London’s shopping nerve – Oxford Street – goes straight through west-central London. Some Londoners avoid it at all costs, others thrive on the buzz that always pulse through this street. Ask any tourist and they will tell you this is where you need to be when you’re in London, forget Big Ben, Buckingham Palace and the Tower, this is it. This is London. Ask a local and they might say it is too crowded, to much traffic and too little of genuine London.
To me it is the centre through where I pass when going to work or play and I often gravitate toward its many shops, because it has everything and it’s a good starting point to then venture out to other places in the area, such as Charlotte Street mentioned earlier.
There are many controversies following this street, where red busses sit bumper to bumper most of the day and pollution is high. There are changes coming though with the current mayor of London Sadiq Khan promises to pedestrianise the street by 2020, including banning taxis and busses. The scheme would first see its eastern part between Tottenham Court Road and Oxford Circus ready for pedestrian only, to minimise disruption. The only problem is what to do with all the traffic and numerous bus routes that is currently running down the 1.2 mile stretch, would the surrounding streets be able to take the increase of traffic.
The extra bits: Olfaction – I love this word and there is no place like Oxford Street to use all your olfactory receptors. The constant smell of exhaust fumes laying like a blanket over this busy street, but then there is the sweet sticky smell from the waffle stand, or wake up kick from someone passing you with a cup of newly brewed coffee. You walk past a certain popular hamburger chain and its greasy smell almost overwhelms you, but then the next instant your nose has found the smell of someone’s passing perfume. Oxford street is certainly the place to go to write with all your senses.
Let me know in the comments if you have a favourite O street in London or in your own hometown/favourite city.
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