Well, not exactly. They took it down piece by piece and reassembled it in Lake Havasu City, Arizona, despite finally realizing that they had not bought Tower Bridge, believing that Tower Bridge was “London Bridge“. I guess the plain sister snuck in a win over her prettier sibling this time. London Bridge, viewed on my journey to Las Vegas, Nevada, taking the scenic route hugging the California border and not the direct route almost exactly North West from Phoenix, is just plain, wrong. Sort of like seeing Mary Poppins smoking a cigarette, the Queen Mum wearing trousers, a bowler hat and a pin-striped suit on a Summer day or tea, clotted cream and jam scones with hamburgers and fries. Just simply wrong.
But, here London Bridge, once essentially spanning the river Thames, now firmly resides across Bridgewater Channel, a span of water that never existed, giving busy access through a desert that enjoys as much a relation to England as Cairo does to Cambridge. The perverse fantasy is complete with an English Village, “fusing classic English Tudor with contemporary design“, a castle crenellation resort, pubs, “shoppes“, and a medieval town square designed by someone who apparently never visited England and thus depended heavily on stereotypes and Anglo ill will.
But, despite the obvious contradictions, it did occur to me that, unlike the previous few hundreds years, this stoney beauty is destined to enjoy the next few hundred years basking in a desert sun and desert breezes, appreciated, pondered and poured over, enjoyed and away from English chills and icy Winters. Here in permanent vacation mode, her flannel greys and her sooty charcoals are a distant memory. Here in Lake Havasu, Arizona, she is Tower Bridge.