Thursday, April 2, 2015

On the Streets of London:

Walking through the streets of London: A city that I have only visited once before, and a city that I'm overjoyed to, once again, find myself within. My previous visit to the capital of the United Kingdom was full of the unexpected, which was simultaneously, somehow, still expected; the Pound is unfamiliar to me, as are its notes, and its coins; the problematic situation of always nearly being plowed by an oncoming bicyclist or automobile, due to the opposite direction in which people travel down streets; and the accents that everyone have, I had previously only heard in the media, and movies. By now, they are familiar; each accent has so much hidden meaning laced throughout it. London is a sprawling city, and one that takes time to swath one's self within; it is much like New York City, in that it is not the most welcoming when it comes to people; both cities tend to work against the pedestrian–though London certainly embraces those by foot–with its many urban follies and deviations, side-winding streets, and subtle elevation changes. Infinitely endless is the city, or so it seems; taking the Tube is the preferred mode of travel, taxi being far too expensive and certainly less adventuresome. Having already pronounced around the City of London on my previous visit, this time I explored its outer areas, such as Chiswick, Hampstead, and Islington–all areas with a high adorability factor, and complete worlds within themselves. Many galleries saw me float through their doorway-thresholds, such as the National Gallery (on countless occasions; it's hard not to repeatedly stop by, considering all that great art inside), the Wallace Collection, and the Kenwood House, perched atop Hampstead Head. While there are many aspects of the kingdom that are very unfamiliar to me, there is also a certainly familiarity that it also entails: I understand every word of everything that most in my surroundings say–the native lingua franca being English, and the swift pace of life, and the efficiency of it, certainly remind me, at times, of the USA, and at other times, not. One of the most beautiful aspects of London that I'm learning to love, is its omnipresent wright-iron; it really is everywhere, and it lends to the city an amplification of its Georgian and Victorian past, making it readily visible for all to immediately see, though only when one keeps an eye out for it.