Drifting and striding, in Hollywood and elsewhere, with Geoff Nicholson - author of The Lost Art of Walking, and Walking in Ruins withcholson, author of Toff Nidrifting and stomping withcholson, author of The Lost Art of Walking, considers the narrower and wider shores of obsessive pedestrianism.

Thursday, July 24, 2014


And here’s a thing.  I got an email from Don Pollins, “near Washington DC.”  He’d just read the part of my book The Lost Art of Walking where I spend a day walking back and forth from one end of London’s Oxford Street to the other. Given the wonders of Google Street View he was able to follow in my footsteps (“virtually” and of course now some years after the event), and he came up with this wonderfully telling image. 

I wasn’t exactly sure what kind of store Walk was, but it turns out, not all that surprisingly, to be (or rather to have been) a shoe store.  Obviously that branch above has gone out of business, and poking around on Yelp I see it got some pretty poor reviews, mostly based on the crappiness of the staff.  It’d be nice to think that was the reason it closed.  And it may be that the whole chain has gone out of business.  I’m not sure.  It’s really, really hard to Google a store that’s simply called Walk.  Maybe that’s why they went out of business.

But I know there was at least one other branch on Oxford Street because when I did the walk that I write about in the book, I took this picture, clearly a different store from the one on Street View:

The digital info attached to the image tells me it was taken at 6.41am on July 18th, 2006, which sounds about right, though I’m never sure how accurate that info is.  And here’s another picture I took that day:

It was taken at 9.53 am, apparently, in Frith Street, just off Oxford Street.  I took it because I saw the number 666, but I don’t suppose the bar was actively involved in Satanism.  It was called 6 Degrees, and somebody in the bar clearly had a number of large “6 degrees” stickers and put three of them in a row on the glass doors.  Perhaps they were mocking Satan - always a high-risk activity.  6 Degrees, I discover, has now closed down too.

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