London Hotels Articles

April 7, 2010

Reflections: How I miss London

I miss reading the posters and advertisements in Tube stations. I miss riding the tube during rush hour and touching twenty strangers at the same time. I miss riding the W7 through North London suburbs and the public transportation system. I loved people watching, not being in the United States, living in an inexhaustible city, casually strolling into an art gallery and seeing masterpieces for free, sunsets on the Thames, and the British accent. I want to stare at the ceiling in St. Paul’s Cathedral while listening to the organ on a Sunday evening. How about a stroll along Fleet Street sticking out in my college grunge getup? I loved feeling out of place on the Tube if I wasn’t reading something. There is something enchanting about that city. I felt smarter when I was there, or at least like I was getting smarter at a much quicker rate than I am now in the States.

Glimpses of streets, buses, and Tube stations ignite memories of the summer past. An unforgotten headline scrolls through my head: Terrorist attacks on the London transportation system kill 52. I step onto the train anyway. The terror is not forgotten, but it does not control. You like this about the Britsjust like the New Yorkers, they have moved on. You had to move on, that is why you still came to London after last summer’s attacks. Two weeks pass and you know moving on and flying across the pond was the best thing you have ever done with your life.

I miss going to Piccadilly Circus and not feeling like a tourist, observing the mannerisms of internationals gawking at this vast city, being full of pride after giving someone directions, knowing my way around, using a shortcut, and watching lost people; remembering I was overwhelmed by directions when I arrived here.

I want to get a hot chocolate and stroll through the city on a cold evening. I want to walk in one direction for miles knowing I will eventually find another Tube station; a portal right back to the familiar. I want to be caught gawking at shoppers on Oxford Street. A walk from the Tower to the Tate Modern would be nice. Cross Millennium Bridge to St. Paul’s, take the Central Line to Holborn, switch to the Piccadilly Line, take the W7 from Finsbury Park, sit upstairs, halfway back in a window seat on the left, count the pubs on the way to the bottom of Muswell Hill, and get lost in a pub for a while with a pint and a new friend.

Occasionally a stroll through Leicester Square at night finds another movie premiere and a lot

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