I read over the last post and have definitely moved past that giddy honeymoon phase. I’ve internalized it and while I still start giggling occasionally at the absurdity/amazingness of it all, routine has basically settled in. Work ass off until 7 (time change is the real villain here), do something at night, and hardcore explore on the weekends. It’s a good life. In general the line between week and weekend is a lot blurrier here than in SF. It’s normal to go out on a Monday and stay in on a Friday. Definitely something I am a fan of since it spices up the work week.
Anyways, tons has happened since last time we spoke.
Have become a huge consumer of free walking tours! They are an amazing way to learn a ton without spending a ton, and generally you meet some really cool people. One Saturday I did a history/palace tour of Westminster and Old London.. This just basically was Game of Thrones but with real people (for realz tho a lot of Thrones was based on the stuff I was seeing and learning about so that was very cool). Then the same tour guide led a Harry Potter tour later in the day which I obviously went on.
Speaking of tour guide.. Quick detour to explain James. Oxford Historian, Ex head of Queensguard, soldier, Royalist, and overall amazing character and by far the best rep of legit Britishness I have met. He took a bunch of us drinking later and introduced me to “The Harp” aka the best beer pub in London. Feel free to fact check that claim on the googles.. It’s true. Amazing day though.
Mom came! We ate some AMAZING food, discovered some cool places, and saw The Lion King. Amazing show as always. Random highlight was when we realized the world premiere of Bridget Jones Movie (something) was happening right outside my apartment window and so we saw Patrick Dempsey, Colin Firth, Rene Zellewankenerernester.., and Ellie Goulding. Same thing happened this week and I saw Sir Paul McCartney!
Last Saturday I went to Cambridge on a whim for the day and ohhhhhhhmygoddddd I have never wanted to go to school as bad as I did whilst walking around that place. 31 beautiful colleges (based on Oxford model same as Claremont), canals with little boats that you take to get around (google: punting). Academic energy level off the freaking charts.
Makes sense since so much of the world’s greatest minds have studied or worked at Cambridge. We literally went to the the pub where Crick and Watson announced the discovery of the double helix. Saw Newton’s apple tree (obv a monument since that is a myth.. but still cool). I was going to list some more but just click here to understand why choosing would be nearly impossible: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_University_of_Cambridge_people
Friday I went out with some of Garrett’s friends from USC and their London people. Went to a members only mens club (British aristocracy box no checked) that was surreal. Bar hopped. You could wander for hours just in central london and not even begin to exhaust the supply of trendy/cool/hip nightlife areas. Ex: we also went to a hidden three story cocktail bar in the middle of chinatown with some of the most intense drinks I have ever tasted.
Yesterday was one of the coolest days I have had in London so far. I finally made it east to Shoreditch (gentrified but hip A F artsy side of London). Took a three hour street art walking tour with a complete expert. So much fun and absolutely fascinating. Explaining how that area gave rise to so many prolific artists and how the street art world worked (compared to graffiti world). So much detail that you would never get without someone who truly knows. Ex: Jonesy is a sculpture artist who among other things, makes tiny bronze sculptures that he puts on top of sign poles all over the city. The sculptures are incredibly ornate and 99% of people would never even see them. As such, Shoreditch is a playground for the wandering eye. Can not recommend doing something like this enough. Also I am a huge Banksy fan boy so being in his hood was a blast and a half.
Followed that up with dinner (shoutout @kristiehow) with friends in a wine cave (yes an actual cave) and a fun night out. Slept until noon for the first time ever.. Life is good.
Excited to head to Vegas for Life Is Beautiful festival next weekend and then spend the week in the bay. Meeting amazing people but miss the crew in California terribly.
Hi world. Still waiting to wake up.. but until then enjoying the coolest city ever. Every day is some new adventure or great discovery. Every night is a new pub, new restaurant or conversation with some interesting person. Being able to get anywhere from my apartment in 20 minutes makes for incredible spontaneity, and I am trying my best to take advantage it. Case in point, today I am planning on doing two 3 hour free walking tours. One of general history of the area I live, and one a Harry Potter Tour!
Anyways, I wanted to post my snapstory from my London tour day on Tuesday. Having a wonderful Londener drive you to a bunch of the main neighborhoods in this massive city comes highly recommended.
Quick summary before I run off to my tour: London is Hip. Ridiculously hip, but not in the “If I have to spend another second in a SOMA coffee shop I am going to start shaving dude’s beards sort of way.” It is more subtle, and the diversity here keeps the ‘Hipster’ vs “Bro’ dichotomy at bay. Food is amazing. Don’t believe anyone who tells you otherwise. Awesome art is everywhere(doing a street art tour at some point)
Also: They put government ‘social houses’ (think nicer projects) in all the gentrified neighborhoods. Gives people low income options even with astronomical rent, and helps keep neighborhoods culture in tact. Brilliant. Such an amazing way to solve a bunch of problems at once .
Thats it for now. I need to go shower the pub smell off of myself before these tours. Stay tuned.
MOM SEE YOU IN A FEW DAYS!
P.S. Listen to James Vincent McMorrow’s album that came out yesterday. Fire.
P.S.S I did not edit this post at all. 😦 sorrrrrrrrrrrrry