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Old June 29th, 2009, 03:15 AM   #1
El Mariachi
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London: Zone 1 Blitz

Some music to listen to.



I started my trip here, in Deptford/Lewisham, probally the least touristy part of the entire metro area. I would say I met the most random, talkative, interesting people in this part of the city. It is leaps and bounds ahead of Central London in this regard, based on my experience. Not too much to photograph in terms of architecture as the area, from what I was told, took a beating from bombing raids during WWII.



My lovely view from the hostel!


One of the highlights of this area is the Deptford Market, which offers a diverse range of products. It was here, that I discovered a hilarious DVD called "Fat Slags", which I regret not buying.





The area was quite diverse. From my guess, it is the heart of London's African/Caribbean community. Local papers made the area out to be South Central LA, but I found it to be a pretty decent neighorhood.





A train car turned into a cafe.


Amen brother. Notice how he compares his political opponents to Nazi's.






Moving on to Greenwich. I really dug the nautical feel to the area.



Royal Naval College. They were shooting a movie while we were here. I checked when I got back home and I guess they are shooting additional footage for that Wolfman movie thats coming out this year.



The Maritime Museum was one of the highlights of my trip. Alot of cool naval swords, art, and exhibits.



View from the Royal Observatory, one of the best views of the entire London skyline. The walk to the top kicked my ass. If I lived in London, I wouldn't join a gym or buy Billy Blanks DVD's. I would just walk up this hill, as well as the stairs as St. Pauls Cathedral!







Place where I enjoyed a drink called "Spitfire Ale".


Sadly, upon enterring, I found out this was a fine dining establishment and not a gentlemens club.









Canary Wharf, probally the most American feeling part of the city. Similar to the downtowns of places like Dallas or Charlotte. Busy during the day, dies at night.





The monsterous O2 Dome.


Tower of London





Our hilarious Beefeater.


Beefeater reacting to an American tourist interrupting his tour, asking if there was a Taco Bell in the within the Tower walls.



Excellent exhibit. Worth seeing just to see Henry's codpiece on his armor.








Me. Probally the second biggest dude to enter the tower since Henry VIII.


Some German speaking kid tried getting this guard to crack. He got owned. Just like his ancestors probally did 10,000 feet in the air, in this spot, about 69 years ago.





To be continued......
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Old June 29th, 2009, 03:46 AM   #2
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lovely
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Old June 29th, 2009, 12:05 PM   #3
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Great...Always good to see my home town from a visitors perspective. Glad you liked Lewisham/Deptford, Its kinda the real london - the inner city and how most londoners live. Did you see anyone wearing bowler hats?
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Old June 29th, 2009, 12:38 PM   #4
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great tour, waiting for the next instalment.

ps why Deptford? Its actually starting to become one of the hip places of the city (nowhere in the league of Hackney, Hoxton or Whitechapel, but finally one south of the river). Although still gritty, which of course is the appeal, its got a whole line of edgy art galleries and bars going, the New York Times infamously did a story on the place as the next in-thing, much to the surprise of many Londoners who haven't cottoned on yet and still decry it as a boring, crime ridden part of the inner city.

Its actually not crime ridden, but has a history of it. Once an unemployment area suffering ex-industrial decline in the 80s, the recent African community has revitalised the area, although newly arrived and poor they tend to be from educated, upper middle class backgrounds - crime has fallen significantly wherever they settle, including once notorious Deptford. And its definitely not boring - which btw well done for being an urban 'pioneer' among tourists .

Neither is it the heart of the Caribbean community nor the Africans. I bet you'd be surprised the borough is only 21% Black, (like the rest of London many people in these 'ethnic areas' only shop or work where their community is centred, but residentially are evenly mixed).

Similarly leafy, touristy Greenwich is one of the poorest, most crime ridden boroughs in the country - its just the people it caters to don't actually live there.

Last edited by the spliff fairy; June 29th, 2009 at 12:48 PM.
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Old June 29th, 2009, 02:21 PM   #5
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Nice.
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Old June 29th, 2009, 06:41 PM   #6
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It's great to see pics from the least touristy areas. Sometimes in these places you can see the most genuine street vibe in a city.

Thanks for the photos.
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Old June 29th, 2009, 06:54 PM   #7
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Interesting photos from this part of London
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Old June 29th, 2009, 06:54 PM   #8
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You stayed in Deptford but seemed to have missed its most famous building, the award-winning Laban Dance Centre.

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Old June 29th, 2009, 06:56 PM   #9
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There is always an sense of excitement to London!
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Old June 29th, 2009, 07:10 PM   #10
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Very interesting thread. The music rocks too.
London is such a diverse and complete city that one can find everything there (except for sandy beaches ).

I'm so happy that I'll be there again in a couple of weeks.

Last edited by pixel2008; June 30th, 2009 at 01:35 AM.
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Old June 30th, 2009, 01:54 AM   #11
El Mariachi
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thanks everyone!

Quote:
Originally Posted by pingyao View Post
Great...Always good to see my home town from a visitors perspective. Glad you liked Lewisham/Deptford, Its kinda the real london - the inner city and how most londoners live. Did you see anyone wearing bowler hats?
No bowler hats, soccer brawls, jewelry store heists, or anything of that nature.

