It’s time to tot up those page hits and see which articles really got you clicking in 2020. Coronavirus? Check. Tube maps? Check. Tug boats? Er, check, apparently…
We’re eternal optimists here at Londonist, and back in March, we looked forward to the positive changes that might spring from this awful pandemic. We didn’t do badly with our predictions, either: many people are still working from home, rents have gone down (a bit), and we even foresaw that surge in bidet sales. Pulitzer’s in the post, right?
While we sadly lost of slew of great London venues this year, Elephant and Castle Shopping Centre already had its card marked. We called in to the controversial complex at the beginning of the year, to speak to the last remaining vendors before they were moved out. As one put it, “It’s a shithole we’ve turned into a goldmine, apparently. So they basically want to kick us out.”
Flippin’ Beck! By 3 January we’d already written what would prove to be one of our most popular articles and it involved… ah yes, an alternative tube map. It’s a good’un too — 2020’s network as seen through Harry Beck’s delicious 1930s design. Oh man, we think we’re in love…
Here’s a story that — oh ho! — tugs at the heart strings. From those early, uncertain and downright scary days of you-know-what, emerged this little boat on the Thames, blasting out a Python classic that put a grin on the face of everyone who watched the video. We can have nice things, after all.
Tube stations: you remember those, right? Well apparently, back in January, they were stressful, and one of them was the most stressful of all. How innocent we were.
Never mind the bidet thing — writing an article with a title like this at the start of March was prescient as. Still, Earth Hour 2020 did go ahead, and it’s back in March 2021 too — by which time we hope the world is on the mend, and we can turn our full attention back to critical environmental issues.
Designer Mark Node redid the tube map in this gently undulating format, which is incredibly pleasing to the eye. Its subtly-but-clever geographical format is intended to help people relate the underground system to London at street level. Node also shared his etymological tube map with us this year, which took us to stops including Bend Bend, Stream by a Tree Stump, and the ludicrously-named Marble Arch.
We won’t dwell on this one.
What it is, is… Birmingham based David Smith often works on the rails in Snowdonia, and decided to learn some Welsh while he was at it. Then he created this translated tube map — and judging by how popular our article proved, half of Wales must have seen it by now. Crackin’.
Forsooth, you’re a cultured lot. London’s venues went online en masse this year — with everything from opera to stand-up comedy making the switch. But what verily ruffled your truffles was the announcement that the Globe was streaming shows from its rich repertoire. Take that, Disney Plus.