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Thread: London - The Truth and Would You Live There

  1. #1

    Default London - The Truth and Would You Live There

    I have just travelled through Europe and on my way back and forth, I have had the wonderful opportunity to see London.

    Would you live there if you could?

    Relevant considerations and my first impressions:

    The Food:

    For example a Cornish Pasty, contains some slightly opaque sauce that looks like it comes from a mixture of bull semen and chunks of vegetables that look like they come from a broken down fridge at the local grocery store.

    Or for a mere $ 100.00 you can get a decent meal with a drink at a mediocre restaurant.

    The Property:

    You get to live in Dickensian style terrace houses for a mere $ 750,000.00 - and that's under the Heathrow flight path.

    The People:

    Yes, great people. My preliminary impression from talking to englishmen and women from all walks of life are - They really believe 1. they are still the centre of a big empire And 2. Yes they could have beaten the Imperial Japanese Navy and Army by themselves, like they did in Singapore in 1942 right?

    They are not enthusiastic about life, they are also very reserved - do you find this also? I suppose if you lived on a small island with 60 million other englishmen (and pakistanis and subcontinental indians etc etc) you would be reserved too.

    The Museums and Libraries:

    Well, they are older than for example the Met but just a little smaller in size too. They really think their museums are special, mostly because of the age of everything.

    And After All They Are Very Important People That's Why They Have a Royal Inbreed Family who Prolly Pull Rank On Tourists To Throw Keg Parties At Stonehenge.

    Your thoughts?
    Last edited by Gregory Tenenbaum; October 27th, 2005 at 04:44 AM. Reason: Spelling Errors - I was using the Queen's English

  2. #2
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    You forgot tea time and an inherent fear of dentistry.

  3. #3
    Crabby airline hostess - stache's Avatar
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    Everything I hear about London lately sounds pretty grim. I hope it's not a preview of what we can expect in NYC!

  4. #4

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    Stache - yes I agree, but can you be more specific about what you have heard? Whats the goss?

    All I know is that London truly is the ARMPIT of EUROPE.

    It is no wonder that all USA, Canadian, and Australian immigrants escaped to colonise what are now better countries. In fact, my impression from Londoners is that half of them want to go to Australia/Thailand/Other Warm South Pacific Destinations and the other half want to come here.

    Obviously nothing there has changed since the 18th Century.

  5. #5
    Crabby airline hostess - stache's Avatar
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    People that have visited recently have stated it's "brown". Don't shoot me, I'm just the messenger. Plus the average person is just making enough to scrape by (sound familiar?) but worse than here, really dreary existances. My boss recently sold his London flat and moved to Berry (about an hour away by train). Sounds like the middle class flight we had in the '60's, only people are raking in a major profit on their way out. I'm sure it's much better if you have good financial resources (same as here) but at least London does not sound as dull as squeaky clean NYC has become.
    Last edited by stache; October 29th, 2005 at 12:53 AM.

  6. #6

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    I visited London for the first time last March. I enjoyed myself and enjoyed seeing the city for the first time. But a couple of things left me shaking my head.

    I expected Londoners to be warmer and friendlier, but I didn't find that to be the case. I found the nightlife to be a disapointment. Bond St was deserted at night, and in Chelsea I go propositioned by no less than 5 hookers in a fifteen minute span. I found Picadilly Circus to be very touristy, and the restaurants all over the city were outrageously priced.

    A couple of positives: some of the pubs were really cool; Ben Crouch's and the Red Lion being two of them. They closed way too early though. I really enjoyed Hyde Park, although Central Park it's not. I found Chinatown to be quite interesting and had one of the most authentic Chinese meals I've ever had outside of NY and Philly.

    A word of advice to all who visit London though, I know it's a cliche, but DO look both ways before you cross. They drive on the wrong side of the road, and old habits are hard to break when crossing the street; I almost got flattened a couple of times.

  7. #7
    Crabby airline hostess - stache's Avatar
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    A frind of mine was seriously injured in Edinburgh a few years ago for the same reason.

