I started off with taking a walk to explore the other side streets around where the dorms are located; I always have been heading either towards Waterloo station or towards the river, so I went in the opposite direction today. There was a great little street market going on, which was full of locals as it isn't in a touristy area. I went in the Iceland grocery store and got some cheap food and stopped in a hardware store and checked out the prices of pots and pans, because I would love to be able to cook some pasta. Then it was a wander back to the flat, stopping in at a bakery where they were selling Boston Brownies - brownies with cranberries - so of course I had to try one and it was yummy! As I was buying it, I told the clerk I was from Boston and she said she didn't think they had anything to do with the city at all, so I explained that the cranberry is our official state berry.
After dropping the groceries off at the flat, I went off to Oxford Street. Now Oxford Street is the London equivalent of Newbury St or 5th Ave - lots of shops, and lots of people! My goal was to visit Selfridges and get some pictures for Mom. I didn't realize quite how big the store actual is:
It still has a great Art Deco entrance:
And it also is still set up in all little departments, stores within a store. I wandered around on a few floors, but unfortunately most of it was a little "too dear" (British phrase, meaning too expensive!) for my wallet.
I did find one of my favorite London clothing stores, Primark, which has the best prices for clothing. I got a really cute dress for £5, or $7.50. On another trip to Oxford St I'll have to visit my other fav store, Topshop.
Then I went over to Earl's Court for something I was not planning on doing until a few days ago - a meet and greet with my favorite actor, Norman Reedus, who plays Daryl on The Walking Dead. I saw on Twitter that he was coming to London to appear at the London Film and Comic Con, and it just happened to be my free weekend in London so it was definitely fate. I won't fangirl too much, but it was an awesome night, I got a handshake and a hug from Norman!
And I made a new friend, who I spent a few hours talking with and am going back to the convention with on Sunday so we can get our pictures taken with him.
Heading back to the flat, I hopped off one stop early so I could walk across the Thames. It makes me think of crossing the Zakim:
Please excuse me while I gush about London for a moment - I really truly love this city, there is just something about it, all the hustle and bustle, that gives a life and excitement to the city as a whole. I love the juxtaposition of old and new, like the cranes around St Paul's creating a new London skyline:
And most of all I love the area I am living, the South Bank. Years ago (like hundreds of years ago) this was the place to go for things illegal in the city of London, like the theatre, which is why Shakespeare's Globe Theatre is on this side of the Thames. Now its so vibrant and full of life, with the Jubilee Walkway, theaters, these fun window box gardens, a giant sandbox, tons of outdoor cafes, performance areas, street musicians, and even a skate park:
Boston still is my number one favorite city, but London is becoming a close second, or I could say it is my favorite largest city. But at the same time, I don't think I could ever live in a city for very long, because I would miss seeing things like trees, which London does have in parks, but it's not quite the same. So tomorrow I am taking a train outside London, to go with London Walks to Winchester, where there is a cathedral and we will hopefully see many sheep in rolling green meadows along the way!