I have a pretty sweet 10 minute walk to work through the centre of the City of London. The City is a small area, about a square mile in size, that represents the borders of the old walled city. London itself is much bigger. Many London landmarks are in the city, but not the City, of London (make sense?).
Part of my walk is through the Barbican Centre, a huge 1960s concrete brutalist contraption that includes a theatre, hotel, flats, shopping, and a freaking major road running right through the complex. It’s like the Eaton Centre, Sheraton Centre, and Hummingbird Centre all in one. And if you’re not a big fan of 1960s brutalist architecture, it’s ugly. There is moss growing on most of the structure though, and that helps. The BC is out-of-focus in the background below.
Above, a “Pret A Manger” cup. These places are everywhere and pretty good, like Starbucks but with more food. Locals seem to pronounce it the non-French way, “Man-Gerr” instead on “Mon-Jay”.
Coffee seems to be expensive in London. My first one was GBP1.50 at Goswell Rd Coffee, an ultra-hip coffee spot, which I thought was expensive (C$2.25). The vibe inside was pretty cool, great music, with chalkboards in and out that appeared to change often. I got their drip coffee (the cheapest one), which they call “Chav coffee”.
Note the lights inside, and chalk board sign:
From there it’s been more expenses. Costa, a Starbucks-like chain, took GBP2/C$3 from me. Starbucks is about the same. To compare, I just bought a cheap bottle of wine at a nice grocery for GBP4/C$6.
Costa’s cups sure are cool, however:
Bet you thought I was going to like to Wikipedia for the chav article, no?
Lastly, it’s good to know there are rundown strips like this in every city. Cleveland? Toronto? London?