The "special relationship" between Britain and America seems to wither with each passing year. Can we reforge old bonds and tie our proud nations closer together again by uncovering the deeper connections?
But we can have a bit of fun using Street View and Wikipedia to find all 50 US states within the Big Smoke. Hold on to your Stetson as we take the ultimate US road trip... without leaving London.
We start, alphabetically, with Alabama Street in SE18 (Royal Borough of Greenwich). I'm not entirely sure why this Plumstead suburban street is named after the southern US state. However, I'm claiming two geek points for spotting the false acacia in the background, which is indigenous to Alabama. We're off to a good start.
Alaska Street SE1 is one of the characterful streets that run beneath the tracks of Waterloo East. I can't find information on why it took the name of the coldest state.
Famously, Arizona took a piece of our city when the old London Bridge was exported to Lake Havasu City. But is there anything of Arizona here in London? Not much, I'm afraid. We'll have to plump for the state capital of Phoenix, and namecheck the wonderful Phoenix Cinema in East Barnet. This might be a recurring tactic...
Slim pickings again with Arkansas. Pretty much the only use of the name in London I can find is for a housing block on Hornsey Rise. It's accessed via New Orleans Walk, to add some bonus Uncle Sam.
We're back on firmer ground with the Golden State, which is name-checked many times. California Road in New Malden is one example. It starts out promisingly, even with a hint of palm tree, before reaching a disappointing dead end — much like many a Hollywood career.
No Colorado Roads, Streets or any other appellations in London, unless you count the recently built Colorado Apartments in Hornsey. A firmer connection is to use the state capital and head to Denver Road in Stamford Hill.
Connecticut is also absent from any street index, so it's to the state capital of Hartford we go. London has several nods to the city, the most prominent of which is Hartford Avenue in Harrow — a long stretch of Metroland semis.
Delaware Road is perhaps one of the more famous addresses in this list, being home to the famous Maida Vale Studios. You could even live in Delaware Mansions, Delaware Road if you wanted a double dose of the Diamond State.
Several London roads are named after this popular holiday destination. Florida Street in Bethnal Green is the most central. What it lacks in everglades, it makes up for in scrubby parkland, while the rocket launch towers of the Space Coast are here suggested by the looming poplars. Uncanny.
It seems New Malden is the place to go if you seek some Stateside glamour. As well as harbouring a California Road, the KT3 postcode is also home to a Georgia Road. Glancing at the wider map, we also find Nevada Close and Oregon Close.
Sadly, there are no Hawaii Roads in London. Imagine living at number five-O. Nor are there any places named after the capital of Honolulu. That means we must look to the state's nickname, the Aloha State, to get any kind of match. Thankfully, a poke place of just such a name recently opened on Chamberlayne Road, Kensal Rise.
We're into obscure territory here. There are no Idaho Streets or Roads. Nor can we turn to the state capital of Boise. Even the nickname of the Gem State is too generic to find a satisfying twin. However, if we want to go to the level of housing blocks, then there is an Idaho Building in Deptford. It's in the Deals Gateway housing complex, and has such American neighbours as the Montana Building, Arizona Building and Colorado Building.
Nowhere in London is named after Illinois, unless it has expertly evaded the attentions of Google. Fortunately for this slightly desperate exercise, there are numerous places in London that share the name of the state capital of Springfield, including the rather wonderful Springfield Park in Upper Clapton. I think I'm right in saying, though, that most people would think of Chicago when they hear the word Illinois, so I've chosen the Chicago Grill in Hammersmith for fame and glory.
The Indiana restaurant on Salmon Lane, Limehouse specialises in cuisine from India rather than the Hoosier State. It's been around since 1985, though, so who am I to call it confusing?
Not a lot of Iowa going on in London, to be honest. The state capital of Des Moines is another non-starter. However, Iowa's known as the Hawkeye State, and there we have a tenuous link. Go to Harlesden, and you can browse this unusual hybrid of a record store and bakery. Which counter would you go to for Mouldy Old Dough?
We're back in business with Kansas. This chicken shop is on Hornsey High Street, just along from a greengrocer that once went by the name of Al Pacinos.
Chicken is also immediately suggested by this southeastern state... at least for those of us old enough to remember when KFC was routinely called Kentucky Fried Chicken. The first branch opened in North Finchley as early as 1968, so that's the one we've ripped off Google Street View.
