Sunday, 15 August 2010

Why go through all the pain ??

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Many a friend has asked me why I go through all the pain to live in London. Its very hard to explain but when a good friend's birthday came up who also enjoys the spoils of this great city. I thought I would curate a little day across the capital highlighting why we love it as we do all on the fantastic transport of our bikes.
In the lead up I tempted him for a week or so with images, quotes and statements about a question that would be the concept of the day... but he didnt know what it was.... . "why do you love London ?"

I took him to a number of places that personified areas of the capital I love.

Great coffee in a great cafe.....
I took him to one of my favourite cafes in the capital, Lantana. Which is unfortunately an Australian style cafe. But the fact that you can go to an Australian, Portuguese, African or anything else you want in this city continues to blow me away. Any type of food or experience you want from around the world you can probably find it somewhere. Some great photos are above.

Lomography Store... inspire your creative side
One of the great things I find about London is that it inspires your creative side. Just because creativity and creative things are so accessible. Everybody has one. Some people just try and pretend they dont. This city has pushed me into photography including in case you havent noticed the world of analogue. Which I love for its messiness and not quite right colour saturation. I love a more mixed up world.... than perfection. My friend also recently started spending way too much money on it all. So we went there and I bought him some film to use for the day which we later realised was completely the wrong film for our cameras.. idiots. Lucky we brought our own, as well as cameras of the digital kind.

Bike rides throughout the city for some interesting shots along the way

Design Museum ..... Creativity
One of the things I found when I first moved here was the easy access for museums and galleries. I was never interested in them before. But I love walking around in east london and an artist is having a few drinks out the front of his/her studio/home and says want to come in and have a look. But also the interesting exhibitions that are free at a number of the big galleries. London has brought me a fascination with design. So I took him to the Designs of the year exhibition which has some awesome examples. Including a great exhibition on photographs of all the major cities in Africa. Which was a perfect coincidence as my friend is originally from South Africa. It really gave me a much broader perspective of Africa in general.

Borough Market... Food
Its expected I know. But as a friend at my work once said 'Borough markets mike, your spiritual homeland'. Everytime I go there I find something new. Combined foodies together we covered a bit. Some posh bangers and probably the best oysters I have had in Europe.
Vinopolis Wine Wharf ..... wine
My friend is a huge wine buff so much so that I thought this could go either way as he wouldnt think it was good enough. But the wine list was big enough to take us for a couple of great glasses of riesling and an Alsace style that has become a bit of a favourite. I am going to have to get the names to include here.

After a little bit more walking around Borough... unfortunately we were both too tied to make it up to Camden to Proud Galleries to see a photography exhibition of images from different rock gods. This was supposed to address free and just the cool venues available like Proud. The final was supposed to be sitting up on Hampstead Heath for the great spaces that are available in London. But I did take him to one final place for the day part...

Wenlock Arms .... for a good English ale.
Along with his fedish for wine... he also loves a good English ale and has opened my eyes to the lovely brew as well. This place is not very far from my house but no one knows about. As soon as you walk in you have a mix of locals and people who are there for a proper beer. It was a proper English boozer so a great way to finish the day. We even saw some tourists in there with 'Beer Traveller's Guide' books so sells its credentials well.

A great day you would think. But it didnt end there. There is definitely something great about London that I have missed......

Notting Hill Arts Club ..... live music and music venues

Ive always wanted to go to this venue and they just happened to have Hackney Globe Trotter playing which was perfect. My friend and I both like different styles of music and he addressed a number of them. A mix of African, electro, hip hop the lot. Some friends came along as well which gave a bit of energy to us two very exhausted people. Then as a close to the night. Went to Indo in Whitechapel as a great little bar to finish the night off with some great Eastern European friends and great conversation. Another great thing about London... meeting people from different backgrounds that give you a completely different perspective ... and lead you onto funny places at funny hours.

All in all an awesome day. I hope to make a book of all of both of our photos which I will post soon.

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