It’s been a few weeks since I have written so I have much to catch you up on. Many things have been the same as usual, my normal routine of going to class and exploring the area, with some additional exciting adventures. Let em begin by telling you bout school, the good and the bad. The good would be about my class “exploring London,” the class about London from a sociology perspective. My assignments for this class are really enjoyable, one of them was to go house hunting and well you could say i put an immense effort into that assignment. Below i attached the links of some of my findings if you happen to have been looking for flats in London then these might be of some help or, like in my case, you wanted to go clothes shopping but there is no Target near you and looking at Nordstrom’s website feels very pointless then this is an excellent alternative.
My assignment the week following for this class was to go around the area of Clerkenwell with some classmates and discover the gentrification of the area. The task started off poorly with us having no idea what to say to people to find out this information and even involved me really awkwardly wishing someone a happy monday and bursting out laughing. My family and friends at home know that this is not abnormal for me so you’re probably not very shocked, but the people in my class whom I had just met were puzzled which made it all the more fun! We eventually found local business owners who were able to tell us that the area 40 years ago was not a place to walk at night, that certain streets used to be all clock shops whereas now the area is abundant with architects (fun fact- it takes longer to become an architect than a doctor in England). We found a pub that has been there for 200 years and a building that monks lived in back went London was in its earliest stages. We spent way more time on the assignment than necessary, but it was so festinating to be learning the more recent history of the area from people who have lived it. Also in part of the area, since the international students had tours when we first arrived, I was able to inform the Londoner’s in my group about the history of some of the buildings that even they didm;t know, including the bank where Dickens placed money, the house where Marx wrote from, and a convent for nuns before the split from the catholic church. The final assignment I have for this class is a paper on the 2011 London riots, which I knew very little about previously and was surprised how remarkably similar the causes of those riots were to the causes of the turmoil in Ferguson this past year.
The past few weeks have had an odd football theme running through them that was mostly unintentional. The first was a trip to arsenal’s emirates stadium in Islington.
Last weekend was the real excitement as of late when i went to Manchester!!!! I went with three lovely friends from the house and it was a really fun weekend.
We took the train up north so I saw the open fields that I always picture England having, thanks Downton. When we arrived, checked into our hostel, and visited Old Trafford where we were clever and took this picture.
It rained that day for only the third time since I arrived in England, but I worked my magic and by the next day Manchester had clear skies and sunshine. We explored Manchester which has a central hub with the Manchester wheel or the Manchester eye iI prefer to call it. This was in the center of the city which is very small after coming from London. It was a funny thing begin in a place that looked like London, but had such a different energy, different demographic of residents, and different accent. We visited the national football museum so if you ever need fun facts about the history of football i’ve got you covered. There was an attempt that weekend to immerse ourselves into more local culture which I did in the nest way i know how; food. I tried my first pie & mash, Manchester tart, british breakfast, and cadbury chocolate. Our hostel experience was a good one with nice, and we even went on a pub crawl provided by the hostel. We made friends on it, some from different parts of England, some from other European states and as always with the Americans. It was a really social way to meet people staying at the hostel with us and to see the city at night. Given the higher proportion of students in Manchester the atmosphere was very different than in London. Our last day there we visited the museum of manchester, university of manchester, manchester library and manchester art gallery. These were all nice to see, but paled greatly in comparison to the museums in London. Here we are roaming the city with our new german friend!
These past few days back home in London have mostly been filled with the same old same old. It rained one day which I was actually really excited about. A friend and I went to the arsenal museum because we had free tickets to go and we learned some more about our local football team followed by free crepes on pancake day from our uni. I found other hidden gems in London this week including the area north of primrose hill, the Regents canal right by my house and a 9/11 memorial not far from the U.S. embassy. At this point I probably clear that I could go on and on forever, but I won’t because we all have things to do… bye