We met New Orleans Walk in the Arkansas entry, and here it is again, forming the spine of the 1970s New Orleans Estate in Islington. Several of the estate's blocks namecheck other Louisiana locations, such as Monroe, Lafitte and Shreveport Houses. If you're looking to make your own Louisiana Purchase, the former council flats sell for about £355,000, according to Zoopla.
Now to a very different kind of housing. Maine Tower is a 41 storey residential block near Canary Wharf. Prices here start at £655,000 for a one-bedroom flat... sorry, apartment. Or you can rent for a mere £500 a week.
At last, we've reached a whole area (and station) of London that shares its name with a US state. For those who've not had the pleasure, Maryland LDN is a neighbourhood to the east of Stratford centre. It's home to a twisty clock sculpture, the pub where Iron Maiden came of age, and a future Crossrail station. No one is sure where the name comes from, but it may be a rare case of a British place adopting the name of a US colony (Wikipedia essays the arguments).
Massachusetts doesn't appear in any street names, but its capital of Boston is all over the place. There's a Boston Arms pub, Boston Grove, Boston Vale and Boston Roads aplenty. It's about time, though, that we got a tube station into the mix, so here appended is the roundel for Boston Manor tube station — itself named after Boston Manor House.
Little Ilford secretes a grid of streets with North American connections. Michigan Avenue is one example, perhaps not as grand as the name suggests.
No Minnesotas on the street map, but its state capital St Paul offers some obvious material. That city actually has its own St Paul's Cathedral, so it seems almost a shoe-in to stick a photo of our St Paul's up above. It also feels like a bit of a cop-out. So, instead, let's use Minnesota's nickname of the North Star State to link up one of my favourite pubs: the North Star in Ealing.
I've had to resort to chicken again for the Magnolia State. A few variations on Mississippi chicken can be found around town, including this stalwart of Essex Road.
Missouri's one of those states where no one's heard of the capital (Jefferson City; population about a quarter of Slough), but everyone's heard of another city — in this case St Louis. If Judy Garland were to sing "Meet me in St Louis Road," she'd be expecting to see you in West Norwood. No sign of giant arches or world fairs here, though.
London has five streets named after Montana but, just for a change, let's single out the Montana hotel on Gloucester Road. It's perhaps best known to Londoners for the geographically incongruous Light of India restaurant on the ground floor.
Nebraska Street in Borough will be known to many Londonist readers, for it is here we find the magnificent Royal Oak pub — famed for its Harveys ales and old school charm.
And here we have an almost identical set-up in Greenwich, where the north-eastern corner of Nevada Street is occupied by a pretty decent drinking den.
Reading has a New Hampshire Street, but London does not (though we do possess a plain old Hampshire Street in Kentish Town). And so we turn once again to the state capital... in this case Concord without an 'e'. London does have one of those, in the light industrial shape of Concord Road, Park Royal. If you're from New Hampshire and you absolutely love car dealerships, then this is very much your kind of place.
Yet another chicken outlet must suffice for this state. New Jersey Chicken Shack Ltd on Caledonian Road looks much like any other greasy finger, with the notable bonus of al fresco seating.
Neither New Mexico nor its capital of Santa Fe are represented on the London gazetteer, and so we must turn to its nickname. New Mexico is most commonly known as the Land of Enchantment which, as you'd imagine, is also a tricky one to find on a London A-Z. Historically though, and before Florida nicked the epithet, New Mexico was known as the Sunshine State. All of which long-windedly and tenuously leads us to Mitcham, where a crescent of that name can be found.
No end of businesses in London trade on the New York name. As I've already featured more chicken shops than you could point a drumstick at, I thought a nail salon might make a change — especially as it's on the corner of the Manhattanish Second Avenue in Walthamstow.
Let's kill two birds with one stone by grouping the Carolinas together. If we do that, then we can include Carolina Close in (appropriately) the Maryland area of Stratford. Notice how it's rocking the same vibe as Georgia Road? These east coast states stick together.
Definitely an American 'thang' going on in this housing estate on the East Ham/Beckton borders.
The open plains of Ohio are strongly suggested by the landscape of Ohio Road, Canning Town.
You'd think there'd be an Oklahoma Road or even an Oklahoma Chicken somewhere in London, right? Wrong. The state is entirely absent and, given that its capital is Oklahoma City and its nickname is (inexplicably) the Sooner State, we're not going to have any luck there either. Fortunately, Oklahoma has a handy abbreviation of 'OK', and so we pay a visit to the modestly named OK car wash in Southall.