Quote:
Originally Posted by the spliff fairy
great tour, waiting for the next instalment.

ps why Deptford? Its actually starting to become one of the hip places of the city (nowhere in the league of Hackney, Hoxton or Whitechapel, but finally one south of the river). Although still gritty, which of course is the appeal, its got a whole line of edgy art galleries and bars going, the New York Times infamously did a story on the place as the next in-thing, much to the surprise of many Londoners who haven't cottoned on yet and still decry it as a boring, crime ridden part of the inner city.

Its actually not crime ridden, but has a history of it. Once an unemployment area suffering ex-industrial decline in the 80s, the recent African community has revitalised the area, although newly arrived and poor they tend to be from educated, upper middle class backgrounds - crime has fallen significantly wherever they settle, including once notorious Deptford. And its definitely not boring - which btw well done for being an urban 'pioneer' among tourists .

Neither is it the heart of the Caribbean community nor the Africans. I bet you'd be surprised the borough is only 21% Black, (like the rest of London many people in these 'ethnic areas' only shop or work where their community is centred, but residentially are evenly mixed).

Similarly leafy, touristy Greenwich is one of the poorest, most crime ridden boroughs in the country - its just the people it caters to don't actually live there.
I read the commentary on that New York Times article after I booked my trip. From what Londoners/London papers were saying, the area was supposedly really rough (cab drivers saying they wouldn't even take people there) and had nothing to offer. I was a bit hesistant on staying there because I didn't want to be looking over my back on my trip! Upon arriving, I found this not to be the case---although I can undestand why it would have that reputation with Londoners from other parts of the city. I am a bit suprised about the demographics of the area, being only 21% black.

Also suprising is how you say Greenwich is that bad. I guess looks can be deceiving. During the day, it looks like a more upscale part of town. The only part where I could see there being alot of crime is that foot tunnel that goes beneath the Thames.

Quote:
Originally Posted by DarJoLe
You stayed in Deptford but seemed to have missed its most famous building, the award-winning Laban Dance Centre.
yeah.....I am kicking myself for not seeing that building up close. I read about it before I left and saw it off the DLR train. Very impressive looking building on a sunny day.
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Old June 30th, 2009, 09:36 AM   #12
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great
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Old June 30th, 2009, 01:18 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by El Mariachi View Post
I am a bit suprised about the demographics of the area, being only 21% black.

Also suprising is how you say Greenwich is that bad. I guess looks can be deceiving. During the day, it looks like a more upscale part of town. The only part where I could see there being alot of crime is that foot tunnel that goes beneath the Thames.

Yep to the surprise of most Londoners the largest minority district in the capital is only 63% (Pakistani community in central Slough), even though half London's population is minority. Basically its the same across the capital, certain areas attract certain shoppers or workers from the community, but residentially people are very mixed.

The heart of Black London, Brixton is only 24% Black, whilst places like Tower Hamlets is only 34% Bangladeshi, Southall 55% South Indian, Peckham 55% Black etc. all to the shock of Londoners themselves. Basically tradition and high housing prices means people reside very mixed, not just ethnicity but social class too.

Similarly Greenwich seems very upmarket, and it is, but in between all those gorgeous rowhomes are also highrise estates, as in every London borough. Weird thing is many of those rowhomes will be subdivided into small apartments for renters, while many of those highrise tower blocks will be housing yuppies who can't afford the average $640,000 for a house. If ever you left the town centre you'd start seeing them- the foot tunnel is spooky but totally safe.

Last edited by the spliff fairy; June 30th, 2009 at 01:26 PM.
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Old June 30th, 2009, 03:03 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pixel2008 View Post
London is such a diverse and complete city that one can find everything there (except for sandy beaches ).
There was one last week on the South Bank.

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Old June 30th, 2009, 03:23 PM   #15
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yep in the 1930s they imported sand onto the riverbanks to create 'London Beach' for the locals, which still survives, though in an er, slightly more 'tidal' context (read: alot of debris). They have urban beaches too in summer, mini versions of Paris Plage. Shame we don't have the Aussie lifeguards though...



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Old June 30th, 2009, 06:06 PM   #16
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Very cool. Thanks for taking photos of this area.
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Old July 1st, 2009, 05:27 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by the spliff fairy View Post
yep in the 1930s they imported sand onto the riverbanks to create 'London Beach' for the locals, which still survives, though in an er, slightly more 'tidal' context (read: alot of debris). They have urban beaches too in summer, mini versions of Paris Plage. Shame we don't have the Aussie lifeguards though...
If only they had imported the weather from Spain for example...

Last edited by pixel2008; July 5th, 2009 at 10:47 AM.
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Old July 1st, 2009, 06:05 PM   #18
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It feels like they have at the moment,..
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Old July 1st, 2009, 06:10 PM   #19
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The last few days it's been in the low 30s.
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Old July 1st, 2009, 06:11 PM   #20
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The climate of Portugal and Spain can easily make you lazy.
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