July 17, 2015

SHERLOCK AT 221B

Location report: Sherlock Holmes. Coming back one evening from the BBC and John Steed's flat on Duchess Muse, a familiar tube stop rolled into view through my train window- Baker Street. I had avoided the tourist spots for weeks, but I couldn't pass up a chance to see the historic site of one of my favorite literary characters. I was already keen to get home, but a quick decision was made and I dashed out onto the platform. It was an easy walk up to the street and around the corner onto Baker Street. "We met next day as he had arranged, and inspected the rooms at No. 221B, Baker Street, of which he had spoken at our meeting. They consisted of a couple of comfortable bed-rooms and a single large airy sitting-room, cheerfully furnished, and illuminated by two broad windows." (Arthur Conan DoyleA Study in Scarlet, 1887). In fact, addresses during Doyle's time did not go as high as 221, perhaps the author's attempt to keep his creation in the realm of fiction. Even after hours, I found the site of the Sherlock Holmes Museum busy with kids taking portraits in front of the famous door to 221B. Apparently the address was officially granted to the museum in 1990 by the city of Westminster. I waited my turn and enjoyed imagining what the area might have looked like during Victorian times. I thought of myself at fifteen, doing a self-directed exploration of Holmes and detective fiction from The Strand as an end-of-term project. And I thought of Jeremy Brett, an actor who portrayed the great detective in an excellent BBC series from 1984-1994. Brett passed away from heart failure in 1995, and his obit in the New York Times summed up some of my own thoughts about why he was perhaps the best Holmes to date. "Mr. Brett was regarded as the quintessential Holmes: breathtakingly analytical, given to outrageous disguises and the blackest moods and relentless in his enthusiasm for solving the most intricate crimes." When my turn came to study the front of 221B, I snapped these images in hopes of interpreting what a traveler might have seen on their way to a consultation. The address. The doorknocker. And if Dr. Watson or Mr. Hudson were returning from an errand, perhaps a quick glance at the locks. On the way back to the station I paused briefly to capture Sherlock's presence in a number of shop windows, as well as the large statue that forever contemplates with pipe in hand in front of the station. What deductions might he make of us now? I dipped back into the tube to continue the journey toward my lodgings on the northern line and a cup of tea, glad for the opportunity to see another cultural site that looms large here on Spy Vibe. Stay tuned for more location reports! Enjoy! 








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2 comments:

  1. I hope we'll be hearing about the BBC and Steed's flat in due course! The pictures have been great so far, looking forward to many more.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Thanks, Richard. Visit to Steed's flat, and many other Avengers locations, coming up!

    ReplyDelete

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