Friday, January 30, 2009


Yesterday we received a tour of Oxford city and campus from a C of I alum, Taylor St. John.

Oxford the city has, from what I could gather, a very different flavor from London. For one thing, it's not nearly as cosmopolitan. But it shouldn't be; it's not a capital, it's not a huge financial center. It is, therefore, of a much more unified character than London, and this has to do largely with the college. The campus is hundreds and hundreds of years old, and all of its principal buildings are made out of stone. They even smell stoney. A great deal of the original stone buildings in the city, too, remain. The Victorian housing and markets that bump up against it actually blend really well, and there's none of the insane modernist architecture of London, so the city is much more relaxed.

A great deal of the city's character, in fact, seems to be determined by the college. Most notably, it's ridiculously bike friendly. It kind of reminds me of Eugene, Oregon, and I've only been both places once (which probably makes it even more true, since they both give the same first impressions).

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