Wednesday, February 08, 2006

50 THINGS TO LOVE ABOUT LONDON

As recovered from my old London journal (2003):

1. S&M Cafe (that's Sausage & Mash, you perv!)
2. Topshop (although it's not as cheap as they'd make you believe, and you'll be surrounded by around 350 overexcited 11 year olds buying an outfit for the upcoming dance party.)
3. Male-to-Female Ratio (It's raining men!)
4. Chips served with absolutely everything (even lasagna!?! Carb party!)
5. Chips served with salt and vinegar (it's the only way.)
6. Lounge Lover (most beautiful bar I've ever been in.)
7. Occasional glorious weather (all the more special because most days are crap.)
8. Primrose Hill, Hyde Park, and Regent's Park
9. My Old Dutch (joy of joys! a pancake joint!)
10. Sainsbury's To You (online grocery shopping on all those cold rainy days.)
11. 24 days off/fiscal year (compared to the 12 I got at my Tokyo employer.)
12. Lack of bugs (I later found out London is infested with invisible ones. Larger, "more evolved" bugs, however, do not survive London.)
13. The British Museum (how many days did I spend in the Egyptology wing? Oh the glory of imperialism.)
14. Angel and Upper Street, N1 (this area provided my bookstore, cosmetics shop, music store, pool hall, and cinema. Handy. Good-looking men.)
15. Covent Garden (absolutely nothing to do, but a good browse.)
16. J. Sheekey's (if you like seafood, you need to go here.)
17. Staff discount at Pepe @ Carnaby (I met this adorable little gay boy who worked there and liked to dress me up.)
18. Randall & Aubin (champagne and lobsters!)
19. Camden and Shoreditch (perfect for really nasty, self-destructive nights out. Just my style, although I prefer Camden as it's impossible to get home from Shoreditch at 3 a.m.)
20. Double-decker buses (sit upstairs in the very front and watch the world go by. Slooowly.)
21. Time Out (all my dreams to find myself mentioned in the "Once Seen" section never came to pass.)
22. Fantastic TV documentaries (there was one series about scientific oddities, in which a little boy had his twin growing inside his stomach, a fetus in fetu.)
23. Celebrity magazines (OK! Hello! Now! etc. Oh shut up, you know you love them too.)
24. Curry (you can't go 2 blocks without smelling a Jalfrezi cooking somewhere.)
25. Accessibility (this is what it said. I have no idea what this means. It certainly isn't referring to the efficiency of the Tube.)
26. Selfridges (I dream about this place.)
27. Spitalfields Markets (Thursdays and Sundays. De rigeur.)
28. Dogs everywhere (even if you can't have one yourself, you can enjoy seeing them around.)
29. Freedom of dress (women really do dress like Bridget Jones. This means you needn't worry at all about having nothing to wear.)
30. Proximity to Europe (it's great... if you have money left after rent to go traveling.)
31. Gem (great, cheap, delicious little Kurdish restaurant on Upper St.)
32. Medicine Bar (across the street from Gem. Gorgeous, probably gay, men.)
33. Eden Medical Centre (I went in an emotional wreck. They stuck needles in my face and head. I left smiling. Thank you, Dr. Hansard.)
34. Balans (you know a gay restaurant/bar is going to have good interiors, good music, and good food.)
35. Afternoon Tea (among by best London memories are sitting around having a proper English Tea with girlfriends on a day off.)
36. Black cabs (possibly my favourite thing about London.)
37. Paperchase (best stationery store ever.)
38. Architecture (some of it, anyway.)
39. Daily garbage collection (OK, probably not daily - nothing in England is that well organized. But it's like the freaking Middle Ages - people throw their trash out on the street, however they want, whenever they want!)
40. Accessorize! (home of the door knocker tin foil earrings, sold in packets of 5.)
41. Ikea (gotta support my homeland in the only way I know how.)
42. Argos (I got a great DVD player for 30 quid here. I used it for 2 years and never had a problem. You go inside and it's like a third-world country, but the products are good.)
43. SATC double-bill on Wednesdays (no. social. life.)
44. Loot (found half of my hellflats in this thing.)
45. Great words like: WANKER, BANGERS, GEEZER, etc. (probably more not-so-great words, like INNIT, FIT, BIRD, BREKKIE, PUKKA, etc.)
46. Abundance of news programs (I've since quit watching the news.)
47. Relaxed employment law (they hired me, right? Actually, in retrospect, their approach to employment is rubbish.)
48. Fish 'n Chips (exceedingly difficult to find good fish 'n chips in London. Good ones: Toff's in Muswell Hill, Two Brothers in Finchley, and The North Sea Fish Restaurant in King's Cross.)
49. Sunday Roast (almost weekly roasts were had at my local: The Lock Tavern, Chalk Farm Road.)
50. Benedict Allen (I'd forgotten about this guy. I did everything I could to forget about him, once I found out he was dating Jerry Hall. Anyway, he's the epitome of the perfect man for me. Or so I thought.)

I miss you, London.

3 Comments:

Blogger Alex S said...

I love discovering old journals! Thank you for sharing yours. Remember what Oscar Wilde said? "I never travel by train without my diary. I simpy must have something fascinating to read!" (I think I am slightly paraphrasing but that was the sentiment!)

8:09 AM  
Blogger e! said...

Good old Oscar Wilde and his quotes!

"We are all in the gutter, but some of us are looking at the stars."

He's got so many great ones, but that's the first time I've ever heard of the diary on the train!

2:34 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hiya,
I'm now living in London and just came across your blog. Couldn't agree more on some entries!
Do you mind if i borrow your article on my blog? Really liked it and wanna keep a note so I won't miss anything before I leave here.

7:19 PM  

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