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I'm still getting used to the "wrong side of the road" thing, even as a pedestrian. Doesn't help that there's no stop signs and the pedestrian walk signs can be slow. It occurs to me that I've rarely needed the road-crossing skills on display here. E.g. where I grew up the main road was lethally busy, there were plenty of stop signs, and no reason for me to not just walk to a stop. San Francisco was similar - quiet side roads, controlled main road.

Roads are twisty, which makes it hard to navigate on the fly. Grids, you can drop down a block for your return leg, but here who knows where that might end up, or so I feel. So I stick to main roads, and just reverse my trajectory, that being the only composition available in this mess.

At Victoria Park now. Nice big lake and fountain, and enticingly mysterious island in the middle. I always loved those as a kid, and never got to visit one. You can fish in the lake, but just for fun: no barbed hooks, immediate return of any caught fish, etc.

I wonder if Boston has a big park like this. It was cool living next to Golden Gate Park like I did in SF. And without an obvious premium, unlike Central Park in NYC. Sometimes I wonder why we all left.

I forgot to mention: Liverpool Street station last night had a mouse on it. Not for long, it scurried into a hole. How does a stone and concrete wall develop mouseholes? A century of thermal cycles and settling, I guess.

Rather weird Burdett-Coutts Memorial Drinking Fountain, with no actual water.

Passed a couple of women in full eyes-only cover, speaking in full English accent.

Found and walked through an "old English garden". Not a full hedge maze, but the intimation of one. Also two girls being intimidated by pigeons they'd overfed.

Nice day. Actually hot in too much sun.

Not too much else exciting. Just walked a lot, passing lots of row houses with bay windows, "estates" meaning large apartment complexes, pubs, Indian takeaway, a Vietnamese restaurant, another Caribbean one.

My new shoes and sole insets seem to have paid off; I'm not getting the rapid foot and posture pains I was a few weeks ago. But right now, my feet sure hurt...


( 5 comments — Leave a comment )
Aug. 16th, 2010 12:35 pm (UTC)
Vicky Park is reputed to be one of the city's better ones but I've only passed through it once and seen it from its fringes. Its hosts some great music festivals every July. Did you manage to see these while you were there? It's a surviving fragment of the old London Bridge that was demolished in 1831. There are two of them in the Park.

>Roads are twisty, which makes it hard to navigate on the fly. Grids, you can drop down
This is something I love about the city but it annoys no end of visitors, especially Americans. And it's not surprising when they're used to grids. For me the twisty roads reflect the continuous organic growth that has survived despite efforts to modernise London. However it is worth noting that as far back as the mid-17th century, there were attempts to re-arrange the streets of the City, following the Great Fire of 1666. Thankfully the King let the City rebuild itself largely on its original street plan.

>Liverpool Street station last night had a mouse on it.
In 2007 the National Pest Technicians Association revealed figures that estimated Londoners were to never be more than 14 meters from a rat. Four meters closer than in 2006. There are lots on the Underground.

Edited at 2010-08-16 12:36 pm (UTC)
Aug. 16th, 2010 02:05 pm (UTC)
Don't think I did see the alcoves.

The twisty wouldn't be so bad if the streets were at least labeled and numbered frequently. For all the effort put into subway and bus maps there's a shortage of simple street signs.
Aug. 16th, 2010 02:27 pm (UTC)
Ah yes, you mentioned that in a previous post. I can't admit to finding that a problem, even when I first moved here. What can be a problem and is often complained about by tourists is how the same street keeps changing name. That reflects the history of parishes in London. Each one had a different name for the street until eventually you have a situation where (going west starting from the eastern end of the City, near Liverpool St station): Leadenhall St becomes Cornhill, then Poultry, Cheapside and Newgate St all within the space of a mile! And the same applies as it continues west into Westminster.
Aug. 16th, 2010 02:38 pm (UTC)
Well, even the Brits I've met seem to grant the lack of signs as a problem.
Aug. 22nd, 2010 07:35 pm (UTC)
"I wonder if Boston has a big park like this."

Boston Common & Boston Public Garden, though not anywhere near as big as Golden Gate Park. Or perhaps I misunderstood you?
( 5 comments — Leave a comment )


Damien Sullivan

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