14 October 2009
Bike Monopoly 27: Coventry St
The short one-way street of Coventry Street, occupying only 100m from Piccadilly to the north of Leicester Square, is lined with tourist snares: Planet Hollywood, Ripley's Believe It Or Not!, Trocadero, and souvenir-tat places that sell postcards of royalty and snowshaker paperweights with London buses.
So the answer to the question 'how do you like cycling through Coventry St' is therefore 'as quickly as possible' - not easy given its signals-stirred traffic congestion, and lost tourists trying to find their way to Covent Garden with unsuitable maps.
Your escape route is right, down Haymarket, and then off to the bottom of Trafalgar Square. And there, whichever lane you're in, the taxis and buses think it's the wrong one.
Monopoly's Coventry St costs £260. What could this buy you there? With such a sum, given the price of accommodation in London, you could be a budget tourist for a day. Or splash out and visit to Believe It Or Not!, then buy a wodge of postcards of Lady Di and telephone boxes, a tea towel with the comedy rules of cricket on it, a village-pubbe-shaped ornament, a T-shirt saying 'I [heart] London', an overpriced burger 'n' fries, a visit to Mamma Mia!, and a bottle of unpleasant pub wine. And then try and work out if any of those things were actually made in England.