Lounging in London
I once read that if cities were people, Paris would be the older woman you had the hots for, Dublin would be your drunken uncle, and London would be the rebellious and angsty teenager. Whoever said this definitely knows what he (or she) is talking about. London is that mysterious boy you saw in high school—the one that smokes cigarettes around the back of the building; the one you never would admit you had a crush on.
The sights of this city alone are enough to draw anyone to this city—the skyline rivals that of New York City—but it’s the essence of the city that keeps you wanting more.
I first visited London in the summer of 2012, right when the Olympic Games were firing up. Something about the atmosphere of this city mesmerized me; I couldn’t quite figure out what it was, but it was definitely something spectacular. The bustling yet relaxed aura of its business, its countless offerings of every culture imaginable, and the eclectic style of its people stunned me in a way that no other city had. I dreamed of returning ever since.
Lucky, I have had the opportunity to make it back. I am interning in London this summer with a public relations and marketing firm. I’m actually writing this article from my desk right now. It’s my lunch break, and I’m spending it telling you all about my favorite city.
There are so many things you can see here; you can see countless tourist attractions, or you can go for a more culturally immersed experience and visit different local places. I’ve had a mixture of the two—I have posed in front of Big Ben, but I sleep in a quiet little neighborhood known as Little Venice. I’ve had the best of both worlds, and I must say that each world rivals the other.
My absolute hands down favorite experience I’ve had during my time here so far was during a trip to a place called Camden Market. Basically this is a giant flea market, but 110x better. I spent the entirety of a day exploring all the little nooks and crannies Camden had to offer. I found vintage vinyl records, and obviously I had to spend some money on a Beatles vinyl because it’s the Beatles and I’m in London.
Camden Market offered so many different things for people of all walks of life; from various cultural cuisines to jewelry and so many other quality goods, you can literally find it all. They had fashion of all sorts for sale, from genuine vintage clothing, to costumes, to the downright strange.
Camden isn’t something many tourists hear about; I had the pleasure of learning about it from my professor who is from England. He knew I was into the alternative scene, and in Camden you wear all black, so he let me in on London’s little secret.
All in all, London is a place to be yourself. No one looks at you weird for dying your hair blue or wearing a funny hate; they all do that here. I’ve never experienced a place that embraces diversity quite like London, and I don’t know if I ever will again. I love this city, and I strongly encourage you to visit London at some point in your life. It doesn’t have to be right now—it may be when you’re a rockstar grandma—but at some point, do yourself a favor and experience all that London has to offer.