Listen to a Londoner is a weekly interview post with people who live (or have lived for a while) in London. If you fit the bill and want to be interviewed, give me a shout at firstname.lastname@example.org. Always looking for new volunteers.
(Photo by Mike Laurie)
Emily is a native Londoner. You’ll most likely find her cruising around London on her bright green Vespa seeking out cool photos for her blog London Shop Fronts.
LLO: How long have you lived in London?
EW: I was born in London, so pretty much all my life. I grew up in the south east but crossed north of the river to east London.
LLO: What gave you the idea to start your blog, London Shop Fronts?
EW: It started when I was taking photos of my local area in 2004. I always found them fascinating and an interesting insight into an area, its history of affluence and diaspora. In 2008, I finally put some online, which sparked my interest to take more. Shop fronts are fascinating for so many reasons and as the collection gets bigger it only gets more interesting.
LLO: Which shop front that you’ve captured is your favourite so far?
EW: I couldn’t choose just one. I have so many I like for many different reasons. The first photo I posted on my blog was Get Stuffed (taxidermy) in Islington and probably my favourite types are Cafes, Launderettes and Chinese takeaways. These seem to have the most original signage and layering of history.
LLO: Favourite place in London to take your camera?
EW: I am never without my camera, so everywhere! But I’m most excited when I find a new street full of independent shops that I haven’t been to before.
LLO: Somewhere in London you’d like to explore but haven’t had a chance yet?
EW: I’d love to get the chance to see some of secret London, the places that are locked most of the time like the closed underground stations (see http://underground-history.co.uk). Last year I got the chance to explore Savoy Cafe (http://www.flickr.com/photos/emilywebber/sets/72157619950686676/detail/) which has been closed since the 80s, it was an amazing chance to see something that has hardly changed since the 50s.
LLO: Loving the bright green Vespa! Have you found it to be the best way to get around the city?
EW: I love my vespa for many reasons and it really is a great way to get around. It beats sitting on a bus or a tube and of course looks great.
LLO: Best London discovery?
EW: London has so much to offer once you start exploring, I love summer walks along the canal to the parks and marshes around Hackney and Walthamstow.
LLO: What’s your favourite London shop?
EW: I do a lot of my shopping online and I particularly love finding unique stuff on Etsy and eBay.
LLO: If I only had one night in London, where would you tell me to eat and drink?
EW: Cocktails at Saf then dinner and drinks at Bistrotheque.
LLO: Describe your perfect Saturday in London.
EW: Probably start with brunch in Springfield Park cafe if it’s warm and sunny, then out (on the vespa) for some photo taking, then back to Hackney’s numerous pubs for some drinks with friends.
For more Listen to a Londoner posts, click here.