I’ve gotten a fair share of contact with Londoners over the past three years of living here, and they certainly have a lot to say.
As I’ve repeated many times in my articles, London is quite a place. It has a lot to it, both in the negative and in the positive sense; nobody who lives here is completely, 100% happy about everything — but that’s the case for any country and any city in the world.
With all of that taken into account, Londoners still do appreciate a lot of the aspects of the city — I speak of this both as a temporary Londoner myself, if you will, but also based on my experience of hearing Londoners complain about and praise London.
It has everything
Foods from all over the world, brands from all over the world, people from all over the world — London is the go-to place in Europe for the most possibly diverse and multicultural experience ever.
From immigrants all over the city forming their little communes in different boroughs (like Bangladeshi immigrants grouping around Brick Lane) to international events and exhibitions, covering anything from Japanese manga to international fashion trends, Londoners always highlight the internationality of their city, as well as the availability of virtually anything as one of its selling points.
Isn’t it incredible that you can simply go outside and find four different supermarkets selling different kinds of international foods right next to each other? To me, a Russian girl — it is, definitely.
Arts, Fashion and Culture
London is, honestly, one of the best locations in the world to pursue something artistic — however artistic you want it to be.
Anything from painting, to new ways to go about fashion, to starting up your own magazine; both studying and attempting to build a career around art is much easier in London than it is in many other parts of the world. It’s unsurprising that the best European arts university is, indeed, in London.
A lot of Londoners I know happen to be quite artistic and creatively-minded people, so this is often a thing they highlight.
It’s not just Londoners, however — a lot of people come into the UK at all to study and/or work in artistic fields because their home countries are not as welcoming. (Russia, for example — try building an artistic career there… Sheesh.)
Progressive and innovative
Whatever anyone might say about London, this is a thing most, if not all people will agree on: London is incredibly inclusive and advanced.
From people of all ethnic origins and faiths feeling comfortable and welcomed here, to even local supermarkets throwing up LGBTQ+ flags when it’s pride month, Londoners are quite blessed with the support they get from their own city, and they seem to be aware of that.
It is progressive enough for it to be possible to make a business out of it. As such, a friend of mine has a magazine of her own that talks about gender equality in the music industry, with nonbinary talent included.
Isn’t that just freaking incredible?
It’s green as hell
The amount of parks and other green areas in this city had me taken aback at first, when I’d just arrived; Londoners themselves are very proud of this fact, and take advantage of all the greenery that’s available to them.
Hyde Park is one of the main go-to locations in the city for get-togethers; people enjoy some cheap prosecco and snacks from Tesco and spend hours upon hours just lazing around in the grass.
It may sound a little lame from the outside, but it’s actually genuinely the best thing in the world.
That is far from the city’s only — or even main — green locations. London has it all — from numerous parks to actual botannical gardens, as well as being very close to other natural locations. It takes an hour-long train ride to get to Seven Sisters, one of the greenest places I’ve been to in my life.
Vintage, burlesque, it has it all
London has an incredibly vast, well-developed burlesque scenes. It is incredibly, surprisingly easy to book a burlesque class; the amount of events and venues is shocking, too.
Just as I’d mentioned before, you can find anything in London, but here? You don’t even have to look very hard. Just Google ‘burlesque London’, and you’ll discover a whole new world.
The vintage scene is impressive, too. The Brick Lane market is one of the most famous and beloved clothing markets in the city (if not the country? Can’t confirm), and it’s all mostly made up of vintage, re-hashed clothes.
Londonders love this place for clothes, for the atmosphere, for the implications — and so would you. I promise.
Very sexually open — and curious!
I know this might seem like quite a random fact to add in, but it’s true.
There’s an incredible amount of different highly sexual activities and events to partake in — Time Out even wrote an article listing some of them. Seriously.
Now, don’t get me wrong — Londoners love to complain about the underground (deservedly so, I must add, seen as how often I’ve been screwed over by it) but they don’t take it for granted.
Being the first underground metro system in the world, London Tube is a) relatively cheap, comparatively to what it offers (still expensive), b) incredibly convenient as you can get anywhere in the city, even if with a switch or two, c) is constantly being developed and improved.
To top it off, tube stations are often decorated differently; the carriages on different lines have different colour schemes; the announcer lady always speaks with such a calm voice that it feels special.
You cannot possibly go into any other European city and have a better-developed and a more convenient public transport system.