What is London? 10 definitions of the Smoke

In my attempt to understand the character of London through the eyes of the people who live here, I’ve looked back at some of my own photos from this year and picked out 10 unashamedly filtered shots that have captured something unique for me.

Further down the line, I’ll pick out some writers’ definitions of London-ness (with no Samuel Johnson “tired of London” quotations, I promise), but, for now, here’s my view…

London is what the commuter sees through the window of a rain-flecked train…

An early morning view of Queens Road Peckham on the commuter train to London Bridge
A bleary-eyed early morning view of Queen’s Road Peckham on the commuter train to London Bridge

London is Byzantine…

Westminster Cathedral was built in a neo-Byzantine style at the turn of the 20th century
Westminster Cathedral was built in a neo-Byzantine style at the turn of the 20th century. It’s always a surprise to come across the turrets of this mini Hagia Sophia amid the office blocks of Victoria

London is the world’s meat market…

A butchers' and grocery in the Elephant and Castle Shopping Centre
A butcher’s and grocery in the Elephant and Castle Shopping Centre

London is waiting at a Tube station in the dusk…

The Wells Terrace exit of Finsbury Park Tube Station in a rare lull
A tunnel exit at Finsbury Park Tube Station in a rare lull

London is a design capital with no design…

Afternoon sun cuts a cool line across the Design Museum's Thames-side home
The afternoon sun cuts a line across the Design Museum’s Thames-side home in a former banana warehouse

London is a mishmash of sash…

An amazing array of windows at the back of the Jerusalem Tavern in Farringdon
An amazing assortment of sash windows at the back of the Jerusalem Tavern in Farringdon

London is St Paul’s illuminated after the rain…

St Paul's from Southwark Bridge
St Paul’s from Southwark Bridge

London is a series of unexpected Underground encounters…

A dog descends to the Jubilee Line at London Bridge
A dog and his owner descend to the Jubilee Line at London Bridge

London is layered with runes…

A graffiti covered doorway by the Old Vic Tunnels at Waterloo
A graffiti-covered doorway by the Old Vic Tunnels at Waterloo. The tag has undoubtedly been sprayed over countless times since this photograph

London is where commoners entwine in royal parks…

This tree in Kew Gardens forms an oddly provocative tableau
This tree in the Royal Botanic Gardens at Kew forms an oddly provocative tableau

What is London to you?

All images © knightswrites. Read more about the author…

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