The Theatrical Journalist

Improv, Comedy, Women, Melbourne and everything in between.

(Another) Idiot Abroad: London, arrival

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This afternoon I went for a stroll around Carnaby Street, London. I had no plans or idea where I was going, I just strolled along, which is a change for someone like me. In Melbourne, I walk around the city streets so fast, even when I have no where to go. Even when I’m waiting for a friend in Melbourne and I’m trying to kill time, I still race around the streets like I have somewhere important to be. There’s something about Melbourne and it’s culture that just encourages me to do so. London, on the other hand, is busy and yet I stay calm. It’s relaxing for a person like me. I find myself constantly looking up. Looking up, gazing at the skyline is – from what I can imagine – what most visitors do when they’re in London. The skyline is laced with grand old buildings that all look like they could have been Parliament House, the UN, Law Courts and chambers, or old hotels. Underneath they are refurbished and often occupied by new outlet stores or supermarkets. The cars and taxicabs are graceful, the traffic not so much. On the plus side, I haven’t seen any Ford Commodores with spoilers on them, so I’ll compromise on the traffic situation. The traffic is a free-for-all, motocycles, cars and buses all race along with very little indication as to where they’re headed. The London local pedestrians seem to anticipate this and just go about their business, unnerved from the hectic and disarrayed traffic.

Green Park, near Buckingham Palace

Green Park, near Buckingham Palace

The parks are beautiful. Green Park, St James Park, and Hyde Park are all together in close proximity to Buckingham Palace. Every morning I walk down Piccadilly to Green Park, and then I go for a run around Green Park and St James Park. The greenery is very luscious, almost overgrown or unkempt in some areas – which is appreciated in a busy, grey and brown city like London.

Shop props

Shop props at The Revival Retro Boutique

I haven’t even been into a department store yet. Zara, Topshop, and Harrods bore me (as well as overwhelm me, Harrods). Even walking down Oxford Street, I hadn’t the slightest motivation or urge to go in and check out the fashion. The Camden Markets, overlooking a beautiful canal, were busy and boasted delicious street food. Shop attendants would fork some sausage or chicken and hold it out to you as you walked past, screaming; “Sausage!?” or “Bang Bang Chicken!?”. Camden Markets disappointed me a little, as I expected them to be more like Camberwell Markets (Melbourne) but even bigger and better, with exciting vintage clothing. Instead, they were busy and teeming with tourists. Most of the stores sold rave attire, knock-off brands, or offensive tee-shirts that can be found at the Queen Vic Markets in Melbourne – or anywhere, for that matter. On the other hand, there were some fantastic little vintage book stalls and leather bag/jacket stalls.

Staying in Soho, the first shop I went into was in a little section off Carnaby Street. It was a small find, tucked away in the arcade. It boasted fashion inspired by the 20s, 30s, and 40s. Flapper Dresses, Pearls in martini glasses, wonderful old wooden dressers, as well as kitten heals from the 30s and leather wedges from the 40s. I assumed it was all reupholstered vintage, but it was actually all new. Afterwards, I had afternoon tea (Cinnamon tea!) at a small afternoon tea shop. High Tea and Cream Tea galore!

This is my kind of place.

A beautiful 20's Flapper dress. Very heavy!

A beautiful 20’s Flapper dress. Very heavy!

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This entry was posted on July 5, 2013 by in Culture & Society, Travel and tagged , , , , , , , , .
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