A week ago, a new visitor to one of our London Connection flats asked me why I love London so much. I am asked this from people who are just starting to travel to London, and I haven’t really thought much about my answer. Of course I love the National Gallery, the Tower of London, St Pauls, St. Martin in-the-Field, Buckingham Palace, the British Library, the British Museum, the Houses of Parliament, on and on. They are old friends which I have known all my life. But why do I love London? I have to say that I love London because of the STREETS. I am a great walker; and as soon as my company work is finished for the day, I head out with my camera and my walking stick. I walk everywhere, see every street, talk to everyone I see, buy what I fancy, eat off the street, check out the flower stalls, read the banners on the great galleries, listen to the church bells, chuckle at the young people in their floppy clothes, read the headlines, grab a copy of TIME OUT, buy some post cards, look at the work of artists in Trafalgar Square, wander down the River from Westminster Bridge all the way to the Tower of London, check out the Southbank, wander through Hyde Park, walk down the Mall, get a pastry at Paul, check out what is happening in Covent Garden, and look at the fabulous cars around the Claridge Hotel. I talk to the souvenir shop keepers, and I have my camera going every minute. I love London drizzle, the traffic, the police sirens, the sounds out the pub doors, the lovers tucked in a corner of a great building, the flower stalls, the taxi drivers. I could sit on Trafalgar Square and chat with the buskers all evening as they play their instruments, all for a tip and for pure pleasure. I read every Blue Plaque I pass, and I notice every front door and all the cobble stones I walk on. I love the city from top to bottom. It has always been a noisy city filled with immigrants who speak little English. It has always been a city which had a passion for the theater. It has always been a city of great contrasts between the very rich in their fine cars and the very poor who at night sleep in cardboard boxes along the shop doors. It is a city that has lived a long time; everywhere, there is a record of some historical event. The shops are fascinating, the antique markets draw me like honey, and the stamp stores are full of commemorative issues which I like to look at. I am tempted by every pastry shop. I hang over balconies at the Royal Opera, and I try to sit in the first three rows at a concert at St. Martin’s. I like a dinner party at the Savoy, and when I want steak and kidney pie, I go to Rules. I stop at every cane and pipe shop to check out the “smells” and to buy a walking stick to tap on the sidewalks as I walk along. Yes, that’s right; I love the STREETS OF LONDON. That is what I love most of all. Oh my goodness, I love London. It is in my soul. You have to walk in London or you will miss the best parts. No one can give you directions; just start walking and looking at everything you pass by. Be a London wanderer, and you will love the streets as well. I love cities where people live in their cities; I despise suburbia! I will be in London shortly; come along, and we will wander together.
I love to wander through London, day after day. My 1 January 2012 flight to London will be my 193rd crossing the North Atlantic to London from the States. I hope to makes these trips until the day I die when I can’t photograph my walks in London any longer. ANY DAY ABOVE GROUND IS A GOOD DAY, ESPECIALLY IF YOU ARE IN LONDON.
Thomas Moore email: TMooreSr@me.com Telephone: 801.791.9918