West End/East End, Part 1

Entirely unexpectedly, not to mention coincidentally, this weekend has been spent exploring the two Ends of London – the East and the West. The North and South Ends can go screw themselves, I have no time for them. I’m not even sure where they are.

I encountered many wondrous things on my voyage. Yesterday, the original plan was to visit an antique market near Bond Street Underground Station. Unfortunately, the Internet lied, and it was closed. So I figured I’d wander around Mayfair for a bit.

IMG_0688On the left is a former residence of William Blake, whom you may recall being mentioned in this blog before now. It is now a waxing studio. The sign in the window reads, “1,000,000 bushes beautifully pruned and counting!” I believe this is a reference to Blake’s Songs of Innocence and Experience, though I could be wrong.

IMG_0690In this photo you will see two blue plaques. On the right is George Fredric Handel. On the right is none other than Mr Jimi Hendrix. I like to imagine they had jamming sessions together, but apparently this is unlikely due to that whole “physical impossibility” thing. Still, ‘All Along the Watchtower’ remains a frickin’ awesome song.

IMG_0691On your left – a house on Brook Street owned by Prince Talleyrand. I mention this primarily because I find his name hilarious. In fact, I feel that it should become a euphemism for something, and I intend for this to be the case by the end of the week.

I do not know who Prince Talleyrand was.

robuttsOn your right is a fashion boutique of some sort, not clear who runs it though. The mannequins have robot heads to invoke post-apocalyptic terror. For those of you interested in such things, the robot on the left is copied from a toy robot made in the 1950s by Line Mar, the one in the middle bears a resemblance to Yonezawa’s 1960s “Krome Dome” robot and the one on the right looks more than a little like a 1960s Bull Mark “Mirror Man” toy. AND NOW YOU KNOW.

IMG_0693Here is a picture of Berkeley Square. I am told that a nightingale sang here once.





IMG_0695And here on the right is Grosvenor Square, famously inhabited by many members of the aristocracy back in the day and now home to the American Embassy. In Oscar Wilde’s not-about-homosexuality-honest play Lady Windermere’s Fan, the Duchess of Berwick notes that many vulgar people live here. One suggestion, made by Ed Glinert among others, is that this was a reference to the “New Money” residents who began colonising the Square in the later part of the nineteenth century. Personally, I think it’s just to show that the Duchess is such a snob that even other aristos are beneath her. Take it as you will.

minitardisLeft – a very small police phone box, also on Grosvenor Square. The Time Lords planned to produce a number of these mini-time machines, known as Reduced Exterior Time And Relative Dimensions In Space. Unfortunately, the acronym, RETARDIS, meant that it was doomed from the start.


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Filed under 19th century, 20th Century, Buildings and architecture, Geography, History, Literature, London, Music, Notable Londoners, Photos, Psychogeography, Rambling on and on, Weird shops, West End

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