Tuesday, 22 January 2013

I was walking down Piccadilly this afternoon with my head in the air.
As I was leaving the Royal Academy after seeing the Manet exhibition - wonderful, but I'll have to write about it another day - I remembered just in time that I'd been meaning to take a look at Eros to the Ritz, a mini-exhibition about Piccadilly's architecture.
Just in time, because it closes soon. It's witty and absolutely fascinating. (And free to visit, tucked into that space by the restaurant.)
And it sent me wandering down the street, wishing I could see the batty-looking Egyptian Hall (demolished 1905) and wondering why I'd never properly noticed the Chinoiserie frontage on Starbucks. (Used to be Jacksons tea, hence Chinoiserie.)
I suppose the old Pan Am frontage was rather brash ... but I remember when I used to walk past as a child and even the name seemed impossibly glamorous.
I do look up, a lot of the time ... but maybe not enough. I've walked along here countless times without seeing a fraction of what's there. Though I'd say that the best view is from upstairs on a slow-moving 22 bus. (Sorry to everybody I was bumping into. 5pm possibly not the best time for an architectural dawdle.)
If it hadn't been so cold, I'd have walked both sides of the street while it was all fresh in my mind. But next time I'm in town I'm going to walk down Piccadilly with my eyes open.

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