I'll Have the Mac and Cheese
Trip Start Sep 07, 2010
60Trip End Aug 21, 2011
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My main reason for going to the West End was to visit Carnaby Street which was rumored to have a lot of eclectic shops where you could by strange and usual items. Once on Carnaby Street and the surrounding roads, the area is pedestrian only, and the roads were so narrow here that I can see why. In the 60’s, the street was popular with the "hippie" and “Mod” style of clothing and, I guess, living. I personally didn’t know what “mod” fashion was. “Mod” means “modern” and apparently mod individuals whiz around on custom scooters and wear independently made clothing that, more often than not, clashes
The rest of the West End included places like the Burlington Arcade. Unfortunately, it wasn’t the type of arcade that I was familiar. Not a single gaming unite was installed in the entire place. It was a row of high-end specialty shops that were basically like little Harrods. There were stores dedicated to women’s gloves, cufflinks, chocolates, furs, top hats, and much more.
Another important sight was the Royal Academy of Arts housed in the Burlington House built in 1665. The Burlington House was originally the private residence of the Earl of Burlington and his descendants until the death of the last Earl of Burlington in 1753. The House changed hands a few times before being sold to British government in 1853. In 1867, the Royal Academy of the Arts leased the building from the government for 999 years and a rent of £1 per year. I would say they made off pretty well in that deal. The House is also home to the Royal Society of Chemistry and the Royal Astronomical Society.
In the end, the West End can include a large area of down between Regent’s Park and Hyde Park. The west side of London is significantly more wealthy than the east side. West London houses Oxford and Regent Street (big time shopping streets), Soho, Kensington and Chelsea, Westminster, and most of the sights that you would associate with London.