This chunk of American Suburbia is named after London’s tube stations for no apparent reason

This wholesome American suburban home, which for no obvious reason is on Regents Park Circle. In America. Image: Google Maps

It turns out that pound isn’t the only sterling worth watching if you’re a worldly-minded Brit.

Sterling is a town in Virginia, in the US, about a 45-minute drive away from Washington, D.C (as measured from the White House, because why not).

And while it has several claims to fame – part of Washington Dulles International Airport sits within its boundaries; former US President James Buchanan had a summer house there; it used to be one of the many US towns that explicitly only allowed whites to live there pre-1960s – it has one quirk that is most interesting from a CityMetric point of view..

In one corner of the town, between the Walmart and the centre-of-town shopping mall, is a cluster of streets named after tube stationsAs in: the stations on the London Underground (and, indeed, Overground) network.

Click to expand. Literally, no joke. Image: Google Maps

You can turn right off Blossom Drive onto Waterloo Station Square, which has a pretty array of colourful, multi-storey, terraced houses, and then continue across the Cabin Branch brook to the intersection of Regents Park Circle and Paddington Station Terrace.

The charming houses of Waterloo Station Square. Image: Google Maps.

The left turn onto Regents Park Circle will then take you past Victoria Station Drive, Cheswick Park Court (as in, Chiswick Park, but they spelt it wrong), Ruislip Manor Way, Turnham Green Court, Ladbroke Grove Court and Tottenham Hale Court.

Regents Park Circle here, obviously. Image: Google Maps.

And down Paddington Station Terrace you can turn left onto Mornington Crescent Terrace, which connects up with Willesden Junction Terrace (I mean, really, of all the stations to choose), take a later left onto Brondesbury Park Terrace (hello, Overground, don’t quite know what you’re doing here).

This is Tottenham Hale Court. Of course it is. Image: Google Maps.

Or pull into the cul-de-sac of Wembley Central Terrace for a quick, quiet, in-car cry because honestly WHY are these roads named after tube stations.

I would say it’s some kind of train-themed neighbourhood – there’s Livingstone Station Street, Railway Terrace, Locomotive Terrace, Conductor Terrace, and Grand Central Square all in the area – but then there’s randomly an Indian Summer Terrace just across the way from Wembley Central Terrace.

Where Regents Park Circle meets Turnham Green Court. Image: Google Maps.

Seriously, though, this is about as weird as weird gets, and if anyone knows the answer to this one, please do let us know.


In the meantime, we’ll just sit here like ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ and see if there are any cheap flights to Washington going for a cheeky pilgrimage.

If you’re after something cheaper, though, there’s a small clump of streets in Amsterdam named after airports – namely Gatwickstraat (London Gatwick, obviously), La Guardiaweg (New York’s La Guardia), and Changiweg (Singapore Changi airport, god amongst airports).

What a world. 

(Hat tip: Oliver O'Brien of UCL.)

Jack May is a regular contributor to CityMetric and tweets as @JackO_May.

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Podcast: Second city blues

Birmingham, c1964. Image: Getty.

This is one of those guest episodes we sometimes do, where we repeat a CityMetric-ish episode of another podcast. This week, it’s an episode of Friday 15, the show on which our erstwhile producer Roifield Brown chats to a guest about life and music.

Roifield recently did an episode with Jez Collins, founder of the Birmingham Music Archive, which exists to recognise and celebrate the musical heritage of one of England’s largest but least known cities. Roifield talks to Jez about how Birmingham gave the world heavy metal, and was a key site for the transmission of bhangra and reggae to western audiences, too – and asks why, with this history, does the city not have the musical tourism industry that Liverpool does? And is its status as England’s second city really slipping away to Manchester?

They also cover Birmingham’s industrial history, its relationship with the rest of the West Midlands, the loss of its live venues – and whether Midlands Mayor Andy Street can do anything about it.

The episode itself is below. You can subscribe to the podcast on AcastiTunes, or RSS. Enjoy.

I’ll be back with a normal episode next week.

Jonn Elledge is the editor of CityMetric. He is on Twitter as @jonnelledge and on Facebook as JonnElledgeWrites.

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