Michigan Avenue (see above) in Little Ilford has the very similar Oregon Avenue for a neighbour (along with a Toronto Avenue to make things slightly more international). For variety's sake, though, let's head to Orpington in extreme south-east London to find Oregon Square and Open Space.
Given that William Penn was born and raised in London, it's surprising that no roads in the capital take the name of the colony (and eventual state) that he founded. We do get plenty of Penn Streets/Roads/Courts but nothing with a full 'Pennsylvania'. Instead, head to All Hallows by the Tower, whose wonderful crypt museum contains a plaque dedicated to the man.
Greater Manchester enjoys the patronage of a chain of cafes called Rhode Island Coffee — sadly still absent from London, as are any other streets or businesses to namecheck Little Rhody. Fortunately, the state capital of Providence is well represented in London. I have to pick Providence Square in Bermondsey because — perhaps uniquely for a London square — it contains its own landscaped island. (It's also built on the site of notorious Victorian slum Jacob's Island, as featured in Oliver Twist, but we wouldn't want to raise that in comparison with the very beautiful Rhode Island.)
Tennessee is another of those US states favoured by chicken emporiums. Numerous examples can be found across town, but I've opted for the Tennessee Express in Muswell Hill simply for the ease with which one can make an international leap.
There is, or was, a little bit of genuine Texas right here in London. As this plaque in Pickering Place (St James's) attests, the Texas Legation inhabited premises on this site in the mid-19th century. Until 1845, Texas was an independent republic. These premises, effectively an embassy, could then be considered Texan 'soil' (albeit at first-floor level). Not to be confused with 'The Texas Embassy', a mediocre tex-mex restaurant that could be found near Trafalgar Square for many years before closing about a decade ago.
A handful of Londoners are lucky enough to live in the Utah building — another residential block in the same Deptford complex as the Idaho Building (see above). However, much more melliferous is to follow Utah's nickname as the Beehive State. The Gants Hill area of Ilford contains a prominent Beehive Lane, whose businesses include a Beehive Pharmacy and the Beehive Harvester (pub). It leads to the rather splendid Valentines Park, where you'll find an ornamental lake, if not a Salt Lake.
Vermont Road in Wandsworth is almost entirely dominated by these handsome housing blocks. Each is named after a village on the Isle of Wight, and not a place in Vermont as you might expect.
The name Virginia appears in more London street names than just about any other, so take your pick. Mine would be Virginia Quay in East India Dock because of its strong connections to the colony and eventual states of Virginia. This over-the-top monument marks the rough spot where, in 1606, British sailors set off to found Jamestown. Oh, and in case you're wondering, the flags (including Old Glory) are flying at half mast because I took the photograph in the days following the death of the Duke of Edinburgh.
As with Virginia, the name of Washington is much deployed across London, and there's even a statue of the debut POTUS in Trafalgar Square. Let's ignore the roads for once, though, and instead choose this fine Washington pub in Belsize Park, if for no other reason than that it was once my local.
No Wisconsin Roads etc. The state capital of Madison is easy to find in London, though. Madison bar, on the roof of One New Change, for example, has some of the best views in town. There's a Madison Way in the Olympic Park, a Madison Gardens in Bromley and Madison Courts all over the place. In the end, though, I couldn't resist playing on Wisconsin's nickname as the Badger State, to shoehorn in this earworm-inducing bar next to Deptford station.
And finally, what to do with Wyoming? There are no Wyoming Roads in London, nor any places named after its chief city of Cheyenne. It's known as the Equality State, which also doesn't help us. Even its secondary towns are small and little-celebrated (at the extreme is Lost Springs, which is so small that the Mayor makes up a quarter of the population). I'm honestly stuck at the last hurdle. The best I can do is to invoke Wyoming's third largest 'city' of Gillette as a means to drop in a picture of Isleworth's handsome Gillette building. But that seems unsatisfying, given that Gillette, Wyoming has a population of just 33,000, and you've probably never heard of it. So, this is your chance... what place or thing in London makes a better reflection of Wyoming USA? Answers in the comments, along with alternative suggestions for any of the other 49.
If you made it all the way through that list, you might also want to discover the bits of London that are now in America.