I am… a Poet/Uni student studying Literature and Creative Writing. I moved to London in 2000 when I was about nine, from Zimbabwe. I’d holidayed in London before, but adopting my own postcode was a rather different experience. I’d found her, London personified, eclectic in her music and tastes, energetic and modern. She still is. Random memory: I remember being excited when I first met someone of Jamaican origin. Lol at the novelty.
The area in London I call home is… North London. Enfield, if I’m being specific. Somewhere people only seem to know about now because of the riots. Is it ironic that that’s where I feel safest? Who knows. My friends love to make jibes about how ‘technically’ I’m not a Londoner because the closest Underground station from EN1 is a bit of a bus ride away. It’s a red double decker bus, and I have an 0208 phone number, so in my eyes I make the cut.
I’ve got to have a meal at… Caribbean Scene. It’s a lovely Caribbean Restaurant that boasts a serious vegetarian menu, not that they don’t serve meat, they do, but being a vegetarian my eyes tend to only read things with a green (v) next to it. There are a few in London but I like the one by the Royal Victoria Dock because I have a thing for water. The ambience at the spot is amazing, definitely worth a Google if you won’t take my word for it. A Google, then a visit.
I tend to get my threads from… the High Street. I have a bit of a laissez-faire approach when it comes to my wardrobe. Unless I have a show and I have to leave the house on a specific mission to buy a specific type of outfit, I’ll usually be gallivanting about somewhere, as one does, spot something in a display window, investigate and end up blowing a week’s pay. On a day to day basis, the ensembles I leave my house in are usually unintentional, be that in brilliance or faux pas.
To enjoy London’s nightlife, you should… definitely have an online presence. They are so many things going on in London, it can get hard to keep track. This is especially the case when it comes to niche kinda events. Websites like the Cultural Exposé amongst others, are pretty handy when you’re looking for a different kind of night out. Tip 2: Plan your route home ahead of time. Nothing as joy killing as watching your last bus pull away from the station after a good night out, or maybe that’s just for Enfieldians.
If I was mayor, I would… shut down all the shops on Saturday. Hidden Adventist Agenda? No, but really, as much as I love the hustle and bustle of London, I do think it’d be lovely if the city was to ‘pause’ once in a while, so its workaholic citizens could enjoy the beauty of the city’s natural spots and have un-timed conversation with the city’s mixed multitude.
My favourite spot to check out art is… London’s walls, stalls, floors, trains even. I really like graffiti. It serves as the unadulterated voice of the masses, (till the council clean it up). My favourite piece is a pseudo Andy Warhol pop up piece of a girl in Tottenham. Because of where it is, it can only be seen from the upper deck of a bus. There’s a little voice in my head that shouts ‘exclusive’ every time I do get to see it.
I’d kindly tell a tourist to… keep their receipts so they can claim tax back at the airport when they are leaving. Nothing finishes a holiday like payment on exit. That, and keep to the left when walking, and, right on the escalators if they are standing. Been said before but, some people are repeat offenders.
The things I miss when I leave London are… my mommy. . . like for real. TFL (my missing it being the love part of the love/hate feelings I have towards it), the variety of food available, delivery and in store, the spoken word poetry scene, oh and black hair shops. Really and truly someone should start delivering black hair products etc. to those outside major cities. Something for the people.
My soundtrack to London would be…
Tinashe – Mr Presumption: I really like this song and think it has a particularly English feel to it. A Zimbabwean Londoner, kinda like me. :) The beauties of globalisation.
Calvin Harris – Flashback: An oldy but a goody. There’s almost a dichotomy between the deep lyrics of the song and the monotony of the house beat.
Dean Atta’s – Revolution Awaiting Warriors: It’s not actually a song but if I were to make a soundtrack to London it’d definitely be on it. The piece speaks for itself in its brilliance and beauty. It’s one of if not thee most inspiring poem I can ever recall hearing.
Labrinth – Earthquake: It has a really refreshed old school sound to it, methinks. I’m forever rewinding the bit with the trumpets at Buckingham Palace. Cheesy but I love it.