HaveYouBeenHere? A Quiet Covent Garden, London

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Covent Garden is one of my favourite parts of London: its thin, dated cobbled streets that are found beneath your feet remind you of a London that's gone, for the most part. Roaming through those uneven streets, you'll find yourself noticing two things in particular: many scenes of colour as various plants hang above the doorways of small, independent businesses and the constant smell of coffee that emits from the nearby cafés. The latter being most noticeable as of late given cafés must operate with only outdoor seating.

Covent Garden's most famous area, seen above, contains a large square in which most of its life takes place. There's forever a few public entertainers trying to woo a crowd of some additional spare change or perhaps a few generous notes of cash. During my most recent visit, the entertainer had chained himself into a straitjacket and was attempting to break free while telling various attempts at jokes.

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While the main square was still relatively -- though nowhere near as usual -- busy, the streets surrounding were mostly empty. The occasionally store owner leaving their place, or a few construction workers could be seen coming out of alleyways and brushing away dust and clearing up the streets a bit more.

I have to admit, I did feel that the general atmosphere was different that it usually is. Around the square there was still some hope and familiarity with the old way of life, where we sit together and laugh and roam the streets in search for something new. Though the streets haven't been offering much to see. Most stores are closed, with no signs of life within. Doors closed, no lights on inside. Coffee shops with their chairs all stacked up on the tables. It wasn't a very welcoming sight, but the noises of life coming from the main square could still be heard off into the distance.

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Whenever I have some free time, I always end up making my way over to Covent Garden. Not only are some of my favourite restaurants in the area, but the pre-pandemic atmosphere was always something to appreciate. Where people of all backgrounds come together to check out the events and grab some coffee and food.

It's located between The National Gallery and Chinatown, with the Royal Opera House being situated within it. So you'll find yourself stumbling across it quite easily if you're the type of person to aimlessly walk and see where your feet take you. I did take some really fun recordings of Covent Garden on my old camera, but it seems neither YouTube or Peakd wants to embed videos or gifs for me right now, which is quite disappointing. Perhaps I'll have to create another post in the future that displays all of these locations and the videos once it all runs smoothly.

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Covent Garden, while a ghost of its former self, still displays the hope the city has that things will soon go back to normal. There are still things to do, and relics of the old life still visible and taking place. I look forward to the time where it's once again packed with life and returns to being an overload of the senses. Maybe by that time I might be more equipped to display the true beauty of the area, with a more modern camera and no video issues.

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