Living in London has its ups and downs, as all places do. But today I’m here to celebrate the magic of living in London. Here’s why London is the greatest… times 10.
London has some of the greatest music in the world – think The Rolling Stones, Pink Floyd, Yes, Dire Straits, Queen – and so on. And everywhere you look, there’s music playing – from the harmonica player at underground stations and singers playing on the street to those having regular gigs in jazz and blues bars to those playing arenas.
Another thing I love about London is the breadth of art surrounding me daily. For me, the most amazing exhibitions are the music-related ones: such as Rolling Stones’ ‘Exhibitionism’ and Pink Floyd’s ‘Their Mortal Remains’. Another favourite is the fun, colourful, 80s-themed WALALAXPLAY exhibition. An interesting insight into the future of arts is offered by university degree shows, which are usually free to attend and open to anyone.
You’ll feel like a tourist a lot of the times if you’ll let yourself. Now you live here, so you shouldn’t get lost or wait for the green light at the pedestrian crossing. But trust me, it’s rewarding to roam aimlessly to discover the hidden gems.
You can’t make a top 10 of London and not mention the wide range of cuisines available. I’ve had the most amazing food here from all corners of the world. Chinatown is the place to go for all your egg fried rice needs, Five Guys or Gourmet Burger Kitchen for amazing burgers (nothing beats the peanut oil fried chips at Five Guys!), Camden for great Instagram food of yesteryear (hello, cronuts!) and amazing Jamaican food, Soho for amazing desserts at L’eto. And the list goes on.
This year I attended my first Pride in London (second overall – the first one was in Birmingham), and I learned so much and saw so many types of people and of love! And I’ve never been in such a place that exuded love and acceptance through every pore.
London is one of the fashion capitals of the world. London Fashion Week recently ended, but fashion experimentation lives on. Everywhere you look, you can see people express themselves – from following the latest trends to exploring their own personal style, London has everything anywhere you look.
I am always amazed by the culture and the different people here. Everywhere you look, you learn a new custom, discover new foods, experience new music. It is amazing.
8. Public Transport (TfL)
As much as I complain about the public transport, it is amazing. You can easily get anywhere, you can choose between all types of transport, from trains and the underground to trams and the DLR. You can even travel on the Thames via the River Bus! My opinions change when I’m an hour late to work as everything was delayed or my stop was cancelled. But it’s still the most amazing public transport system I’ve ever seen.
9. The BBC
I had to include this. I am a huge fan of any panel show: QI, Only Connect, Would I Lie To You, Countdown, The Chase, 8 out of 10 Cats… I’ve been watching these for years now, some with my mom, and I’m always on the lookout for new episodes. And I love them. They’re not all currently filmed in London, but we can associate the BBC with the City. Last year, for Boxing Day, I went to my friend’s brother’s girlfriend’s house and we watches The Big Fat Quiz of the year live which was simply amazing. (Can you tell I don’t have a TV anymore…?) BBC Three has some amazing shows about diversity and mental health. I don’t listen to the radio but I’d have so many to choose from.
10. Career opportunities
I will always love London for the opportunities it offered me, when other cities were not as friendly, accepting and inviting. Where would I be now without my number one love, London?