PR, Films and Fantasies

About London

Posted on: June 27, 2010

After two weeks of living in the big city I have to say that it kinda gets to me. The first time I was in London one year ago I was really disappointed and couldn’t possibly understand what is it that people saw in it. It seemed too busy, dirty, trashy (waaay too trashy), gloomy, sticky and wet… I don’t want to use nasty words here but I guess you can compare it to a certain type of woman 🙂

However, every time I came back, even if just for a few hours, there was something that surprised me about it. Slowly but surely I started to feel its vibe and am now in love with it. No, London is not the perfect city, nor the most beautiful or the most entertaining. It’s just a place where anyone could feel at home. It has a little something for each personality and it knows how to embrace all cultures and subcultures without taking sides. And that is exactly one of my favorite things about it: variety.

I’ll post just a few tips or places (good and bad) that I discovered recently and that I am starting to make them my own.

The Algerian Coffee Shop in SOHO… Has hundreds of types of coffees and was established 150 years ago. The espressos are amazing and you can buy honeycombs and chew on them like a child on a sunny summer day.

The gardens. My favorite is in St James Square as it is full of beautiful flowers. I find amazing the fact that most of them are being closed at 6pm and opened again first thing in the morning. In these super-summer days there are hundreds of people lying on the grass and having short picnics. In office outfits or pijamas, you can find all kinds of people in the gardens.

Jamie Oliver’s restaurants… The yummyest places in town. Each bite fills your soul with childhood memories and gives you a feeling of ultimate happiness 🙂 You can find the Jamie’s Italian in Covent Garden or Canary Wharf and there is also Fifteen (which has a great story behind).

Hyde Park, the best for jogging and green get-aways. Could resemble Central Park in NY, especially with the beautiful houses that surround it.

The events – there is always something cool happening in London. A film premiere, a conference, a super-theater play or a concert… If you get to spend a few days in the city check the million websites and meet some of the world’s most inspiring people.

The “Institutes” – in the UK every profession has an institute. PR, Electronics, Circus Performers… If you work in a special field, pay them a visit and you’ll be amazed of what you find. My fav is BFI (I know, everybody knows about the British Film Institute…) and their filmotheque where you can watch so many pieces.

The crowds of smokers outside pubs… that’s something I find hilarious. In the UK (as in most civilized countries), you are not allowed to smoke inside so every smokers goes out on the pavement to have a cigarette… The funny part is that in the evenings you can’t even walk on the sidewalk, and men and women in suits just stay on the pavement with their champagne glasses on the street. Not my idea of a cool night out.

People who jump in front of trains and tubes. In the past two weeks I had to change my route and was late to work for 5 times due to “a person being hit by a train”. I know that Japan has the highest suicide rate in the world so I really wonder how you travel there, especially with the high-speed stuff.

Exaggerated politeness and the small and endless cheap talk…. It’s something really British to just waste a tone of precious time and words with daily nonsense… Hey how are you, good you, fine thank you, sunny day outside, yeah really pleasant, will get warmer tomorrow, oh, I heard…. and it goes onnnnnn to the yeah, sure,ok,bye, talk to you soon… as you can’t just say thank you, goodbye… you have to make it sound like you’ll utterly miss the person and will die slowly until the next meeting (even if that is in an hour) which will start all over again… hey how are you, good good, you?

I could go on forever with the pros and cons, but the point is that no matter what you do, one day you’ll find yourself in love with London.


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