Hey sweetie pies, welcome to the third and final part of NY to London! Did you get through part I and part II? Recap if you need! We've come a long way, from New York across the deep sea. Now for solid ground again.
The view from my teeny tiny hotel room. When traveling, I usually go for whatever is cheap, minimal, and in a prime location. I stayed right near Kings Cross St. Pancras (that building you see is the St. Pancras station) which I would highly recommend! It's a safe and affordable area, with lots of cafes and shops nearby. It's also extremely central.
Steve, dad of dads, has taught me everything he knows about asking the big questions, while simultaneously appreciating the mystery of it all. He only stayed to enjoy the city for a day, then flew back home. I look forward to our next adventure together.
Outside the London Library, with the spires of Saint Pancras.
Regents Park was undoubtedly one of my favorite places I had the chance to explore. People were lying around all over the green grass reading books, enjoying picnics along with good company, or spending time alone to take in the peace.
A man out standing in his field.
Of course my dad and I couldn't help but hit up Sherlock's on our day together. I've never been above a bit of corny activity!
While in London, I learned of something called Hen Parties. It's just another term for a bachlorette party, but the UK girls go big. Erm. Obviously. Perhaps it's just the season, but the streets seemed to be crawling with hilariously loud women glued to each other, color coordinated, each screeching in their own dialect. I was somewhat inspired to have my own hen party back home, no wedding necessary.
The London nightlife was no disappointment. In Leicester Square, there are rows upon rows of endless theaters with supper clubs and doors leading to who knows where. One of those doors was the entrance to a cabaret called Cafe De Paris. The cabarets in London are nothing like the cabarets in the US, which are usually spaces that are transformed for a single evening of sequin themed all-in-good-fun debauchery. London however is substantially more dedicated. The style, energy, and overall feeling of London is highly theatrical, with hints of Vaudeville everywhere you look. It's locked into the veins of the city, which has always had such strong roots to the theater.
A lovely couple who I had seen hours earlier seducing one another on the trapeze.
One of my favorite new friends. Slim Chance by night.
Alex Hall by day.
The Hungerford Bridge, leading from the South Bank to the Hungerford Market which I was lucky to see in full swing. The London Eye (pictured below- the cities massive ferris wheel) towers above the market, which is full of beautiful sights and smells.
Brick Lane was also in full effect! The streets were full of oddities, vintage clothes and home goods, fresh fruits and vegetables, and plenty of music.
The magical musical Nate Maingard on the left. To the right is Miguel, sound man and good soul. Nate is a wonderfully creative human, doing all he can to share his wild positivity through music. Every week he hosts an open mic in Camden, which I was pleased to have the chance to witness.
Pre-gamming at the open mic hosted at the InSpiral Lounge with some lovely souls.
If you're on the hunt for incredibly delicious, vegan and semi-raw food goodness while in London, the InSpiral Lounge is the place to go. Their cheesecake is not to be missed!!
There seems to be an organic food revolution happening in the UK. This does not bum me out. Nearly every part of the city I went to, I was able to get fresh food, and plenty of places featured a heavily organic menu. Keep up the good work, London.
The first steps of Portobello Road, one of the most colorful parts of the city. Many buildings are awash with color and there is no shortage of kitsch to be found. If you want to go shopping for some basics and want something other than vintage coins and tourist magnets and keychains, go to Oxford Street, or Knightsbrige (Harrods is there, which holds nothing I am keen to purchase but worth the sight alone if you have spare time). If you want a beautiful stroll, a cup of coffee, and perhaps a surprise find amongst the junk, Portobello is a great place to go.
This is Jafar, originally from Kirachi. He moved to London in 1957, and has been dealing in cameras for many years. I stopped to look at a Rolleiflex (which I ended up purchasing from him). We chatted for a bit, and I came to find out that he's been politically active through his activity in London, sharing his expertise with children back in Pakistan. "Youth must not be dragged on the road for the sake of politics."
"Do you want our falafels in the picture?"
These men in Westminster were leaning out of their friends apartment, taking in the day and singing. Come to find out that the man in the middle is Moroccan. He insisted that I come up for tea.
Boujemaa (Bobo for short) is a professional musician who plays traditional Moroccan music. His advice to me was this:
"Open your heart and you will reach the sea."
The weather had been strangely sunny and very warm for the majority of the week, but the rain did eventually come and felt beautifully refreshing when it did. I took refuge inside of the Saint Pancras station where there happened to be an orchestra tuning up, and various people sipping little glasses of colorful beverages.
This was one of my favorite things to have seen during my time. That idea of the city being saturated in theatrical nuance clarified itself further in this concert, which somehow managed to feel completely authentic in the center of the train station in the middle of the day. People of all different races, ages, and orientations gathered to dance.
Alex Mendham. Until you have your very own orchestra, you're only almost handsome.
Goodbye London, and thanks for the hospitality. You were superb, and I miss you already.