Love Your City: London

3 things you love about London

  1. Summer in London is extraordinary. It feels like a new city full of rejuvenated people, everyone dizzy with joy.
  2. There’s a feeling here that anything is possible, that anyone can be anything they want (Except maybe royalty. That’s a pretty exclusive club).
  3. Sometimes I forget what a majestic beast of a city this is. And then I catch a glimpse of the Houses of Parliament from the Hungerford Bridge, the boats on the Serpentine in Hyde Park or the view from the Members’ Room at the Tate Modern and I get butterflies.

3 things that drive you crazy about London

  1. The city is often covered by a heavy woollen blanket of grey that gets everyone down.
  2. Rush hour. The Central Line. The Northern Line. Actually, all the lines.
  3. West London. Don’t live there and if you live there don’t expect me to go there.

A stereotype that’s true
How much we talk about the weather. Unless you’ve experience the worst summer ever followed by the worst winter ever, you can’t understand how all-consuming it can be.

A stereotype that’s sooooo wrong.
When I moved to the UK seven years ago, there was very little good coffee to be had anywhere. Now, it’s everywhere.

The best thing about your neighbourhood
I live in Hackney Downs, about a mile from Dalston, two and a half from Shoreditch. They’re generally considered the “cool” parts of London but they’re too much and everyone tries too hard. Hackney Downs barely tries at all but all my friends are nearby and so is Violet and Railroad, Broadway Market and London Fields.

Describe the view out your window
I’m in an office in Soho, just off Carnaby street. I can see the shapes of other offices, a zig-zag of dark tiled rooftops under a low grey sky.

Something you can’t live without daily, what/where?
A strong latte from any of these places: Monmouth / Tapped & PackedAssociationFernandez and Wells /AllpressPrufrockWorkshop

Book/movie/poem/song that captures the spirit of London for you.
Hitchcock’s London is beautifully, accurately brooding.

If you were the boss of the tourism board of London what would the city slogan be?

And if you didn’t live here, where would you live?
If visas weren’t an issue, I’d move to Brooklyn tomorrow.

Victoria Hannan is a London-based photographer and writer. She also runs a stunning blog.

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