this past weekend i was hanging around the Southbank Centre in London.  for people who don't know it, it's a complex of different Thames River-front buildings with galleries, restaurants and various interesting things to check out dotted here and there.  while eating lunch inside a mostly-glass cafe, i couldn't help but notice a small group of young guys bounding over and jumping on the concrete architecture  outside -- kinda like Spidermen in training.  i told my companion to look over his shoulder and check them out.  he turned around and said, "Yeah, that's parkour."

and i was like, "Park what?  huh?"

i must have been living under a very un-hip rock for a long time to never have seen it before.  pre-teen and teenagers (all guys from what i saw) hanging out in a large public space bouncing off concrete like it was rubber and flying over guard rails and walls like they were circus acrobats.  it was pretty damn awesome.

after lunch i was walking outside along the river and passed a giant concrete cave-like area covered with amazing graffiti.  in fact, there was a graffiti artist set-up there at that moment, creating some legal graffiti over someone else's master work.  and it was cool.  the area was mostly skateboarders and a few trick-bike guys, but there again were the dudes doing the parkour.  i was just amazed.  why i haven't seen it all over the States i don't know.  maybe in the States people get arrested for doing it -- maybe in the States kids are just lame.  maybe i'm just lame -- i don't know.

anyway, if you don't know what parkour is and have never seen it for yourself, here's a good example of it from Youtube.  watch it -- it's cool.  the best thing is, the guys are really doing it -- it's not just clever editing. 

it was fascinating to see for the first time, and i hope to see something that cool every time i venture into central London...

This is the only shot I could get of the guys doing parkour -- they move pretty fast...