Because I now carry around my camera (for the sole purpose of capturing moments of interest for my blog), I couldn’t resist taking photos at work today. The sun was setting (around 4 p.m., argh!) and casting a beautiful light on the skyscrapers of Canary Wharf. The photo above is the view from my desk. The tower with the pyramid top, next to the Citigroup tower, is where my friend Bobby works. It’s called One Canada Square and is the tallest building in the UK, in case you like to know these kinds of things.
My office plan is “open office,” which means there are no dividers or offices or cubes anywhere. It’s like working in a kindergarden classroom, without the snacks and naptime. The setup is supposed to facilitate openness, but actually, I think I talked and shared more with people when I had my own office, mostly because then I had privacy and felt more free to talk during the day. And I miss having room for all my papers and shoes, though I admit that I am not a tidy person at the office, so I could have the biggest office in the world and still not feel like I had enough room for things.
I’ve already complained to some of you about how ironic it is that I work at Canary Wharf. I mean, I moved to London with the expectation of exploring all the charms and history of the Old World, and I end up working at what you can only call a recreation of the good and bad about America. Everything in this urban regeneration project is shiny and new, built in the last ten years. Shopping malls everywhere. The only Chili’s restaurant in the United Kingdom (OK, fine, one of four). A stunning tube station built by Norman Foster and featured in The Constant Gardener. Convenience is the watchward when you’re at the Wharf, but you could really be anywhere in the world, couldn’t you?
At right you’ll see a photo of the Millennium Dome, which I also see from my desk if I swivel my chair around. It’s built on the Meridian line and is allegedly the world’s biggest dome, currently used for storage or something lame like that. I mean, that’s some really expensive storage space. Note the weird crane-looking things sticking out from the top. I can’t get over that it’s supposed to look like that. You’ll see more of this dome when the 2012 Olympics come to London. Then the whole world will see how ugly modern architecture can be!