Monday, January 27, 2014

Things I saw on my Google Street View tour of London

If you know me, you know that I'm a big fan of anything British. Most of my favorite books, music, and television shows come out of the UK, I drink a few cups of English tea a day, and I've got Union Jacks galore (jewelry, posters, tea mugs, bags, you name it). I guess you could say I'm an anglophile. 
My desk at work. I have a bit of a problem.

While London is, and has been my favorite city to learn about for years, I have never been. I'm currently saving up for a trip, right now I just spend a lot of time watching any British show I can that takes place in London.

I've been using Google Street View lately to check out the area I just moved to, and it hit me that there was nothing stopping me from typing in London, and using street view. I can't believe I haven't done this until now! I spent three hours total (and two cups of tea) clicking through the streets of London, and it was eye opening. I took screenshots of the E-trip, the way a tourist would snap photos, and I think I found some fun stuff.

This guy was one of the first people I saw. The long coat, the umbrella (brolly), the long pointy shoes, I just found it kind of picturesque.
Looks a little like a shorter Michael Sheen.

 This guy just chilling by the Thames. Maybe he's on his lunch break, or maybe he just got fired. (Or 'made redundant' as they say in the UK) I once went and sat by a river when I got let go from a job. It's going to be ok dude, we've all been there.

This couple being all in love and stuff by the Thames. Maybe one day I'll get kissed by the river in London.
It's ok, Londoners are used to being recorded 24/7

Now some instances where Google blurred the faces of things...that didn't really need blurring.

Yo dawg, I heard you like getting your dawg-face blurred.
"I sure hope they blur my face. NO ONE MUST KNOW I WAS HERE."

Mmm. Good thing they protected the identities of Will Smith, Josh Brolin, and Tommy Lee Jones.

Little restaurant near the Waterloo station. Under a bridge. I'm sure places like this are common, but I thought it was really cute.

In three hours of perusing the city, I only saw ONE person sleeping on the street. In NYC, it would have been more than one. Also what's with this weird Old El Paso ad?

AHA! I finally found a person wearing an actual Union Jack! Not sure if patriotic English girl, or zealous foreign girl visiting England.

This REALLY sad looking guy in the park. Not sure what he's doing but he looks very forlorn.
"Dad want's me to take over the firm...but ohhh the dream I have of being a professional cake decorator."

  This guy knows he's about to be immortalized on Google Maps. Cheers dude! I loved anytime someone waved or smiled at the Google car, I felt like they were smiling and waving at me.

 Lingerie shop. That is all.

 YES! Another someone excited to see the google car!
I like to think it's Sir Elton John.

    Knitting shop!  "A club, shop, and sanctuary for knitters"

Some dudes. (behind a bin)

Some Westminster Abbey.
Hey, I've seen your Kennel Club dog show. Haha kidding. 

   AS IT TURNS OUT, and yes, I looked for it, there is NO 221 B Baker St. I knew Sherlock Holmes was fictional, but I didn't know the apartment was as well. If you type it into google maps or a GPS, it takes you to 236 A41 Baker St, which is home of the Sherlock Holmes museum, and Hudson's restaurant. I must go.
"Mrs. Hudson! A cup of tea please thank you."

And then I strolled through a park? I completely forgot to check and see what park it was. It's gorgeous though, and people are just LAYING AND SLEEPING everywhere!

    I like to imagine that this kid on the left is writing poetry. Probably just texting.

            I wonder if this girl knows that she's on Google street view. She looks like a work of art.

Blue tree.

 I love these guys.
"Look! The Google car! Come here! Cheeeeeese."

And then I ventured into Soho. Ahhhh the famous (and sometimes infamous) Soho. I remember in Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, Mr. Hyde lived in Soho. It used to be pretty sleazy so I hear, but now, as I rolled through the streets, it seems to me to be very similar to NYC's Soho, which was named after London's.

    Whether London or NYC, Soho is where you really start to see the sleek fashion trends of young artsy kids.

I don't know who this punk-lite guy is, but I like him ad his David Bowie shirt.

Do they know each other? Or... this looks awkward.

I'm not certain, but this place might be gay.

 The Hobbit! It's a little smoke shop.

I saw the shadow of the Google car!

So...Ned's Noodle Box actually lets you go inside.
  The Google camera guy must take the camera on foot sometimes.

THIS. I accidentally zoomed down while inside of Ned's Noodle Box, and saw this. It's the tripod that the camera is on. Trippy.

I had to look up the Eye. I just had to.

And Big Ben is REALLY close to the Eye. It was around both of these attractions that I saw the heaviest population of tourists, whereas the rest of the city, I didn't see many that I could tell were tourists.

By now, I'd been browsing for about three hours. I hit Charlotte street and lo and behold, I just stumble across Mennula. I had a mini-freakout, as if I'd seen a celebrity. 
The day before my internet-romp through London, I watched a show called Gordon Ramsay's Best Restaurant. In it, he pits London's best restaurants against each other, trying to see which restaurant has the best food and service. Mennula was one of two Italian restaurants he put to the test. It was when I found Mennula, and say "Oh hey, I know this place." that I felt I'd given my E-trip a good go, and it was time to stop stalking London for the night.

So that was a nice mini-trip through London, sponsored by Google. I know there are some drawbacks with the way we've allowed technology to infiltrate our lives, but I think it's just amazing that you can sit in the comfort of your own home, in your pajamas, and see somewhere you've never been. Granted you can get the sounds, smells, or tastes of a city through google, but you really can get all the sights.
I highly recommend it! 

(All photos are property of Google)

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