A tiny recent delight in my life has been the window of the office at the top of the Bakerloo line escalators at Piccadilly Circus. All summer there has been a display of beautiful origami paper flowers made from pocket tube maps and other bits of underground paraphernalia, growing up from the windowsill and hanging down from the ceiling. Yesterday they were briefly replaced by a display of polar bears and penguins. Today: nothing. An empty window and a bald bloke hard at work behind it.
I asked someone on duty at the station (‘Do you work here?’ ‘I sometimes wish I didn’t.’) what that was all about then, and she said that it had been the station’s entry in the Underground in Bloom competition: a manager’s son had made all the flowers. The competition was won on Monday by typically suburban Sudbury Hill station.
I don’t suppose they dug the flowers up at any of the other losing stations. With Nils Norman‘s work also still on display all around Piccadilly Circus, one of the most typically tourist-busy stations on the tube was an understated oasis of amusing art.