Posted 20 hours ago

No Free Parking: The Curious History of London's Monopoly Streets

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But those Monopoly streets live and breathe – they open up whole new ways of thinking about our history. A mind-numbing hour later some bumptious child is gleefully piling hotels on Mayfair and everyone else is desperately trying to go bankrupt and get the wretched ritual over for another year. I think based on the cover or the title I expected something more conversational or more colloquial. He has written for the Spectator, Evening Standard, Times, Sunday Times, Telegraph, The Critic, etc etc, and been interviewed across TV and radio. From the Roman and Celts marching along the ancient Old Kent Road, to the rattling newspaper presses of Fleet Street, the game of Monopoly has painted London's story across cheerful coloured tiles.

In a city of rags and riches, where folk hero Dick Whittington believed the streets were paved with gold, anything could happen - and everything has. During every Morrison family Christmas there comes a point when someone is sozzled enough to shout the dread words: “Come on, let’s get out the Monopoly. Informatively, lucidly and entertainingly written, the book takes you through the ups and downs of their history and demonstrates why we should all be concerned for the future of streets, in London and elsewhere. To take London’s Monopoly streets as a starting point for an evocation of London urbanism is a witty conceit but it also provides a solid anchor for any constructive understanding of how we human beings live in our streets.

In a city of rags and riches, where folk hero Dick Whittington believed the streets were paved with gold, anything could happen – and everything has.

No Free Parking' is an account of London's streets, but it is also a defence and a vindication of them, and of the rich civic life that they have fostered. Boys Smith is one of Britain's leading public intellectuals on architecture and urbanism, championing a revival of street-based traditional urbanism against the 'traffic modernism' of the twentieth century. If you're a fan of Peter Ackroyd books or want to know more about London streets, then you may enjoy this. Taking London's Monopoly Streets is a brilliantly conceived way into looking at the city's longest lasting feature - those very streets. Well written and very enjoyable book on London's Monopoly streets with fun facts especially for someone that has been playing 'Monopoly' for decades.

The author’s love of London and its history are infectious - reading his evocative descriptions will send you (and your children) out exploring, looking up at the face of buildings and imagining what was once there.

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