Friday, April 02, 2010

from SE1 to london affair...part 1

i fell in love with london when i was ten and again when i was fifteen; both times i was there on a family holiday. i decided at that young age that i would return when i was older to really experience life as a londoner. a few years later, just before my 18th birthday, that dream became a reality and  that's when the love affair with london really began. i only lived there for four years but it felt much much longer and even until today, a part of me wishes i never left. i can't quite explain it nor do i really know why.

of course, i had my fair share of ups and downs (for which student doesn't) and yet i always look back at those student days with such fond memories. i snapped like a million pictures whilst i lived there and sadly, i can't find any of them now. 

note: those days, we used film more than digital...perhaps one day, i'll gather up the courage to go through the unopened tea crates in my mum's house and dig up all those pics. that would really be a trip down memory lane...

i have forlorn moments every now and then, when that lil part of me misses london really badly. so i thought it'd be therapeutic to blog about the city of city of london, as i remember it.

for starters, here are some pics* that capture the london i fell in love with...

* beautifully captured by peter here for more pics or to purchase.

- the river thames -

the red bridge in this picture is the blackfriars bridge. we stayed just south of this bridge at my aunt's flat during my first trip to london.

- the tower bridge -

often mistakenly referred to as the london bridge, this iconic symbol of london is breathtaking and majestic. in my first year as a student in london, i lived in the lse student residence in butler's wharf, located south of the river. i walked across this bridge daily to get to the tower hill tube station and back home. i remember instances when i had to wait in the bitter cold rain for boats to pass (not my fondest memory of the bridge, for sure)...i also remember the time i crossed the bridge, as i made my way to class for the very first day of uni. my, what a glorious feeling that was - excitement and exhiliration, mixed with nervous anticipation of the unexpected with a tinge of a new found independence! everytime i see a picture of the tower bridge, i think of sam, my first flatmate and one of my closest friends in london.

- an old warehouse -

built in the 1870's, butler's wharf was a shipping wharf and warehouse complex. in the 20th century, many of the warehouses, such as the one in the pic above, fell into disuse. in the 1980s the area was transformed from a derelict site into luxury flats with restaurants and shops on the ground floor. this was my so-called playground in 1997-1998 ;)

- curlew street; "the results of the docklands regeneration (decaying old warehouses turned into flats and offices)" as remarked by the photographer -

the cobbled streets of butler's wharf like curlew street above was up and coming then. not too sure about now but back then, it housed several conran restaurants such as chop house, le pont de la tour and cantina del ponte. we used to save up our measly student allowances just so we could experience dining in these fancy restaurants. and if we were lucky, we'd be able to buy set meals on offer via! be continued...

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