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 volunteers….
Chris is currently residing at the western front of the East End (otherwise known as Clerkenwell). He works and plays as a freelance writer and photographer. He has lived and travelled all over the world, but London is the first place where he ever truly felt at home.
Catch up with Chris and keep up with his London adventures any time over on his excellent blog: http://tikichris.wordpress.com/
LLO: How long have you lived in London?
CO: About six years.
LLO: Where are you from originally if not London?
CO: I’m American. I grew up in a small town in Georgia but have lived all over the place as an adult.
LLO: Best thing about London?
CO: As a freelance photographer and writer, I’m often bopping about London taking pics for some site or publication. Roaming this mess of a conurbation for shots is without a doubt one of the most wonderful ways I know to spend my time. London is (or at least often can be) such a photogenic place. There’s just something about it. I mean, for the most part, it’s not incredibly beautiful … not like Paris or Barcelona anyway. Nor is London terribly stunning; you really can’t compare it to the vertical awe of Manhattan or the mind boggling expanse of, say, Shanghai. However, the story London tells through its streets, landmarks and faces (oh the faces in this town!) is as compelling as any I’ve ever experienced. The story is one of weathering crises with resolve and engaging the world on its own terms.
LLO: Worst thing about London?
CO: It’s gotta be the Tube, right?
LLO: North, south, east or west?
CO: EC1 baby!
LLO: Best restaurant?
CO: Hmm … really depends on my mood. But I love St John, Portal, Club Gascon, Acorn House, 32 Great Queen Street, the Eagle, Tsuru, Iberica, The Gay Hussar, Santoré, Bosphorus Kebabs, Daddy Donkey, Chilango, Wahaca, Cinnamon Kitchen, Moti Mahal (and I know I’m leaving out a gazillion others).
LLO: Best shop?
CO: Well, a new Waitrose just opened very near my flat. That’s kinda rockin’ my world in a good way these days.
LLO: Best place to escape the city?
CO: You mean while still staying here? Kyoto Garden at Holland Park.
LLO: Favourite film about London?
CO: I love Mike Leigh’s “Happy Go Lucky” – it’s a colourful, beautiful film about a kind and friendly Londoner. There’s not a single shot featuring even a drop of rain. It’s a pleasant (while still fairly accurate and gritty) portrayal of London with none of the overplayed Jack the Ripper doom and gloom of most London-based films.
LLO: Best museum or gallery?
CO: Tate Modern is possibly my favourite museum in the world with the British Museum in a close second place. As far as galleries go, I’m consistently impressed with the shows at Stolenspace, Elms Lesters Painting Rooms, Lazarides Rathbone, Diemar Noble and Alison Jacques Gallery.
LLO: Favourite market?
CO: Despite the crowds, I can’t stay away from Borough Market (and God I hope it survives all the planning and building going on there right now!).
LLO: Best time of year in London?
CO: October! Every October that I’ve spent in London has been great with generally nice weather and lots of interesting events.
LLO: Best London website?
CO: Londonist, Qype and lots and lots of blogs (check the sidebar links on my own blog).
For more Listen to a Londoner posts, click here.