Ah, lovely Trafalgar Square. When I first lived in England, you had to cross an extremely busy street to get from the main part of the square to the National Gallery. Today, that street is a pedestrian-only zone.
Definitely an improvement.
Now that I have pointed out that I am able to see that some changes are good, let me just say that, in general, change disturbs me. Not on an intellectual level, but on an emotional level.
When I go to London with Todd, there’s quite a bit of “Oh, that’s where that great Vietnamese Restaurant used to be” — “oh, and here’s where the Dillons used to be that got the windows broken in that football riot” — “oh no, that cool little shop in the tube station where I could always find a Diet Tango is gone” — “you’re kidding, they moved the Tourist Information AGAIN?”
And then we go to Norwich, where’s there’s now a MALL on Castle Hill, and the library’s in a gigantic glass building which also has a museum and a Pizza Express.
Okay, yes, these aren’t all bad changes. The old Norwich library (which burned down) was one of those ugly 1960’s type buildings — no great loss.
But part of me wants the world to stay the same. Seeing bits disappear when I’m not looking is like glancing down at my feet to find part of the floor has disappeared.
Which has me thinking.
How must Regency folk have felt about this? Because, however they felt, they surely noticed it. Did they hate it? Love it? Vary in opinion?
What do you think? Did London folk get upset when buildings were knocked down and streets torn up to make Regent Street and Regent Park? Did older folks complain that fast roads were ruining both the countryside and young men’s morals?
And do you get bothered when things change?
All comments welcome!
Cara King, author of MY LADY GAMESTER and mourner of the tastiest Vietnamese restaurant in London