Listen to a Londoner: Chris Osburn

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

Chris Osburn, 37

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).

Thanks Chris!

For more Listen to a Londoner posts, click here.

Photo of the Day on Londonist: A Bird, A Plane…

One of my photos was Photo of the Day on 8th January over on Londonist. Woohoo! It was taken down near Tate Modern, part of a wall around a construction site. They’re asking for captions if you have any suggestions…

Another one was featured on the same site yesterday for their weekend round-up entry:

This was taken in Ealing Broadway. The sun rises through the barbed wire every morning.

Listen to a Londoner: Koushik Ghosh

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

Koushik GhoshKoushik Ghosh, 30
(Bonus answers from Koushik who sped past the 10 questions like Lucy a few weeks ago!) 

Koushik spends his days cutting people up working as a surgeon in Chelsea. By night he likes nothing more than playing chess, pool and occasionally listening to loud funky music whilst driving his car around West London.

LLO: How long have you lived in London?
KG:
Pretty much all 30 years of my life. I was born in Edgware General Hospital and brought up in North London. 

LLO: Where is your family from originally?
KG:
My parents are originally from Kolkata, in West Bengal, India

LLO: Best thing about London?
KG:
 I think its probably the vibrancy and diversity of cultures, though the number of things to see and do are almost endless. Clubs, bars, galleries, museums, wonderful parks – from the young and eclectic to the cultured and sophisticated – there’s something for everyone.

LLO: North, south, east or west?
KG:
Being someone who has lived in pretty much all parts of London, I can say there’s pros and cons for most areas. I grew up in North London and a lot of my friends live in and around various parts of it so that always has good memories for me. The last few years I have lived in South London and found it to be lovely in terms of parks and people, but it has slightly worse travel links. East London is certainly diverse and vibrant with some nice restaurants if you look in the right places, though it tends to be a little rougher than other parts. Though, to me London is like a mosaic – you won’t live in a bad patch without being a stones throw from a good patch.

LLO: Best restaurant?
KG:
Ooo thats a tough one. I’d have to go for Buen Ayre in Bethnal Green or Tayabs in Whitechapel.

LLO: Best place to escape the city?
KG:
Wonder out into the suburbs of North West London and beyond. Perhaps venture to Elstree in Hertfordshire and pick strawberries. Or get lost with the wild deer in Richmond Park and then take a rowing boat down the Thames in the summer.

LLO: 2012 Olympics – stay or go?
KG:
Definitely stay – if just to say you were there. I think it’s going to transform the face of East London; the vibe will be amazing.

LLO: Best place to catch a gig?
KG:
The Bull and Gate Pub, Kentish Town

LLO: Best local band?
KG:
They started playing acid jazz in Ealing venues back in the early Nineties – Jamiroquai

LLO: Favourite book, song or film about London?
KG:
It’s an old film from the Nineties called Martha Meet Frank, Daniel and Lawrence. I watched it with some friends from school and it made you feel quite excited about the city we lived in.

LLO: Favourite market?
KG:
I really like Greenwich Market – so bustling and not a sprawling mess full of tourists like a lot of the other markets in London. There’s more of a feeling of authenticity to it.

LLO: Most influential Londoner?
KG:
Joe Strummer of the Clash

LLO: Best London magazine, newspaper or website?
KG:
I have always been a fan of The Metro – it summarizes important and entertaining news stories in bite-size, attractive chunks and is free and readily available.

LLO: First place to take a visitor?
KG:
Ronnie Scotts Jazz club, Soho.

LLO: Boris is…
KG:
…A hero for saving that lady being beaten up by those chavettes. Also a bumbling buffoon – but in the most entertaining way possible.

LLO: What would you change about the city if you had the power to do so?
KG:
Introduce mobile phone reception on the underground and make it run 24 hours.

Thanks Koushik!

For more Listen to a Londoner posts, click here.

Listen to a Londoner: Daniel Higgott

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

Daniel HiggottDaniel Higgott, 23

Danny is a sound engineer from Northwest London. He doesn’t actually work, just gets paid to travel the world. He thinks he is the master of the card game called Shithead, but often loses to a certain American girl who will remain anonymous.

LLO:  How long have you lived in London?
DH:
23 years and 10 months exactly.

LLO: Best place to escape the city?
DH:
Hampstead Heath

LLO: How do you spend your time on the tube?
DH:
Reading one of the free papers and/or listening to my iPod

LLO: Favourite London discovery?
DH:
Brick Lane

LLO: Best place to spend a Sunday afternoon?
DH:
The place is not important, but seeing my friends is, as it is my only day off.

LLO: Best museum or gallery?
DH:
Tate Modern

LLO: Favourite market?
DH:
Portobello

LLO: Best time of year in London?
DH:
Autumn or Winter

LLO: Best place for a first date? 
DH:
A stroll from Embankment, down through the South Bank, possibly stopping at a few nice pubs along the way.

LLO: What would you change about the city if you had the power to do so?
DH:
I would fully air condition the tube, at any expense.

 Thanks Danny!

For more Listen to a Londoner posts, click here.