Freelance writer and poet from London; if you would like to read my poetry, please check out my book, 'Poems on the Page', available from goo.gl/Ta4oAX.
A Growing Space for the Community
Yesterday I went to King's Cross to visit the London Canal Museum, but due to the lack of street signs, I ended up taking a wrong turn. This mistake turned out to be quite fortuitous because I ended up discovering a wealth of activity happening in and around the area's open spaces.
A window into what will be.
King's Cross is undergoing an extensive redevelopment project, which upon completion will include fifty new buildings, two thousand new homes, twenty new streets, and ten new public squares. As you can imagine, things are a bit of a building site round there (hence the difficulty finding one's way), but even amongst all the scaffolding, barriers, and men in hard hats, there is beauty. Although there are a lot of areas fenced off, it has been made to look as attractive as possible by using colour and art to liven things up. They have even provided a little window for those nosy parkers who want to see what's going on (avoids any unnecessary neck stretching).
Destined to be office space.
The fences have posters all over the place to inform you what is going on in the area, and explain what is being built where. For example One and Two Pancras Square is being turned into office space, while on the opposite site of the street they are building accommodation especially aimed at students.
When I reached the end of King's Boulevard, I found a number of pop-up street food vans, selling BBQ, Greek cuisine, and frozen yoghurt. They are members of Kerb, a mobile street food business that turns up at different events. They are at King's Cross as part of the Summer Stories Festival, but their next and last appearance will be on the 7th September.
Sit by Regent's Canal
Cross over the road, and you'll reach Regent's Canal. The canal i a nine-mile waterway that stretches from Limehouse to Paddington. What was once the towpath is now a pedestrian walkway. A popular turfed seating area has been built there so you can enjoy the view.
Children love to play in the disappearing fountain.
On the other side of the bridge is the new Granary Square, which has a disappearing fountain that children love to play in. The fountain looks particularly beautiful at night because of the neon lights that come on when it gets dark. Over the summer, they have had deck chairs out for people to sit and relax.
There were a number of signposts in the square, one pointing me towards something called The Skip Garden. I followed the arrow like a good little conformist, but upon turning the corner, I did not encounter a garden, but a family playing table tennis. The ball and bats are provided, and they are free to pick up and play.
In the near distance I heard music playing, and found the Skate King's Cross Roller Disco.
The pop-up rink is only there until the 6th September, but if you go, there is also a funky Disco Bistro selling fast food. Just what you need after skating hard to burn off calories.
Still no Skip Garden though. So straight on I went. It didn't take me long to reach the Skip Garden, but I did almost miss it. Why? Well, because it is located on a skip. I don't know what else I really should have expected.
The Skip Garden is an environmental project run by volunteers with the initiative of creating a self-sustainable and eco-friendly district. What's more, the garden is moveable. As different areas of King's Cross are developed, the garden moves to a different building site.
Grow plants in skips.
The project encourage community involvement and runs activities for young people, such as 'twilight gardening'. Unsurprisingly, the garden is named after what the plants are grown in. Skips. Each skip has a certain theme - flowers, fruit, vegetables, herbs.
There are also a number of greenhouses, which give off the fresh aroma of parsley, basil, etc.
Not sure if this is meant to be a logapillar of a nailipeed.
It is a quirky place, and you can see that the community clearly enjoy working there. This is made evident by the fun crafts dotted around the garden.
The produce that they grow is either sold to local restaurants or cooked for their own cafe.
Beside the cafe is a sports pitch that can be used for football or basketball. It can be used freely, but it is also available for hourly bookings.
King's Cross has achieved a lot during its redevelopment, but there is still a long way to go. If you are interested in keeping up to date with what is going on, then you can subscribe to their newsletter.