Pitch: In London, East Meets West on the #38 Bus

Dear (editor of a newspaper travel section),

When visiting London, to really see where you're going and appreciate where you've been, hop on a double-decker bus. My daughter has lived and worked in London's East End borough of Hackney since 2005, so when I visit her, I always make that bus the #38. 

It's not just about saving money (though it’s around half the cost of the Underground and a fraction of a cab fare). And it's not just about about the fun of sightseeing from the top deck of one of those sleek red Routemasters (though they've been irresistible London icons for 60 years).

It's about living for three weeks in an outlying neighborhood in one of the world’s greatest cities and discovering the many places of interest a single local bus can take me—not only within the grittily gentrifying boroughs of the East End, but as far west as Victoria Station and all points in between: from Hackney's hip Broadway Market to Picadilly's traditional Fortnum and Mason; from Gypsy Roma Traveller History month events at the Hackney neighborhood library to the reading rooms of the grand British Library; from East End street art tours (think Banksy etal.) to the Rosetta Stone at the British Museum; from touring Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park—perhaps the most notable symbol of the transformation of the East End—to listening to (or giving) a rousing rant at Hyde Park Speaker's Corner.

The 38 is a busy line that runs about every five minutes (though that doesn't mean it always gets places fast). If I could guess, I'd say I was usually one of very few tourists on the bus, but why?

I propose a 1200- to 1400-word feature exploring this unappreciated access to London destinations, both those on every tourist's list and many lesser known spots I have discovered on the #38.

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