There are things we moan about, take the piss out of, or simply shrug off and ignore that actually we should really show a bit more appreciation for — you know, like breathing and communication. They are things we never really stop to think about, but we’re pretty goddam lucky to have them. And for Londoners, pop-ups and respiration are on par, right?
1. The Tube
We’re all guilty of whinging about the tube, but we’d miss it oh-so much if it were gone. London would quite literally stop working without the underground. We’d all be totally f*cked. So quit tutting about the Central line at rush hour and just thank God (or Tfl?) that it exists.
2. Tourist Attractions
London is crammed with amazing history and culture, but it’s really easy to get lost in your own little London bubble and forget about this. Go to the museums and visit all the sites, just like you’d do if you were abroad. Could you imagine if someone asked you — an actual Londoner — if you’d seen Buckingham Palace and you said no? (If you’re thinking “holy shit, I’m that person” then go. Right now.)
We all mock “pop-ups” and sandwich them with derisive quotation marks, but, let’s be honest, we all secretly adore them. We should really appreciate them a bit more and give them the respect they deserve. After all, they are only around for a limited period of time and most of them are actually pretty innovative and fun. And really, where would we be without the temporary residencies of single ingredient cafés and Breaking Bad themed bars?
4. The Food
We should all stop settling for Nando’s and explore the huge range of food that London has to offer, which we often overlook. There is literally everything you could possibly imagine, and more. From trendy street food markets to Michelin star restaurants, London really does have it all. And if you have a “special” diet, you’re in the best place you could be. We’re not short of raw, vegan, refined sugar free and coeliac-friendly restaurants. (Honestly, they don’t know what “gluten free” means up north).
5. The Choice Of Things To Do
We’ve all sat at home moaning that we have nothing to do, right? But just take a look around you and you’ll realise how ridiculous that is. London is the best city in the world. Go and try out a new restaurant, go to a free museum, wander around a market, go and see a show, or just go for a walk and discover new places. The options are literally endless and sometimes it can even be overwhelming. Sure, it’s fine to stay at home — Netflix is also one of the options for Londoners — but get out there every now and again, because, come rain or shine, there is always something to do.
6. Green Spaces
Big cities are often branded “concrete jungles” but, actually, London is one of the greenest cities there is. Think about it: we’re never actually that far away from a decent picnic spot. Hyde Park, Victoria Park, Regent’s Park, Green Park, Primrose Hill Park… we could go on. Go and get some fresh air. It’s underrated.
7. The Diversity
For many of us, the thing we take for granted the most is the people who surround us. We are a city of so many different cultures and ethnicities — in fact we’re one of the most diverse cities in the world — and we really ought to celebrate it more. Because of the immense cultural diversity in London, we have so much exciting food to try, lively festivals to attend and interesting people to meet. You don’t fully appreciate it until you leave the city and go elsewhere. In other words, you don’t know what you’ve got until its gone — and trust us, what we’ve got is great.
[Feature image: Flickr/Davide D’Amico]