Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Postcard from London

Take One

It doesn’t rain much. Not as much as they said it would. When it does, it is a slow drizzle, just until you open your umbrella. It doesn’t snow at all, so I do not have to deal with ice and slush. Not to mention, digging my car out of the snow. The winter jackets haven’t arrived yet but I won’t need them here. It gets chilly and windy sometimes, but it doesn’t bite like you do. I walk a lot more nowadays. I lost some of that weight I put on right after I left you. The food here tastes much better, more like real food. There are markets everywhere that sell garden fresh vegetables – no more jumbo-sized GM tomatoes which taste like water. The parks are large and beautiful; and the grass is so green in January that it reminds me of Southern California winters. People pass by my window at work on their way to Hyde Park which is right across the street, lunch bags in hand. I have taken to early morning strolls in beautiful, beautiful Regents Park which is just a stone’s throw away from the flat. Last Saturday I went beyond the park and up to Primrose Hill – up the grass stretch, an endless neon-green carpet with the sun shining brightly and then you turn back at the top of the hill and you see the city stretched out in front of you, no unnecessary tall buildings hiding your view, the dome of St Paul’s somewhere in the middle and all the way back, the uber-cool buildings of Canary Wharf. What more can one ask for? Life is so very lovely.

Take Two

The rain is terrible. The streets are wet and slick all the time that I feel like I am going to slip on every step. The winter is no winter at all. Who wants a winter if it isn’t white? They actually fake snow out of soap bubbles for their winter festivals. Can you believe that? The weather gets very moody - when you step out of home, the raincoat is fine but a few minutes later you are running back to get your jacket, scarves and gloves. It is impossible to own a car in this place and I have to walk everywhere. Even to grocery stores, yes. People here lunch at grocery stores for some odd reason. Well, it isn’t so odd really, just that grocery stores are the cheapest option. Anything else is so totally unaffordable. At work, there is no natural light whatsoever that it is so depressing. The sun comes out once in a blue moon and disappears almost as soon as you discover that it is out. Really, you do not want to be here. The parks are humungous but its not like you know, they have a real lake or anything by it. Every time I take a walk, I am looking for my frozen lake at the end of it and come back disappointed. The grass is green in January that it is so unreal, it looks so made-up. All make-believe, like LA. And you should hear this – so last Saturday, I went up to this park called Primrose Hill from where you are supposed to get all skyline views. Skyline views! What a joke! First of all, the city does not have a skyline; someone ought to tell them that three tall buildings do not a skyline make. And two, the only cool tall buildings in the city, guess who designed them? Skidmore, Owings and Merrill. So there. Ah well, I just miss you. Terribly.

Hmm..which one you think I should send now?


ggop said...

You sound so guilty as if you are cheating on Chicago :-)

Check out Pret a Manger for lunch - I recall regretting the US had no such chain.Hope its as good as I remember it..

30in2005 said...

I love it!!!! I demand more more more London critiques.....