- Peter Ackroyd, London, The Biography
email@example.com wrote on Wed, 16 Mar 2005: > > what do you love about london? What I love about London: I love walking a single block and hearing 5 languages and 12 accents. I love that feeling of dread that I'm irretrievably missing out on the raging river of cultural opportunities that's constantly racing by. I love the glowing clock face on the top of the ShellMex building peering over the Victoria Embankment Gardens. I love the reflection of the Houses of Parliament at night on the Thames, and listening to Big Ben chime its groovy little dance number from the foot of Westminster Bridge. I love the walkability, the endless neighborhoods, the electric maze of Soho at night. I love the Royal Parks, and the almost-always- temperate but never-boring weather, and I love never knowing when I'm going to meet someone flabbergastingly interesting (and doing so with some regularity). I love the Turbine Hall of the Tate Modern, possibly the world's coolest room - and I love how verily the Modern is such a truly public space, where you can go and have coffee and sit and watch the lights of the Wobbly Bridge tracking to St. Pauls, or walk around, or sit on the floor, and people- watch, unlike some stuffy galleries where you're actually expected to look at the art and but unless you want to then you can look at one of the greatest collections in the world for free. I love the British Museum and how you can hardly tear yourself away from the Great Court to start not even putting even a dent even in just everything that's worth looking at in, say, the Enlightenment Hall. I love watching Team America: World Police in *The National Film Theatre* and I *really* love the sprawling table booksellers out front of the NFT every day. I love emerging into the dingy dawn of Brixton in the morning after eight straight hours of clubbing - and being twice as energized as when I got there. I love Londoners and how they're aware of how much greater and important the Capital is compared to the rest of the country, but in a low-key very English kind of way. I love how only about half the people you meet in London are British - but I also love that half. I love the Christmas lights in Bow Lane in the City and the freak snowfalls and Brightening Up London (and I hope they bring it back). I love my mates and knowing that, hell or high water, we'll be at a pub drinking and talking come Friday night. I love that there's an entire weekly magazine devoted solely to things you can and should be doing out in London. I love the Saturday Guardian and the Indpendent on Sunday and knowing I can get a New York Times anytime I really want one. I love the bookstores on Charing Cross Road and the Jazz Cafe in Foyles. I love the Wildlife Photographer exhibition at the Natural History Musuem - and that you can pop to the side and see an elephant fetus head in a jar in the Darwin Centre. I love Korean food in New Malden and falafel wraps in Borough Market and being able to get a veg somosa on virtually any street corner. I love all the money to be made (useful if you're going to live someplace this expensive.) I love the curving crescents of the streets in Kensington and the stately walkups and the rose gardens out front. I love the comfy couches of the Builders Arms W8 and the chocolate lab sleeping under a bench at the Britannia off of Kensington High Street. I love my Oyster card and being able to go anywhere. I love the adventure of the night buses. I love the whole south bank, especially at night, with its galleries and restaurants and the theatres and museums and destroyers and open-air theatre and that incomparable Victorian folly, Tower Bridge. I love that smaller Victorian folly, the Albert Bridge, and also a cotton-candy-and-bruised-thigh-flesh sunset behind the Albert Memorial, or setting behind the Circular Lake, in Kensington Gardens. I love running across the street from work to the National Portrait Gallery and finding the portrait that's on the cover of my volume of John Stuart Mill. I love that even when I get really depressed, I'm still knocked out by, and by being in, London. I love that the Olympics would *demean* London (and that, happily, we probably won't get them.) I love the Artilleryman's Memorial at Wellington Arch. I love walking up the 8000 stairs out of Angel Station. I love the second-hand shops and the stellar people watching on Notting Hill Gate. I love the sunshine and breeze on St. Pauls churchyard. I could go on.