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Cultural Icons in London Town

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by Catherine Wills (subscribe)
I'm in Melbourne often enough - so why not write a bit about some places I've seen :)
Published August 12th 2014
On a recent trip to England, my heart raced with excitement simply at entering the precinct of a significant city filled with history, culture and elements that have shaped literature, film and television over many years.

I took the bus from London Stansted airport into the city. This bus ride, although long and somewhat tiresome after a flight from France that morning truly opened my eyes to London's important pop culture. There are certain icons and images that one associates with London due to seeing them on television shows and movies. When such images appeared before my very eyes through the bus window, I began to understand something deeper about some London stereotypes and associations. London is home to the creation of icons, characters, significant street names and building and much, much more. And the thing with London is that these things don't stand out, they don't draw attention to themselves, because they are truly part of the landscape that creates the London which draws people in. And it does not disappoint.

This was one of the first street signs that grabbed my attention whilst sitting on the bus into London town. Baker Street. For fans of Sherlock Holmes in its many variations from book to television series to film and cartoon, this street name resonates much worth. The quirky detective and his adventures seamlessly blend into the artwork of London's contribution to a literacy legacy.

Another quintessential English contribution to pop culture is of course The Beatles. Although London is not the true home to the famous band, this store caught my eye as I glanced out of the bus window once again. Certainly not the only Beatles store in London, this simple shop façade attracts the music lovers' heart and soul as memories of the a Beatles song takes you back to a cherished time, place, memory…and plants itself in the presence of London.

The delightful truth about these telephone boxes is that they serve as a glorified, stereotypical icon of London. And seeing them first-hand brings a little smile to the cheeks. Everyone can recall in some way seeing these telephone boxes on a postcard, someone's travel photos, a British television show or movie, somewhere in cartoon format. Almost every association with London connects with the telephone box and photographing one after stepping off that bus made me feel that I was truly in London Town.

A simple bus ride, a necessary means to get into the city from the airport was just the first part of immersing myself in London culture. After that, each step I took through these ancient streets bought me further into London's history and culture and made me fall even more in love with this magnificent city.
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Why? Culture of London
Where: London
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