A Love Letter to London

Dear London,

What can I say? I’ve missed you and your character. Will you take me back?

I miss the random chalk messages scrawled across your brick walls, the street art hiding around your corners, your ancient architecture and your new innovations.

I miss the excitement of hearing hundreds of languages spoken on your busses, the efficiency of your tube (no matter how many times I’ve complained in the past), the incredible opportunities just waiting to be uncovered.

I miss walking down the banks of your dirty old river, still gawking at your city lights, a picnic in Hampstead Heath, a stroll through Richmond Park.

I miss a good time at the Dublin Castle in Camden, listening to one of your undiscovered bands rock the night away or a day discovering art tucked away in your obscure galleries.

I miss trawling your markets for goodies, the street fashion, eating spinach-feta muffins and relax tea at the Sacred Cafe, a hot chocolate at Scootercaffe and smell of your used bookshops I’ve spent too much time in.

I love that you welcome the world into your borders, the brilliance of choice when it comes time to eat and all the people you can meet along the way, the parties that turn into scenes from the United Nations with 10s of countries represented in one house.

I appreciate the secrets you revealed to me in the four years I enjoyed your company before and I think you have more to give, the way you let me stroll through your street with a camera and still blend into the scenery.

Sure, you have your faults. You can be a lonely place, the tube can be a nightmare at rush hour (admit it) and there’s no denying those stereotypes about your rainy days. So sometimes I may have to get away, visit one of your neighbors. I hear Copenhagen’s nice or Barcelona or I may go further afield. But you have to understand that leaving means I appreciate you all the more when I return.

Yes, I know it’s been less than a year since I gave all my stuff away, shipped three suitcases and nine boxes across the Atlantic. Then I spent six months in a little village in Colombia. I decided there that I’m not finished with you yet.

So I’ll see you in January. What do you say?

Love from New York,

As for Little London Observationist? It’s coming back. And I need your help. What do you love about the site? What would you like to see change? More photos? Less photos? More words? More interviews? Interviews with anyone in particular? Would you like to be interviewed? More reader photos? Specific topics? I’m taking it all into consideration. LLO’s getting a makeover. Leave me some suggestions in the comments.

If you’re new around here, there’s a little button over there on the left where you can leave your email address for updates. Go on, you know you want to.

Side note: If anyone knows of any jobs, I’m looking…!

20 comments on “A Love Letter to London

  1. An excellent letter, so very true about London. It will always be in your blood. I look forward to enjoying your Observations once again. Many thanks for the excellent columns in the past.

  2. Your feelings for London ring a huge bell in my memory. One day I will return too. I hope!
    With reference to your website, just keep up the magic that you produced before. How? I think the magic came through because you enjoyed it so much and put yourself into it. 🙂 Can’t wait to read and see more of it.

    Alan F

    • Thanks Alan. I appreciate the feedback. I try to put some of the odd and unusual London bits and pieces up there that you don’t find on the bigger sites so it’s nice to see that people enjoy it. Cheers for taking the time to leave a comment. I hope you return one day too 🙂

  3. Hi Stef,

    I enjoy your site very much. I think part of the appeal seems to be the range of people you interview. However you seem to interview lots of artists (london has so many) and it would be interesting to see a focus on fringe performers in other disciplines. We see so many interviews with established comedians, actors, directors. It would be interesting to see ones who are performing to two men and a dog in a small venue. What motivates them? How do they feel they are enriching London with their art? Does their job pay their rent? If not, how do they balance their art with their work? What advice would they give to someone who could soon be in their position?

    Plus it could be interesting to set a challenge (maybe just for anyone who is up for it) to find certain things you wouldn’t expect to find in London (things that you know are there). That would give a good insight into the depth of the cities character. Just ideas, keep up the good work!

    • Thanks Luke. I agree! If you know any people like that (besides yourself :p) let me know and I’ll be happy to interview them. I am always on the look out for creatives and you’re right, it would be interesting to interview more of the artists out there who don’t necessarily make “tangible” art.

      I like your idea of a challenge. I used to have a little photo scavenger hunt competition and have people submit their work to a pool. That was on a different blog but maybe I will pick it up here and use the Flickr pool to collect photos and post the best each week. What do you think? Maybe I tell people to go out there and photograph their favorite place to sit and drink a coffee, or something polka dotted or to find one of the maybe “I love London” umbrellas and photograph those… okay, wheels turning 🙂

      Cheers for the feedback! x

  4. I was just in London for my annual visit three weeks ago, and I missed it as soon as I got to Heathrow. I’d trade Old England’s rain for New England’s cold/snow/power outages/broken trees/etc any day. Looking forward to your photo missions.

    • Thanks for stopping by MJ. I agree, a little bit of rain over the chaos of New England winters? Any day. I’m from NY so I completely relate! Enjoy your visit.

      (If you feel like writing a little guest post for the blog on the plane ride home, you are more than welcome to share a few of your favorite moments. :))

  5. Totally agree with alanfriday55, one day I’ll be back too! Missing London TOO much, I can’t have enough when I return just for few days .. I don’t want to feel as a stranger when I walk down its streets 😦

  6. Welcome back in advance! I need educating about my home city again, and what better than an American to do it. 🙂

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