Do you remember when I visited London at the end of May in celebration of my book? It’s been so long, but the trip has stayed with me. While I was there to celebrate the publication of Woman Of Color, I also got a few extra days to actually take-in everything London has to offer.
When I asked many of you how should I feel in London, your responses were so heart warming and completely spot on. My body felt free and at home, though so very far away. Here are a few photos of that trip (so late, time moves fast) and things I did…
I didn’t pack much for the trip. Before the tour I purchased a small Away suitcase, and that was a lifesaver for packing minimally with a carry-on. On one-side I would pack shoes, belts, extra bags and scarves. On the other was all of my clothes. I folded my new trench coat on top of my stack of clothes, too. It would feel utterly silly to travel to London without it!
I ate my weight in fish and chips. I also kept my rounds at several cafes. The food and coffee in London wasn’t cheap. But it sure was delicious and all relatively simple .
Like almost every person who visitis London, I couldn’t wait to really visit Notting Hill. The colors and textures, the scenic views, tiny shops and small flower stands. I moseyed Portobello Road, and bought fancy plates for my cousin (who was watching the kids in New York) and little dishes for River’s collection, as well. I tried on apple jack hats and hid from the rain. When taking a break for lunch, I even went on to check the rent prices (as every New Yorker does), and pointed out several tiny flats the kids and I could take up in another life sometime.
I learned how to use the Tube (after many mistakes) and realized the true function of an Oyster Card. Months later, New York has taken up something similar in a quest (hopefully) to reduce the use of paper Metro Cards.
I spent another afternoon finding my way around the Design Museum and Tate Modern. I kept texting my friend Sarah, and imagining she was taking it all with me. I got to see the entire city from the Tate and it was magnificent.
I spent a morning at The Columbia Road Flower Market pretending to fill that London flat with flowers and plants I found on my walk.
And them was so tired I used the trench for a grassy nap.
When nightfall hit, I would pick up a bottle of wine, walk around and take photos of all the buzzing. My last evening in the city was spent in a sweet corner of The Black Pigs With White Pearls, like a real city woman.
All in all, my trip was wonderful. The apartment I stayed in was located in the Stoke Newington area of London. It was colorful, tall, narrow, and full of plants. To be honest, every neighborhood I encountered was incredibly diverse and bursting with young people, families, people of color, and older generations selling fruits, wine and sweet treats.
Have you visited London? And if you live there, what’s your favorite part?