Listen to a Londoner: Paul McConnell

Listen to a Londoner is a weekly interview with a Londoner – someone who lives in this city, born here or elsewhere. If you’re up for being interviewed, email littlelondonobservationist@hotmail.co.uk.

Paul McConnell

Paul is a born and bred londoner. Having lived in Central London his whole life, he spent his childhood within a 15 minute walking distance of Buckingham Palace and Big Ben. His favourite thing to do in London or anywhere else is to hang out with his friends on a Saturday afternoon watching the football, or spend it with his lovely fiancee going around all the markets and shops.

LLO: As a born and bred Londoner, how has the city changed since your childhood? Anything you miss?
PM: The city has changed a ton. There is a lot more diversity now, with many different cultures, and its made london more of a melting pot. You really can get anything you like from any culture in the world in london.

LLO:Which part of the city are you most familiar with and what’s the best thing about it?
PM: I’m most familiar with central london as I’ve grown up within walking distance from Buckingham Palace and Big Ben. My favourite part of London is the Southbank and all the bridges that cross the thames – so relaxing and beautiful.

LLO: Best London discovery?
PM: Great family run Italian restaurant near Notting Hill called Ffionas. You have to be there early though because they only have 8 tables.

LLO: If you’re in the mood for some last minute live music, which venues would you check first to see what’s on?
PM: Brixton Academy have shows all the time where you can always pick up tickets on the day, or if you walk through Camden you’re sure to find something you like.

LLO: Tell us about a memorable moment that could only have happened in London.
PM: It has a be a marathon weekend which consisted of 3 live football matches, 3 nights out clubbing and about 3 hours sleep during all 3 days.

LLO: Know of any great little hole-in-the-wall pubs, restaurants or coffee shops that are worth stopping by?
PM: The Black Horse just behind Oxford Street is a great pub, great food, all fresh the same day.

LLO: If you were to leave London in the near future, what 5 things (people not included) would you miss the most about the city?
PM: 1.) Arsenal football club 2.) The London Eye (near where i proposed to my fiancee) 3.) Being able to hear Big Ben on a quiet night from my house 4.) Fish and chip shop on Sutherland Street in Pimlico (best fish and chips on earth) 5.) My mum’s roast dinner

LLO: Best pub to watch your favourite football team on match day?
PM: Either the Barley Mow in Vauxhall or Victoria’s Sports bar above Victoria station

LLO: What about a great venue to go watch some live sport (not necessarily football!)?
PM: Wembley or the Emirates Stadium, or Battersea Power Station where they have live festivals, extreme sports/extreme Winter sports.

LLO: Share a random London fact that not many people would know.
PM: The actual City of London is only 1 square mile. All other major roads such as Oxford Street, Piccadilly and Regent Street actually come under “The City of Westminster”.

Even though being the sovereign of The UNITED KINGDOM, Her Majesty the Queen is not allowed to enter the City of London with seeking the permission of its Lord Mayor.

Thanks Paul!

For more Listen to a Londoner posts, click here.

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Listen to a Londoner: Charikleia Karagiorgou

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 littlelondonobservationist@hotmail.co.uk. Always looking for new volunteers. 

Charikleia Karagiorgou, 25

Lia thinks that living in London can be either a blessing or a nightmare. For her, it’s been a great experience so far, giving her the chance to meet people of various backgrounds and therefore expand her horizons.

LLO: How long have you lived in London?
CK:
I have been living in London since September 2008.

LLO: Where are you from originally if not London?
CK:
I am from Karditsa (it means ‘heart’) and it is located in Central Greece.

LLO: Best thing about London?
CK:
The fashion and the gigs.

LLO: Worst thing about London?
CK:
The tube when it’s packed because I run out of oxygen and space!

LLO: North, south, east or west?
CK:
North cause I live there.

LLO: Best restaurant?
CK:
Rules!

LLO: Best shop?
CK:
Beyond Retro, close to Carnaby Street.

LLO: Best place to escape the city?
CK:
It is IN the city-St. James’ Park

LLO: 2012 Olympics – stay or go?
CK:
Would like to stay and be a volunteer, or better  – a reporter.

LLO: How do you spend your time on the tube?
CK:
Noticing peoples’ outfits! 

LLO: Best place to catch a gig?
CK:
The Brixton Academy

LLO: Best local band?
CK:
 The Stayaways! ;D

LLO: Favourite book, song or film about London?
CK:
London Calling – The Clash

LLO: Best place to spend a Sunday afternoon?
CK:
 Having a cup of coffee at the Somerset House.

LLO: Best museum or gallery?
CK:
 The Tate

LLO: Favourite market?
CK:
 Portobello

LLO: Best London magazine, newspaper or website?
CK:
 Stylist, Shortlist and The Guardian

LLO: If you were to dress up as one of the tube station names for a costume party, which would you be?
CK:
 Liverpool Street – My favourite English team.

LLO: Best time of year in London?
CK:
Whenever it’s sunny!

LLO: First place to take a visitor?
CK:
A long walk along the river.

LLO: Favourite place to be on a Saturday night?
CK:
Camden

LLO: Best and worst things about tourists?
CK:
Good for the economy, bad for the tube (too much noise, too crowded!)

LLO: Boris is…
CK:
…still the Mayor

LLO: What would you change about the city if you had the power to do so?
CK:
 I would bring some sun from Greece!

Thanks Lia!

For more Listen to a Londoner posts, click here.

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