Skip to main content

Do You Know The Muffin Man?

It is true that every road has a story to tell. Some roads tell the story of blood, sweat and tears of hard working people building the Interstate Highway System, or the vast network of parkways around New York City. Other roads tell the stories of families crisscrossing the landscape to create a better life for themselves or a gateway to a fun vacation where discoveries are sure to be at every corner.

Speaking of vacation, picture it, London, 2014. I am walking to Trafalgar Square from where I was staying in Holborn for a day of sightseeing around London, passing through Covent Garden and Seven Dials on my way to catch a tourism bus. While discovering all these nooks and crannies, it should have been no surprise that I stumbled upon a sign for Drury Lane, and stumbled I did. Street signs in London tend to be either low to the ground or affixed to the corner of a building, much different than what I come across in the United States.


After I returned home to Upstate New York from my vacation to London and Ireland, I was going through the photos I took from the trip and decided to look up if this is the same Drury Lane that is mentioned in the popular children's song "The Muffin Man". The short answer is yes, this is the same Drury Lane that you learned to sing about as a child, whether it was in the English language or in the Dutch language.

Drury Lane in the first quarter of the 21st Century is a far cry from the Drury Lane that was mentioned when the Muffin Man was first written in 1820. Now a typical city street in London's Theatre District, Drury Lane was a bit of a red light district in the old days, as well as an area where poor Londoners resided. But poor Londoners have to eat too! So enter the Muffin Man, who baked cheap foodstuffs such as English muffins and sold them fresh to the local residents. How that translated into a catchy nursery rhyme is beyond me, but it is another shining example of the stories that the streets can tell.

 Sources & Links:

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

California State Route 190; a Trans-Sierra Highway that could have been

This past week I decided to take a small scale road trip on California State Route 190 from CA 99 east to the unbuilt section over the Sierra Nevada Range.  While I was in for what turned out to be a fun drive following the course of the Tule River watershed what I found researching the back story of CA 190 was one of the most complex and unusual stories of any California State Highway.  Given that I had a ton of older photos of the eastern segment of CA 190 in the Mojave Desert of Inyo County I thought it was time to put something together for the entire route. The simplified story of CA 190 is that it is a 231 mile state highway that has a 43 mile unbuilt gap in the Sierra Nevada Range.  CA 190 is an east/west State Highway running from CA 99 in Tulare County at Tipton east to CA 127 located in Death Valley Junction near the Nevada State Line in rural Inyo County.  The routing CA 190 was adopted into the State Highway system as Legislative Route 127 which was adopted in 1933 acc

I-73/I-74 and NC Future Interstates, Year in Review 2022

Another year over, already? 2022 turned out to be quite the year if you are a fan of new interstate routes, and it wasn't bad for some long standing favorites. As per the tradition, I will review what happened with I-73 and I-74, and then the other new and future interstate routes in North Carolina... Work continued on the one segment of I-73 under construction, the I-73/I-74 Rockingham Bypass. As of the beginning of December, work was getting close to being 2/3 complete at 60.1%. Progress could be seen from US 74 on constructing of the future interchange at the Bypass's southern end. Here's a look from US 74 East in September from Google Maps Street View: Here's a photo from US 74 West taken last week by David Gallo: Work is now scheduled to be completed in October 2025, though the road itself could open earlier that year.  Progress on I-74 earned more publicity in 2022 with the opening of 7.5 more miles of the Winston-Salem Northern Beltway from US 311 (Exit 49) to NC

Interstate 605

Interstate 605 is a 27.4-mile freeway located in the Los Angeles Metropolitain Area.  Interstate 605 begins at Interstate 210 near Duarte and terminates at the Interstate 405/California State Route 22 junction to the south near the boundary to the city of Long Beach.  Interstate 605 is known as the San Gabriel River Freeway and has three unconstructed miles which would extend it south to California State Route 1 near Seal Beach.  Much of the corridor of Interstate 605 was built up from what was the original California State Route 35.  The blog cover photo is taken from the July/August 1964 California Highways & Public Works which featured the initial segment of Interstate 605 to open between Whittier Boulevard and Peck Road  Part 1; the history of the San Gabriel River Freeway and Interstate 605 The origin of what is now Interstate 605 begins during 1933 with the addition of Legislative Route Number 170 (LRN 170) to the State Highway System.  The original definition of LRN 170 was