When I went to London two years ago, I don't think I even brought a camera. My buddy, Mike,
was always taking pictures and I knew he'd bring back some good ones.
The trip occurred right as everyone was starting to have digital cameras, but I was still without one.
As a result I don't have an harddrive full of european memories like Kevin. Fortunately, everybody else does!
So here it is, my summer in London through the eyes of strangers from Flickr.
So here is the picture that started it all. I was looking for a picture of the borough that I lived in, South Kensington, and I came across this photo.
I am pretty certain that it is a picture taken from the doorway of the building I stayed in.
The building is used by tons of students from all over so I don't doubt that there are tons pictures on the web of this little Edwardian street.
I also recognize the dead end and some of the cars.
My flat was in an amazing location. I kind of feel bad for all the super wealthy people that actually lived in the area because they had to pt up with a bunch of rowdy American college students.
While we were there, the Euro 2004 soccer tournament was on and we all caught a bit of the mania. One of my roommates bought a soccer ball and we went to Kensington Gardens and played by the ponds.
We were a block or two away from the Royal Albert Hall and a bunch of museums. It took me an embarrassing amount of time to realize how close I was living to all these touristy things.
One thing I really wanted to do was eat lunch in this Art Deco building. It used to be a headquarters for Michelin, but now it is a restaurant that I had read about in french class or something. I never did go.
The Prospect of Whitby was my favorite pub. The Queen's arm was my second favorite.
Both are a little tough to find. Some friends took us to the Queen's Arm when we first got there and it was kind of cool to see people drinking outside the pub, just chilling and talking.
The prospect of Whitby, on the other hand, was highly recommended by a flatmate. We had to ride the tube for like 45 minutes to get there, but upon arriving, I knew it was worth it.
The pub is like 250(?) years old and in a relatively remote part of East London. It was a perfect excape from the hustle and bustle of the city. We would always order some food and sit out on the river. It was sooo relaxing.
I think the dude down there knows what I'm talking about.
I also had a chance to visit Bath. Everybody else went to the Roman Bath houses. I skipped it (too expensive) and went record shopping. I saw a cricket match being played. Those dudes have some style!
My professor while in London, taught at Oxford. Once instead of making his usual trek into West London, he invited us out to oxford for the day.
I am pretty sure that this is where we ate.
Some other kids from GVSU and I went on a trip to Italy. We almost missed our bus to the airport. This is what Marble Arch probably looked like when we passed it. I am not sure though since we were running in the street trying to catch a bus making a turn-around before it left for the suburbs.
We went to Cinque Terre, wich is a small series of 5 towns on the sea, connected by a bunch of trails. I am told that it is getting more touristy. I once heard it mentioned on the O.C. so I am sure it is going to suck soon. It was pure bliss when we were there though.
The Tate Modern was sweet. I had to write a business plan for the Tate Modern while I was there in order to get credit for Business school. It was a total joke. The teacher (from GVSU) didn't even come out to Allendale to see my presentation.
I couldn't find a good picture of Sotheby's Olympia, but that is where I worked.
Since I lived with mostly Americans. I was often invited to some very American things. There is this bar called the Sports Cafe. It felt like I was in East Lansing. Tons of college kids wearing Big Ten college sweatshirts. "Why so many Americanos?" you ask. Simple. 1 pound for 1 pint.
The coolest place I went to while in London was the Notting Hill Arts Club. You had to go down these scary stairs and the entrance looked like a package delivery door. Once inside, there was art on the walls, a bar, and incredible international musicians. I saw this DJ "Yam Who" play there with this other dude Blackbeard. They make (used to make) these insanely smooth remixes of hip hop and soul songs. One night, a friend of a friend went (without inviting me) and she saw this fellow that looked familiar. She went up to him, and in a way that only a drunken college girl studying overseas can, she went over to this unknown celebrity and asked "If you were to be famous, who would you be?"
Long story short, it was Mos Def. This was before he completely fell-off so I was very jealous.
My other favorite club was Cargo. They had awesome djs and a couple of drinks I actually liked.
The entrance was under some type of bridge overpass.
It took me a while to find all the places I dug, so before I found my feet, I would just go out with whomever was going out to wherever they were going. One night we were coming back from some shitty club (probably sports cafe) and we got lost. One girl was very drunk and very annoying and she kept saying she had to pee. So we were hurrying back to the flat but she said she couldn't hold it anymore. She went behind some construction site dump bin and squatted.While Mike and I were waiting I realized that we were on the back side of Harrod's department store.
Speaking of Harrod's, the only thing I bought there was some tea as a gift on recommendation from a coworker. Everything else was way overpriced in my opinion. I spenta lot of weekend mornings combing through the record bins and the "bric a brac" at Spitalfields markets. There were dudes there selling crate after crate of dope records. Local food vendors, local clothing designers and all sorts of stuff.
Spitalfields was right near Bricklane which had similar vintage/junk markets and a bunch of Indian restaurants. I loved it over there. I saw tons of art school senior and MFA shows in that area while I was there.