Loving London

View of LondonI rekindled my love affair with London today: Brick Lane markets, Dennis Severs’ House, and a bite at St. Pancras Station.

I am still an outsider, but in some ways estrangement is inherent to London. So many of its citizens are immigrants like me, and even those who are born and raised in one part of the city still feel like strangers in other neighbourhoods, owing to those two major drivers of culture — race and class.

Perhaps this is the case in any big city. But in one continuously occupied for two thousand years, we tread lightly over layers of history. We are all strangers together, a tradition dates back to when “multiculturalism” meant Romans and Saxons coexisting, meant welcoming in Huguenots, Lascars, and the Kindertransport.
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So Long, Old Chap

“Why, Sir, you find no man, at all intellectual, who is willing to leave London. No, Sir, when a man is tired of London, he is tired of life; for there is in London all that life can afford.”

 — Samuel Johnson

I couldn’t have expressed this better myself. We are homeward bound today (on my birthday — what better way to spend it than five miles above Greenland?) No doubt I’ll be unpacking our experiences for some time to come. Photos from this trip (and others) are available here.