The new London is wealthy, very wealthy, and its first big centrally located mall makes the big old malls in Los Angeles look like run down K-Marts. I gaped at the daring organic forms, the soaring spaces, the impossibly large glass curvilinear corridors. I was impressed by the upscale food courts (no Hot Dog on a Stick here, I'll have you know), and highly entertained by the live music (overamplified classical and an excellent R & B choral group) and a brief but lively fashion show. I had only come to check out the architecture and really wasn't in the mood to buy anything. Nevertheless I found myself being drawn into shops. Well, just to have a look, you know the feeling, so long as I was there. I don't know if it's because the place just opened yesterday, but the clerks were actually attentive. You can die waiting for someone to help you on Oxford Street, even in the most expensive shops. So right there is a feather in Westfield London's cap. I found a shirt in Boss I quite liked, but decided 110 pounds was a little out of bounds. Despite the gains the dollar has made lately, $170 was still more than I was willing to pay for a really rather ordinary knit shirt. In the end, the crowds started to get to me, so I headed for the exit before I convinced myself $170 wasn't really so bad after all. Outdoors it was cold, wet and dark, and it suddenly occured to me why malls became so popular in America. Umbrellas were being turned inside out, traffic was snarled for miles and the tube stop was jammed. Oh yes, I'll definitely go back.
Above, one of the many touch screen store finders.
A runaway dog from Whoville in the Next Department Store. Who says shopping is not for real men? That's a living model in the window of a lingerie store.