Bette Midler once said, “When it’s three o’clock in New York, it’s still 1938 in London.” She has obviously never been to Prague. Getting off of the plane in London was like getting out of a time machine – London is a bustling, fast paced, big city. It is also an English speaking country. Cool beans.
One of the first people I met here was a girl who I’ll call “Beth”. She is what I would call a typical London Party Girl. She is in her late twenties, she knows everybody in the bar and she is loud. She prizes fashion above all else and makes a living off of getting free drinks where ever she goes. She even boasted about knowing all the Taxi Drivers in the neighborhood. She also does taxidermy. I made the mistake of calling her a Brit and was told in no uncertain terms that she isn’t British – she is a Londoner. I said, “I might just be a stupid American, but isn’t London a part of Britain?” She said that of course it was, “but you wouldn’t go around calling Irish people British, would you?” I though for a moment and decided that this was one of those conversations that would eventually get me right smack dab in the middle of nowhere. Welcome back to London.
This isn’t my first time in London, far from it actually. I was first here five years ago, all by myself on my way to Prague. My oldest and dearest friend Byron now lives here and runs a fantastic cocktail bar in Hackney called Off Broadway. So I am staying with him this time and eating my way through the city. Yesterday we walked through the neighborhood that I had stayed in, and it looked completely different. It was built up and there were plenty of new places to eat and hang out that were not there even five short years ago.
We meandered through all of the markets and booths on Brick Lane. There was food from every part of the world and it all smelled delicious. I love the markets here and I wish Prague had something like it. There are stalls for designers, antiques, food, flowers, crap you would never want in a million years and … you get the picture. Prague doesn’t really have a big art/design community. There are a lot of artists in Prague, but there isn’t much of an outlet for them. This is something I would like to see change, and something I might look into changing.
Everything is super expensive here compared to Prague, so that I don’t envy. But the Museums are incredible. Today I plan to see my favorite museum The Tate Modern. I also plan to sing karaoke tonight making total countries I have sang in – 4. Operation Karaoke World Domination is off to a slow start, but I am not a Londoner. I don’t need a fast paced hustle and bustle lifestyle. I just need a little space, good food and ten to fifteen adoring fans a week.