Listen to a Londoner. This is a weekly post where people who live (or have lived for a while) in London answer a few questions about the Big Smoke. If you fit the bill and want to be interviewed, give me a shout at firstname.lastname@example.org. Always looking for new victims volunteers….
Rakeem is a journalist and writer who moved here, studied here and will, most likely, live out his days here; a naturalised Londoner, who discovered that it’s much more interesting to be Scottish somewhere other than Scotland!
LLO: How long have you lived in London?
RNP-N: I’ve lived in London for 11 and a half years. I moved here in may ’98 when I was only 22. The day before I moved to London, I didn’t know I was moving. It was a snap decision at about 7.30am!
LLO: Where are you from originally?
RNP-N: I’m originally from Edinburgh. Beautiful place, but too cold for my liking.
LLO: Best thing about London?
RNP-N: The best thing about London is the fact that it’s so big. There is so much to do and see. I think I could live here the rest of my life and not see most of it.
LLO: Best place to catch a gig?
RNP-N: Best place I’ve been to catch a gig was the Dublin Castle in Camden. I’ve been quite a few times and am rarely disappointed by what’s on.
LLO: Favourite London discovery?
RNP-N: My favourite London discovery is a cool little Polish vodka bar behind Holborn station. The way the alleyway is built, it’s totally hidden from view from the main street. It’s not very big, but they have every flavour of vodka you could think of and some really nice Polish beers too. It used to be called Na Zdrowie, but I don’t know what it’s called these days… I must go check soon! [Editor’s Note: Because no one could pronounce the name, it’s now called Bar Polski.]
LLO: Best time of year in London?
RNP-N: The best time of year in London is definitely the middle of summer. If we’re lucky enough to be enjoying a heat wave, there’s no better place. All the parks fill up with people, the streets are awash with happy faces… even the traffic seems to slow down a bit. The only downside is being on the tube for any length of time!
LLO: First place to take a visitor?
RNP-N: The first place I’d take a visitor to the city is the London Eye. I can’t think of a better way to show someone the city than to see that view of it from over the rooftops before setting out to explore it.
LLO: Boris is…
RNP-N: …probably going to go down in history as London’s greatest ever mayor. He’s pure comedy value, which is where I think half of his votes came from and the other half are from those of us that think he’s a lot more astute than he let’s on. He might well witter when he’s speaking, but he’s still got a good head for politics. Well, I think he does, anyway.
LLO: What would you change about the city if you had the power to do so?
RNP-N: If I could change one thing about the city, I’d have the tubes running 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. For the relatively small amount of people that would use it through the night, you could easily afford to have some of those Police Community Support Officers on every train during the night and London would be that bit safer.
LLO: Best place to spend a Sunday afternoon?
RNP-N: For me, the best place to spend a Sunday is quietly reading my newspaper over breakfast with friends somewhere in the city centre. I’m a big fan of Covent Garden, but down by the river’s really nice too. Then slope off somewhere to watch the football. It’s what Sundays are all about!
For more Listen to a Londoner posts, click here.