Monday, September 21, 2009

Where I live: The LDN

It took me some distance to appreciate London. After my semester there I was a bit burned out on being in a city every day and more than happy to be back in America where all sorts of little things that I missed all came back to me.

The thing about London is that at times it seems like everyone is from somewhere else. And while I think that can add spice to a city, it's a characteristic that I find makes me want to visit places but not live there. New York, Rome, London are all cities I love to visit, but I find myself a not unhappy to leave at the end. I think there's a part of me that would take to Manchester or Chicago easier if I moved there than the really big cities (and the feeling I got when I visited a friend in Bristol during my semester in England seemed to sort of confirm that).

There is a lot to be said about London, though. Central London is quite walkable, and the vast differences from Oxford Street to Brixton to Canary Wharf to Baker Street are vast intriguing to me. Waking up every morning a block away from Regents Park made for a lot of wonderful morning runs. And after class I would come home and read the Independent or Economist. It was a very nice life, really.

Seeing Tottenham games reminded me of how engaging sports can be, and how teams can literally be weaved into the fabric of a city. North London had it's charm with the mix of ethnic communities and working class folks, and the University of North London campus was a fascinating (and somewhat baffling) mix of various architectural ideas. Plus you can't find a much more culturally attuned city, and I probably went to as many concerts and museums as I had at any point in my life.

But it never quite felt like home. It was more a collection of nice events, and nice moments and perhaps too many nice cds that I bought, yet it never came together.

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