Strolling on Sunday

July 4, 2007 at 10:26 pm | Posted in Anime & Manga, Comics, Gaming, London, Out and About, Pop-cult, Procrastination, UK | Leave a comment

On Sunday I met and chatted with Amy at Green Park before going geek and walking around the inner city to some of potential haunts in my new home.

Green Park and St James Park are lovely and relaxing scenic spots near the Mall and Buckingham Palace. Perhaps the rain kept numbers down but the wet weather didn’t deter us as we wandered, chatted and munched on snacks. On the edge of Green Park (Piccadilly side) is where you’ll find numerous vendors selling artworks that cover the park fence and foot path. I had momentary thoughts of a Mary Poppins style chalk drawings but this was quickly dashed by the less than stellar pieces.

I now began my solitary walk through the city to check out a number of geeky and specialist shops I’d found on the net. As normal I got lost any number of occasions, with plenty of backtracking and circling around. Let’s ignore those distracting and tiring details for the specifics.

First stop was Europe’s largest bookstore – Watertone’s at Piccadilly – and Wren’s 17th Century St James’ Church next door. The church while old didn’t look overly impressive so I skipped a more thorough inspection and headed into the bookstore, spread out over several floors and featuring a couple cafes. Oh and plenty of books. Floors and floors of them. The shelves are largely along the walls leaving a sizeable amount of available space where, if they chose, they could have more shelves. At any rate for any booklover you’ll no doubt find a worthwhile distraction.

Next onto the Japan Centre. It features Japanese food, groceries, travel, books and homeware. I thought the floor space and range were limited but the supermarket was popular so perhaps I’m missing the point. Now I moved to the famed Piccadilly Circus with its neon lights and statue of Eros and down towards Trafalgar Square and the centre of London, Charing Cross.

After lunch and a reduction in the rain I moved into Chinatown and finally found a place selling Bubble Tea (a rarity in London). I asked the shop assistant and apparently there are no chain/ franchise shops in London selling one of my favourite drinks. Shame. From Chinatown I made my way to the Trocadero centre with its limited shops, cinema and fantastic arcade complex – Funland. I’m looking forward to coming back here in the future trying to build some skills. Of course if you’re not into arcade games then why not try dodgem cars, pool, air hockey, slot machines or any other fun game. I wonder how they can make much money given the amount of floor space they cover and the small number of people inside.

Walking past Virgin Radio I came to Arigato a Japanese supermarket for those needing some Asian food stuffs before moving onto Chapel street. Unfortunately I couldn’t find either of the two recommendations: Octopus – funky items and ACE – gaming, but on the plus side I got to walk down this iconic street.

An unsuccessful walk down Berwick street followed (most of the allegedly good coffee shops seemed closed) led me to Oxford Street and Games Workshop. Filled with lots of people (guys) checking out model kits. I felt completely out of my depth as it is something I’ve never been into but thought I should pop my head into anyway. Next Computer Exchange where there is a supply of second hand computer games and DVDs for you to peruse. I managed to pick up a PC version of Final Fantasy VII (probably paying too much for it) and was eager to try and play this game out of nostalgia. I realise that trying to get an old game to play on modern equipment would be a challenge and this turned out to be the case. Despite consulting numerous forums, downloading many patches (including how many viruses?) and tweaking all manner of settings I failed to get the game running. In effect wasting my money but it is nice to have and perhaps one day when I have a week to spare I’ll get it working.

Around Computer Exchange, Goodge Street and Tottenham Court Road are a number of other computer shops that might be worth your while to inspect. Also on Tottenham is Casino Leisure Centre, a small arcade centre near Goodge St Station but nothing compared to Funland. Of course if you get bored with games and culture you could step into the Scientology centre next door.

Walking down towards the British Museum, particularly along Great Russell Street you’ll find several comic shops. Gosh! looks quite good. Down on Oxford Street is apparently one Forbidden Planet but I failed to locate it instead going to the other? Forbidden Planet on Shaftesbury with its massive collection of collectibles, comics, anime and mange, dvds and books. Definitely check it out.

The nearby Orc’s Nest was closed on Sunday but looks to have models and the like. Further down on Charing Cross Road is Murder One a book shop for crime and romance novels – because these two go together? Being a specialist shop if either of these pique your interest it would be worth checking out. Also on Charing Cross Road is meant to be Comic Showcase. I found the sign but no clear way to get into the shop. Assuming it still exists.

Besides the above mentioned there were numerous other book shops and the occasional comic store as well to keep you interested as you walk through the city. If you get bored there is always a pub, coffee shop, musical or movie theatre nearby.

The main places I’ve listed here can be found on my Google Map.

Next week some actual real sightseeing!

Advertisements

Leave a Comment »

RSS feed for comments on this post. TrackBack URI

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Blog at WordPress.com.
Entries and comments feeds.

%d bloggers like this: