Our town

Yates Lane, NW8

Zadie Smith uses Google Maps, then doesn’t

From A to B:

A. Yates Lane, London NW8, UK
B. Bartlett Avenue, London NW6, UK
Walking directions to Bartlett Avenue, London NW6, UK

Suggested routes
A5 …………………………………………… 47 mins
2.4 miles

A5 and Salusbury Rd ……………………….. 50 mins
2.5 miles

A404/Harrow Rd …………………………… 58 mins
2.8 miles

 

1. Turn left on Yates Lane ………………………. 40 feet
2. Head south-west towards Edgware Rd ………… 315 feet
3. Turn right at A5/Edgware Rd ………………… 1.6 miles

Continue to follow A5

4. Turn left at A4003/Willesden Ln ……………… 0.7 miles
5. Turn left at Bartlett Avenue …………………… 0.1 miles

Destination will be on the left
Bartlett Avenue, London NW6, UK

These directions are for planning purposes only. You may find that construction projects, traffic, weather, or other events may cause conditions to differ from the map results, and you should plan your route accordingly. You must obey all signs or notices regarding your route.

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From A to B redux:

Sweet stink of the hookah, couscous, kebab, exhaust fumes of a bus deadlock. 98, 16, 32, standing room only – quicker to walk! Escapees from St Mary’s, Paddington: expectant father smoking; old lady wheeling herself in a wheelchair, smoking; die-hard holding urine sack, blood sack, smoking. Everybody loves fags. Everybody. Polish paper, Turkish paper, Arabic, Irish, French, Russian, Spanish, News of the World. Unlock your (stolen) phone, buy a battery pack, a lighter pack, a perfume pack, sunglasses, three for a fiver, a life-size porcelain tiger, gold taps. Casino! Everybody believes in destiny. Everybody. It was meant to be. It was just not meant to be. Deal or no deal? TV screens in the TV shop. TV cable, computer cable, audio-visual cables, I give you good price, good price. Leaflets, call abroad 4 less, learn English, eyebrow wax, Falun Gong, have you accepted Jesus as your personal call plan? Everybody loves fried chicken. Everybody. Bank of Iraq, Bank of Egypt, Bank of Libya. Empty cabs on account of the sunshine. Boomboxes just because. Lone Italian, loafers, lost, looking for Mayfair. A hundred and one ways to take cover: the complete black tent, the facial grid, back of the head, Louis Vuitton-stamped, Gucci-stamped, yellow lace, attached to sunglasses, hardly on at all, striped, candy pink; paired with tracksuits, skin-tight jeans, summer dresses, blouses, vests, Gypsy skirts, flares. Bearing no relation to the debates in the papers, in Parliament. Everybody loves sandals. Everybody. Birdsong! Low-down dirty shopping arcade to mansion flats to an Englishman’s home is his castle. Open-top, soft-top, drive-by, hip hop. Watch the money pile up. Holla! Security lights, security gates, security walls, security trees, Tudor, modernist, post-war, pre-war, stone pineapples, stone lions, stone eagles. Face east and dream of Regent’s Park, of St John’s Wood. The Arabs, the Israelis, the Russians, the Americans: here united by the furnished penthouse, the private clinic. If we pay enough, if we squint, Kilburn need not exist. Free meals. English as a second language. Here is the school where they stabbed the headmaster. Here is the Islamic Centre of England opposite the Queen’s Arms. Walk down the middle of this, you referee, you! Everybody loves the Grand National. Everybody. Is it really only April? And they’re off!

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