On July 24th I began my journey to Martin Luther King Park, Paris by walking from the Olympic Village in London to St Pancras, followed by a walk from Gare Du Nord in Paris to Batignolles. I began by asking one of the ‘games makers’ for a bit of advice;
Neville – Excuse me sir, can I ask a bit of advice?
Games Maker -of course you may – I will try to help
Neville – If I wanted to get as far away from the Olympic Games as possible, where would you recommend I go?
Games Maker – [Laughs] Timbucktoo – no, no, I am joking being serious, what can I do?
Neville – no, I am being serious, where do you think I should go if I want to get away from all this hype?
Games Maker – pointless going into the city –
Neville – do you think I have to leave London?
Games Maker – quite possibly, quite possibly, yes
Neville – leave England?
Games Maker – well fortunately there’s not stuff going on it all parts of the country. There’s stuff going on in Scotland, There’s stuff going on in Wales, there’s stuff going on in Weymouth…… France.
Games Maker – Its a difficult question to answer. Why are you finding all this too stressful?
I then proceeded on my walk through the Carpenters Road Estate, along Roman Road, Hoxton, City Road, speaking to several people on route. Twenty-four hours later I found myself in the wonderful Martin Luther King Park. The park has been the first thing developed and opened to the public in a huge area of land, which shared a very similar history to the Olympic Park in Stratford – both having been former railway yards and sidings with industrial buildings. The park was everything you would imagine a very successful community park to be [the film to follow] where the regeneration of housing in the adjacent areas has followed on from building a community and responding to local needs. Very little sign if any of the site’s previous ambitions to host the Olympics and seemingly little interest in the games. After filming on Friday 27th I did try to see if I could find a bar which was screening the opening ceremony. None were but I managed to persuade one bar owner to switch channels – what resulted was a really interesting hour long conversation. Next post.