  8. #8

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    Quote Originally Posted by Gregory Tenenbaum
    The Food:

    For example a Cornish Pasty, contains some slightly opaque sauce that looks like it comes from a mixture of bull semen and chunks of vegetables that look like they come from a broken down fridge at the local grocery store.

    Your thoughts?
    I'm sorry to say this, but judging by your comments it looks like you acted a bit like a clueless tourist and let your prejudices guide your experience.

    London, like New York, is a fabulous city. But if you just turn up and expect to find all the cool places laid out for you, you're going to be dissapointed.

    You sound like you went to the worst tourist traps, didn't bother researching your trip first and got suitably fleeced.

    While I'll be the first to admit that London still has some terrible restaurants (and a load of imported American junkfood 'restaurants' too), there are ample excellent restaurants to be found.

    In fact, earlier this year, America's leading food magazine, Gourmet, dubbed London the best place to eat in the world!

    London's food is 'best in world'

    London has been dubbed the best place to eat in the world.

    Gourmet, America's leading food magazine, says restaurants in England's capital are far superior to those in Paris, Rome or New York.
    The editors of the magazine, who were in London recently to sample the food, said they were "blown away" by the city's cuisine and restaurants.
    The magazine, which has a circulation of more than a million, has devoted its entire March issue to dining in London.

    John Willoughby, Gourmet's executive editor, said: "We came to London because we had been hearing about great chefs and great products.

    "We were hoping to find good food, but we didn't expect to find so much of it. We were blown away."
    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/england/london/4303673.stm




  9. #9

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    Quote Originally Posted by redhot00
    I found the nightlife to be a disapointment. Bond St was deserted at night, and in Chelsea I go propositioned by no less than 5 hookers in a fifteen minute span. I found Picadilly Circus to be very touristy, and the restaurants all over the city were outrageously priced..
    London's got some of the best nightlife in the world, but you were definitely looking in the wrong place!

    Piccadilly is a tourist hell hole and Bond St is for rich tourists and out of towners looking to stock up expensive baubles.

    I'd recommend that tourists avoid both places at night because they're deadly dull (but tick 'em off your 'things to see' list in the daytimes).

  10. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by redhot00
    A couple of positives: some of the pubs were really cool; Ben Crouch's and the Red Lion being two of them. They closed way too early though.
    A source of endless embarassment and frustration to Londoners!

    The laws are currently being changed so that a lot of pubs will stay open later. At last!

  11. #11
    Disgruntled Optimist lofter1's Avatar
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    Ben Crouch's and the Red Lion being two of them. They closed way too early though.
    Quote Originally Posted by urban75
    A source of endless embarassment and frustration to Londoners!
    Do these two pubs themselves cause the embarassment, or just the fact that they close too early?

  12. #12

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    Quote Originally Posted by lofter1
    Do these two pubs themselves cause the embarassment, or just the fact that they close too early?
    The closing times, obviously!

    There's loads of pubs called the Red Lion so I don't know which one he/she's on about, although I recall that Ben Crouch is some sort of goth themed boozer.

  13. #13

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    I've visited London a dozen or so times and I once lived and worked in London for three months. In my estimation London is the equal of New York; worse in some respects but definitely better in others.

    Hope this doesn't turn into one of those tiresome city versus city threads.

  14. #14

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    Quote Originally Posted by ablarc
    Hope this doesn't turn into one of those tiresome city versus city threads.
    Me too: I've lived and worked in both cities and they've both got their own pros and cons.

    If only I could merge the bits I like together (like Brixton, Southbank, Lower East Side and Williamsburg) and make my perfect city!

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    I'm sorry if you had a bad experience, Gregory, but my experiences in London have been fantastic. The food isn't all bad, and generally the touristy areas are best left well enough alone if you've done them already. It's a bit unfair to judge London by Piccadilly, much like it's unfair to judge New York by Times Square. I haven't been to Hyde Park, but I took a walk in Regent's Park in the spring and it was enchanting: a riot of colors as trees blossomed and flowers bloomed. Only occasionally did a particularly tall building clear the treeline, a subtle reminder that you were still in the metropolis.

    Plus the theatre is a LOT cheaper than in New York.

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