Our last day brought us back to Shoreditch; aimlessly strolling the lively streets scoping boutiques, scouring through piles of great vintage clothing and stacks of vinyl. We felt more than ready for the obligatory Brick Lane curry by lunch time, and as advised by friends bargained our way into two four course meals with a free bottle of wine (It was a holiday so don’t judge me) for 12 pounds. Delicious, filling, cheap- you can’t really ask for more.
We then ventured to the Sommerset House to view the incredible exhibit on Isabella Blow and her many protégées. An absolute must see exhibition if you enjoy fashion and find yourself in London before More wondering, a compulsory ride on the top deck of a bus, our first and only tourist picture in front of a phone booth, coffee with friends at an impromptu feminist book club, and the added time of how ridiculously large London is/ the tube takes and quelle suprise out we missed our Eurostar home.
With our added time lounging at the train station my friend and I, between uncontrollable laughter recounting our weekend, contemplated the incomparable differences between London and our adopted stomping grounds of Paris. Me, a fairly recent transplant of one year, and her a denizen of Paris for over five, could not shake the feeling after only a few days in London that it possesses something that Paris is struggling for- a large and eccentric youth culture. While Paris certainly has its more vibrant neighborhoods and artists abound, my neighborhood in the 20th arrondissement and my friends attesting to that, it is not as visible as London’s. It is not just the Britt’s overall more adventurous style (perhaps because they do not have the Parisian uniform of whatever is in season at Zara topped with a foulard- yes I’m talking to you), but the sense of DIY and community that we were exposed to in such a short amount of time being there. Perhaps we had a head start by staying with a friend or perhaps Paris’ youth needs to step up their game and out of the boite.