London is a nasty, drunken, foul place...how cool
London is full of drunks, bums, louts, hooligans, skanks, miscreants, hustlers, bullies, bland architecture, nasty food, and pollution. And this is why I dig this place so much.
Sure, your experiences there could very well be different from mine, full of top notch plays followed by a grandiose dinner, lovely walks through quaint Notting Hill, shopping in the high rent district, and so on. But if this is what you take away from here, then I think that you are missing the true essence of London.
Since it's inception to the modern day, it's been a class based society full of the world's most well bred people (whom you will rarely see because they are kept away from the population at large) and the crap people that breed with each other to create other crap people. These are the one's that you are certain to get a first hand look at if you spend enough time in the city.
They walk up to you at the pub or on the street, stinking of cheap lager. They'll give you a toothless smile, try to string together a friendly sentence that is bound to end up incoherent, and then beg you for either a pint, a smoke, or whatever change you've got.
Depending on what physical state they are in, they will either mutter something nasty under their breath as you quickly walk away, or they will make sure that you give them something before leaving using intimidation.
This, my friends is London, just as in the days of Oliver Twist. The city may appear to be modern and unslumlike and even refined, but the grungy spirit remains the same. God bless this authenticity that is so rare to find in today's globalized and sterilized world.
London is a city unlike any other and reminds you why it is that you travel, which is to experience something different from back home. How cool.
check out this mammoth palace...
check out this mammoth palace with 600 rooms (!!) originally built for the Duke of Buckingham in the early 1700s (oops! Sorry... I can't quite remember the exact year! I must have fallen asleep in class whilst that lesson was taught... again!).
Welcome to BUCKINGHAM PALACE.
Well, did you also know that Queen Victoria, the first monarch who lived here couldn't get used to the sight of the 1,000 drafty windows and chose instead to stay in another mammoth palace - yes, the Windsor Castle? As you know, the current monarch, Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II has also followed suit by making Windsor Castle her permanent home. Say, since nobody wants to live here, can I stay here, your Majesty???
Christmas in London
Christmas in London a real lovely time.
All the streets are litten with so many colorful and beautiful lights, Christmas trees are in the shops, houses and offices buildings.
People "abuse" their credit cards everywhere and the feeling is amazing... well i know many people really dislike this time of the year but for me December 2003 was my first Christmas ever abroad, in Israel we dont celebrate this holiday as it is a christian holiday. so for me its a real nice experience, i just loved that.... Surly a kitchi Holiday but still so nice ! Too many.... some private some not... but too long to write them down....
Central London Architecture
As a starting point in considering what "central London" means, it is important to recognise that London does not consist of a small high rise core surrounded by a belt of very low density districts. The situation is more complex. The section of London which is of an urban as opposed to a suburban character is very extensive, encompassing most of the districts built before 1914. Up to this point most London housing, including most of that in the most expensive districts, was terraced. Low density suburbs were first built in the early 19th century, but did not become prevalent for another hundred years after that. In the 20th century, and especially in the decades after the Second World War, the size of the fashionable central area of London shrank considerably as the old aristocratic London elite faded away and many members of the middle classes decided that life close to the city centre was no longer appealing. At that time government planners often had a negative view of urban life as well, and a large amount of housing in central London was destroyed in the Second World War. Thus many members of the working class were encouraged to move out of the city centre as well, either to suburban developments around London or to new towns further afield. However, since the 1980's many of these areas have been gentrified and are regarded as desirable areas of central London once agian
The last weekend in August is Notting Hill Carnival. The entire West Indian community gets the costumes out and dance like maniacs to giant lorry mounted sound systems. Eat some rice and peas with jerk chicken ,and drink gallons of red stripe. The whole of Notting Hill and Ladbroke Grove stops and even though the festivites end quite early most of the pubs stay open way past closing time. Sundays the family day and Mondays the carnival proper ,with Radio 1 stages. Keep an eye out for the Lost Vagueness stage ( dressed like Roman soldiers last year and dancing to ancient ska records)