Leicester Square

Will The Thrill Of Going Out Go Out?

A 1920s advertisement had a headline that began; ‘If you go out these days – and who doesn’t? you’ll want to enjoy…’ The idea of ‘going out’ is a peculiarly complex one for Londoners, attached to the idea of being entertained for the evening. It is inextricably woven with sex and drink, bad behaviour and […]

Love It, Loathe It, Leave it.

There’s a lot of talk in the press this week about the sterilisation of London, how glass boxes and ‘retail experiences’ are replacing entire scruffy streets to cause the greatest overall change since WWII at incredible speed. The fear is that the core of the city will vanish and it will cease to be London […]

World’s Most Pointless Store – Title Contested

In the last post I pointed out that this accolade belonged to Fortnum & Mason – it doesn’t, of course. That title belongs to M&M World Leicester Square, a gigantic, dead shop dedicated to selling little sugary sweets and plastic containers, and nothing else. As it’s impossible to self-finance a huge site selling this kind […]

Leicester Square, Twinned With Afghanistan

This is how Leicester Square looked during the strikes of the seventies. It’s not much different now, except that tourists have replaced the binbags. Actually, if you look carefully you’ll see that the surrounding buildings were a lot nicer then. Now, thanks to excessive plastic signage, the rampant spread of outside drinking areas, takeaways, mimes […]

Make Room, Make Room 2

More on the overcrowding of London. I find myself wondering how the tourist overload brought about by the Olympics will affect the tube system. Crossrail won’t be finished, which means that the Tottenham Court Rd interchange won’t be open, and the nearest other stations are already crowded to breaking point. I’m the world’s least claustrophobic […]