Gee, there are a lot of places in London that sound like they should be in America. Here are the most American-sounding of the lot.
Surely the most American-sounding thoroughfare in London, Broadway runs from Westminster's Victoria Street in the south, then bends left at St James's Park tube, before turning into the altogether more European Petty France. As you'd expect for an important road like this, it's home to a number of influential buildings including New Scotland Yard and the headquarters of TfL, shrinking penis and all. (Both of these organizations are due to move soon.) When you affix another word (such as Broadway Market, or Ealing Broadway) it sounds far less American.
Times Square, Aldgate
London's version of Times Square is altogether more domestic. Celebrate New Year's Eve here at your own peril.
Senate House, Bloomsbury
Say the word 'senate' and we immediately picture Jimmy Stewart 14 hours into a filibuster, or Barack Obama's universal healthcare being blocked. In fact, it's common for the administrative building of an English university (in this case the University of London) to be called Senate House. What we particularly love about Charles Holden's Art Deco behemoth in Bloomsbury is that it would look right at home in New York City or Chicago.
Famously, there are a number of Springfields in the States, which has led to speculation over which one The Simpsons' town is based on. London's got just the one Springfield — the name of a road in Hackney, leading to Springfield Park.
Central Park, Plaistow
Yup, we've got one of these too. This one's just around the corner from West Ham's old ground. It doesn't quite have the facilities or scope of its New York City namesake. But there are swings.
America Square, the City
It doesn't get much more American sounding than this. America Square, a short walk from Tower Hill, was designed by George Dance the Younger in the mid 18th century, and is dedicated to the American colonies. There's also an America House here.
Richemont in Normandy, France begat Richmond in Yorkshire begat Richmond Castle in Yorkshire begat Richmond in London (Henry VII named his palace here after his ancestral home in Yorkshire) begat Richmond, Virginia (William Byrd II thought the view of the river here was similar to that of the Thames from Richmond Hill). It's a nice, clean line of etymology, but does show a lack of imagination from those with the power to name places.
Maryland is American-sounding for a reason: it's named after Maryland Point on the Potomac River. This is where the Ilford merchant Richard Lee emigrated to in the mid 17th century. After 20 or so years, Lee returned to his east London roots, and built a house here called Maryland Point. The area was known as Maryland Point by 1696, and at some time later, truncated to Maryland. A rare case, then, of somewhere in the UK being named after something in the States. Another fact: it's impossible to pass through here without thinking about cookies.
Well, it sounds North American, anyway. The etymology couldn't be simpler; Canada Water is named after Canada Dock, where ships from (yup) Canada used to berth. One Canada Square at Canary Wharf is also in the running. And while we're on the DLR, we also reckon Star Lane smacks of America, although maybe that's because it reminds us of a certain American-themed bowling chain.
Dollar Bay, Docklands
Nope, it's the not the name of some corny American soap, but rather the genuine moniker for a rack of apartments currently going up in the Docklands. We really wanted to know where this very un-English name came from, but no one on Dollar Bay's team seemed to know. Then we read that Dollar Bay is actually the name of this bit of the South Dock. We also know there's a Dollar Bay in Wexford, Ireland — so could it be that ships from there used to moor up here? By the bye, one of the partners behind the new skyscraper is called Mount Anvil, which sounds like something you'd climb in Colorado.
Midtown, doesn't really exist
Since around 1990, certain parties have attempted to rebrand the area of Holborn and south Bloomsbury as 'Midtown'. OK, the area is now teeming with American companies, such as Google and YouTube, but who cares. The Midtown slur continues to be ridiculed by many (including, on occasion, us). And yet some people just won't give up; as recently as 2015 we were sent bottles of Midtown branded mead. Buzz off.