I made a promise to myself before I left on this trip that I would go out and shoot everyday, so far I have not broken that promise and I wasn't going to today. I went out for a short walk. I got nothing of any interest recorded on my memory card. I walked home, defeated.
I was just on the verge of giving up and sleeping until Sunday (when I leave for Paris), when an opportunity was presented for London to redeem itself...a trip to a bar in northeast London called Shunt. I read some reviews online, it looked really cool. Even if there was a cover of 5 pounds, it looked like a really good time, so we went.
The bar/theater itself is actually located IN the London Bridge tube station, the entrance is a small unmarked black door hiding behind the blur of suits heading to and from the train. As soon as we stepped through the door, it was like another surreal world had been unfolded before us, the hustle and bustle of the station had been left behind, we were suddenly on the threshold of an awesome night.
We paid the cover and began to peruse the list of tonight's events. They had something called Airphoria, sounded cool and it was free so we signed up. There was also a vaudeville show at 10:15, sounded cool and it was free so we signed up. We then turned and headed into the dark, cavernous interior of what has to be the coolest bar I have ever seen.
As you enter, this is what you see...
As you look right and left into each passing archway, you see projections of English Whippets on the walls, an exhibit of photographs from a local artist.
More whippet photos were displayed throughout the space...
I read on the flyer that you actually get into Shunt free if you bring your whippet and yes, there were a few people who actually did bring their dogs along for a night out. Two of the whippets there were actually models for the project and one was affixed with a "whippet-cam" that would display a view of whatever the dog was seeing onto a tv monitor housed in a cage. It was funny to see that CCTV had even made it's way onto the back of a pooch.
The main space that you see when you make you way in looked a little something like this...
But that was just the beginning, the entire space was enormous. Extra tunnels and caves peeked up around every corner, there seemed to be no end.
Turns out, Airphoria was a zipline that hurled you from 20 feet up into fog and 2 very bright lights. It was awesome, to say the very least. The "pilots" were hilarious, strolling around sipping Coronas saying:
"Welcome aboard ladies and gentleman to flight 1224 departing at 21:00 hours. Screaming is encouraged on this flight as it will increase endorphin levels and enhance the feeling of euphoria as you plunge to your deaths, cheers!"
Last up was the vaudeville show. When the time came, the DJ made an announcement and another small door was opened reveling a performance space with around 45 seats. Everyone crowded in and the show began. As short (only about 15 minutes) as the show was, it was funny and entertaining and was a perfect way to top off the night.
We left a nice tip for the bartender, he was a classmate of Jesse's and had been giving us discounted drinks all night, and headed back to the tube. Once stepped out of the little black door back into the station, I couldn't help but laugh as the hustle and bustle of the London Bridge tube station filled my ears and eyes once again. It was an amazing night in an unforgettable space. If you are ever in London, go there, it has made my entire stay here worthwhile.