First impressions of London

11 Sep
2012
Posted in: London
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First impressions…are usually wrong, but sometimes right. My first impression of London is that it’s a mashup of Paris, Chicago, and Boston. Everything is truly becoming global: if we wanted, we could watch only American TV shows, drink only Budweiser, and eat at Subway, KFC, and Dominos for the next three weeks. But I think we’ll branch out. The neighborhood where we’re staying, Hackney, is full of “Hackney Hipsters” who look just like American Hipsters. There are lots of cute shops and restaurants that look just like their US counterparts. We’ll do our best to find the offbeat stuff. We’re so grateful to be staying in such an amazing rowhouse while we’re pretending to be London residents.

I’m also very thankful that everyone speaks some form of English, even though I don’t always understand them. At least I can ask lots of questions instead of mumbling je ne parle pas Francais over and over again.

Our pals Joe and Sarah have arrived from Boise via Chicago for the week and we’ve been trying to keep them on their feet so they don’t succumb to jet lag, but we’ve given in and let Joe take a nap. Our first day was too fresh in my mind — John and Mick kept us on our feet all day (it was for our own good, really!). After I’d been awake for about 24 hours straight, I started feeling homicidal. I couldn’t quite put them through that. Plus, there’s no telling if they’d be able to keep that murderous urge in check.

While everyone naps, I’ll share a few of the things that have made strong initial impressions on me…

A cute pig at the Hackney City Farm.

A cute pig at the Hackney City Farm.

Excellent street art.

Excellent street art.

Loads of old pubs.

Loads of old pubs.

Lunch in front of the Tower of London.

Lunch in front of the Tower of London.

Juxtaposition between old and new.

Juxtaposition between old and new.

You can always find your way back to the bar.

You can always find your way back to the bar.

Logical train stations...when the Underground is overground and the Overground is underground.

Logical train stations…when the Underground is overground and the Overground is underground.