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Aug. 29th, 2007 | 07:38 pm
posted by: ross in hidden_london

(Do you ever look up? In this city, do you?)
Yes, I know the pigeons - and some of the 'human' inhabitants - love it when one does that, but as risks go it's rather minor. And the reward is sometimes quite spectacular.

If you're used to walking around Covent Garden and turn down Bow Street at the end of Long Acre, in pursuit of theatreland and whisky shops and Waterloo Bridge, then it's likely that you pass Floral Street regularly without even sparing the entry a glance, except to be wary of rogue bicycle couriers and rampant black cabs. Which is a shame as the street itself whilst very narrow and mainly back entries to other premises, contains many interesting - if on the expensive side - shops and crafty shortcuts. Running almost the entire length in parallel, of Long Acre, the most notable thing about Floral Street is five storeys straight up.

There's this twisted, bendy arial pathway. The Bridge Of Aspiration is so called because it joins the Upper Royal Ballet School with the Royal Ballet at it's home in the Royal Opera House. Two pretty high-profile establishments hiding a small functional gem.

This covered see-through walkway allows the prospects to traverse between the two in costume and unencumbered by pedestrians and diesel-fumes, in all weathers for rehearsals and auditions and doubtless other assignations. Ultimately of course, it's meaning transcends it's purpose as it perhaps guides the intended from a point of origin to hopeful permanent destination. It's all the more remarkable because the two buildings are of a different scale and the conjoined apertures are offset to one another. Consequently the bridge slopes and, as can be seen from the picture, heads off to one side. The segmented, rotational surround gives it an even more disorientating manner, however the wooden walkway is fixed rigidly and evenly to an aluminium spine and is anything but flimsy. If I were ever to get married, this is one of the three places in London I'd have liked to do so.

This is what it looks like on the inside. And again here at night with it's new lighting design.
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