When Sunday of my UK trip rolled around I was exhausted, but determined to get out and do some sightseeing. I decided to see what the concierge would suggest. I guess it must have been how I was dressed, because he suggested I stroll over to Carnaby Street for some shopping and a nice lunch. I had never been, so it sounded like a good plan.
I leisurely strolled in the general direction of Soho wondering if I should have taken that map. I had a sudden slight panic attack that I was venturing off on my own with no escort in a strange city. I don’t think this ever would have occurred to me in the past. I then desperately longed for Brett to be with me. Knowing the time difference I called Brett to calm myself.
Feeling better, I came to Oxford Street and was greeted by a parade! Well, a Salvation Army marching band. Coming to the populated Oxford Street and the upbeat horns lifted my spirits as it seemed the band was leading me to my destination.
In my mind, Carnaby Street embodies this iconic swingin’ 60s London. I was interested to see this first hand. I don’t know if I got that Austin Powers throw back feel, but it did feel like NY Soho or the Village to me. Just a little… cleaner. Ok, you got me, a lot cleaner.
The buildings were these great bright bold colors and all the shops were cute and quirky. It was blocked off from cars, so it was all pedestrian foot traffic. There were tons of pubs and restaurants speckled in the area. Which isn’t all that big, but there sure is a lot going on.
I got swept up in a store called Irregular Choice. Upon later research, I found that the original store is located in… NYC Soho. Guess it’s been awhile since I was shopping in the city. I resisted the urge to buy, reminding myself that there isn’t much room in my suitcase for a pair of shoes. I feel much better now knowing I can get a pair here in the states. But man, look at these shoes!!!
As the day started to run out, I realized I still hadn’t had my lunch. Overwhelmed with choices, I found myself in a blues bar having a pint. They didn’t have any food, so I figured I’d fill up on beer. The proprietor was nice enough to give me a sampling of their beer and chat me up for a bit. Seems he spends a great deal of time in New Orleans. Shocking, right, blues bar guy… New Orleans. As with many Londoners, they love Americans. Not sure why… or if they’re just being proper.
I snapped a pic of the mural on the way to the restrooms. Which were exactly as I would expect from a seedy music venue. I’m sure there was serious history here and it sure smelled like it. I wished for the live blues, but was too early for blues and getting too late for shopping. It was time to move on.