After I had shot a series of images in the London Underground during the mid 1990s, I set my sights on a project about the city that would be based on street level.

Over the course of several years, I started a number of unconvincing stabs at this idea, but somehow couldn’t quite figure out how to make it work—after all, London seemed too large a city to really do justice using a set of 60 or so pictures.

Then, in 2001, I realized the West End was usually my first port of call to take pictures. The phrase “up west” [an expression oft-heard in East London, which means going to town; getting on a tube or a train to visit the city’s commercial and entertainment heart] came to mind and a project was born. Over 12 years, I wandered the busy shopping areas of Oxford Street and Covent Garden, drank in almost every pub in Soho, and stumbled across dozens of demonstrations, events, street parties and cultural festivals. This is what I saw.

—David Solomons

Editor’s Note: “Up West” was recently turned into a beautiful book published by Bump Books.