dark it acts as a beacon of light amid a still-undeveloped Olympic neighbourhood. The word being reflected in the window is a symmetrical palindrome.
This is the Olympic Park's pedestrian spine, now officially known as Tessa Jowell Boulevard (although the signs are quite small).
After dark the baubles throw out shafts of glowing blue light, although with this illumination you don't really get the glorious autumnal shades of the adjacent trees.
This is the River Lea, technically the Waterworks River, maybe a month before the first daffodils open on that illuminated slope.
After dark the blue hues of the Aquatics Centre contrast with the gaudy red upthrust of the Orbit, the massively undervisited tourist attraction.
This is the East Bank, the cultural quarter which Boris tried to name Olympicopolis and which is now finally coming to life.
After dark the university is a block of light as the students stream home, while the unfinished V&A East squats menacingly alongside.
This is the RUN sculpture outside the Copper Box, three reflective letters in steel and glass erected in 2012 by artist Monica Bonvicini.
After dark they light up, just like I remember on the first evening of the Olympics but now with traffic chugging by and a whole new neighbourhood alongside.
I would not have walked this way after dark 20 years ago.
But times change.
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