Reunited in London, England

Friday, July 10th, 2015

On Sunday, we arrived in London via the English Channel on a Eurostar train.

For the next few days, J and I explored London. It was my third visit and her second, so we didn’t need to retread many of the popular sights.

We stayed north of the the center on the eastern edge of Islingston borough. We were within walking distance of two friends who had also come to town from a foreign land. The neighborhood we stayed in was a gumbo of humanity.

Below are a few photos and observations on London, or as Londoners call it: “The Old Apple”.

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Oh Vietnamese soup, how I’ve missed you.
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Cover.
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Hoist the bucket.
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Not worth it.
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Golden wings.
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Big Ben.
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Beer barge.
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Suspension cables.
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There’s a train in there somewhere.
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Illiterates.

It’s the most diverse city we’ve seen on the trip.

In our neighborhood, I didn’t feel comfortable walking around with my camera out.

I really wanted to buy some real yams, but I wasn’t sure how to cook them.

Despite an improved exchange rate ($1.5 per £), the cost of things will pound your ass into the ground.

Tipping is confusing here. It might be included on a restaurant receipt, or it might not. And even so, people sometimes leave a little extra. You don’t tip in cabs, but you do round up. You don’t tip the sewer sweep, but you do tip the wet nurse. Shillings are no longer accepted.

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Brutal windows.
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This piper lures no one.
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Ribbed for structural integrity.
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Bashful bus.
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The Southwark Experience!™
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Draw myself like one of your French girls.
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Museum people.
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The gum painter.
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Dedicated message.
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Gum car.

Trodger doesn’t mean coffee.

Scones are a wonderful food, but the more you eat the more you’re rude.

The Oyster Card is both easy and necessary. You can’t even buy a ticket on the busses.

The Thames looks dirty, and probably is dirty.

The Tate Museum has no tots, but the top floor cafe has a great view and reasonable prices.

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Top deck.
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My other name.
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Banana buckets.
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I wish I had an N to support my wood.
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Robot elephant takes over the Stanford building.
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An expensive Indian feast.
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Old restaurant.
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Tile dingbats.
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The amazing main hall of the Natural History Museum.
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Ceiling detail.

Keep in mind that fish means “french fries” and chips means “fried fish” when ordering.

It’s baby waterfowl season: coots, ducks, geese.

The top floor of the London busses is the best floor, especially on buses with the back stairs.

It’s legal to paint on the gum stuck to the Millennium Bridge.

There is tons of good food to be had, especially of the snack platter variety.

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Darwin’s cryptic expression.
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Climbing monkeys.
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Reunited with another camera man.
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Gate.
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This is where they put it when they gentrify a neighborhood.
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Gated path.
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The surveyor.
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Crappy, colorful pavilion.
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Platter of deliciousness.
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Micro cemetery.

Even a company I left seven years ago still feels like home when I sit in the lobby of its London office.

I don’t like Haldiram’s Indian snack mixes as much as I like. The spicy nuts rip my mouth off.

I love the overgrown, old cemeteries.

The tap water tastes nasty.

Dishoom is overrated.

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Picket fence and petals.
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Dueling doors.
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Oil can parking spot holder.
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The overgrown Abney Cemetery.
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Fallen statue, new mouse house.
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Woods and plots.
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The vines are taking over.
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Nice type.
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The abandoned chapel.
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Front view.

Tesco Express broccoli is awful.

Groceries don’t expect you to have your own reusable bag.

Too many people feed the waterfowl in the public parks.

Dark beer isn’t as common as I thought it would be, but there are tons of hard ciders.

Rhubarb soda makes my mouth explode with joy.

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Side view.
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Barbican overpass.
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A view of the ponds.
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Brutalist and massive.
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Pressing vinyl like it never went out of style.
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Lobby in orange.
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Lobby in green and purple.
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My nesting doll on display at W+K London.
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Cracked.
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Canal overpass.

All of the construction stirs up a lot of dust that seems drawn to my eyes.

I love the scenery along the canals.

The Barbican Center is massive. It feels like a utopian city built by Kubrick or Robocop.

There are a lot more hipster and/or ethnic restaurants than there was a few years ago.

I finally got to try on the Apple Watch. Not as ugly as I anticipated, but way too thick.

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Colorful canal and houseboats.
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Ivy.
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Cyan house.
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Resting and reading.
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Missed a spot.
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Green doorway.
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C amongst the flowers.
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My hatch!

The gorgeous Natural History Museum building is more interesting than the exhibits.

The omnipresent cops and cameras make me feel more nervous than safe.

The price of entry for The Shard tower’s observations decks is laughably high (I did not go).

A one day tube strike had little effect on our travels.

I felt uncomfortable riding around on the anniversary of the transit bombings.

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It sure is!.
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The smartest blue shirts in London.
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J waits for a bird.
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Thistles at the base of the heap.
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Recessed neon.
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CHURCHWALK.

Pub food can be excellent.

British english just sounds so much better than American english. And if you don’t agree, then kick me in the fanny.

Just remember to put your trunk in the boot of the rental car.

Wear sunscreen if you walk to the top of Hampstead Heath.

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Classy compound entrance by Highgate Cemetery.
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Symmetry.
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Missing something in the middle.
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My sister and I played with these when we were young. Surprised they still exist.
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London is a patient woman.

On Friday, the tube strike was over.

We left our AirBnB, walked through the chaotic neighborhood to the nearest station, took an overground train, then an underground train, and caught an intercity train departing ten minutes after we arrived at St. Pancreas. Our transit timing was perfect.

London was enjoyable. We had a few good meals, enjoyed visiting friends, explored a few places we hadn’t seen before, and dipped deeper into our savings.

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