Spaces with a Literary ‘Twist’

When I walk around cities, I tend to snap a lot of photos – typically of houses or buildings that catch me eye for whatever reason – well, usually because they make me think of something else.

For example:

1. Here’s a Victorian-style B&B in Victoria whose white and maroon spindles (attached to the lower roof) remind me of bowling pins:

2. I’ve talked about this fairytale house before with its keyhole door. Doesn’t it look like a hobbit house in Lord of the Rings?

3. And combining fairytale houses with Victorian houses, here’s another that looks like a doll house:

Then there are places that catch my eye specifically because they allude to literary texts:

4. The Artful Dodger Pub in Langley named after a character in Charles Dickens’ Oliver Twist:

Dodger introduces Oliver to Fagin. Original engraving by George Cruikshank.

 

 

 

 

 

5. The cleverly-titled bakery “Life of Pie” that puns on the book Life of Pi by Canadian author Yann Martel that I read in high school English class — a great read with an ending that will knock your socks off.

6. And lastly, this one isn’t a direct allusion but can you guess what literary text it made me think of?

Address of a residence in Victoria's historic Fan Tan Alley in Chinatown - only 5 feet wide!

If you guessed Harry Potter, you guessed right. 16 1/2, 9 3/4? Okay, so the numbers aren’t the same, but how often do you come across “half” addresses? Apparently it’s a common feature in historic Chinatowns – nothing to do with the space being on the second floor or between floors (I asked once on a tour).

King's Cross Station in London, England. Site of the famous liminal crossing in Harry Potter.

So there are some textual spaces that have struck me. Which ones have you noticed in your city?

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