The world is a big place, and everywhere is different. At a young age I would watch movies and get an idealized perspective on the big city dreams of character’s who’s melodramas would play out in front of me, and couldn’t help but fall in love with the places that I was taken to.
London was one of these places, and like myself I think a lot of people see the movie version of London, and cant wait to grab their passport and show up on the sidewalk of history to see everything they can.
The problem with just assuming places are magical is that they let you down most of the time. London is advertised as the historical, and vibrant British community where you can see where some of the great people in history were inspired.
While in reality London is that, however it is a hustling city of people living their everyday busy lives.
London History with a laugh:
There are a lot of reasons that people visit London, the one that I hear most is the history. Growing up in America there has always been a connection with what was once our country across the pond.
The comparison in the oldest building in the east coast of the states to London is hard to grasp. So wanting to see the historical life of England, seems shattering when we realize that like everywhere else, London is a place like any other. London is a place that history lives and yet people have to live modern lives in. In the process pieces of this history are covered up by the evolution of the city.
Movies like Sherlock Holmes allowed us to see the true impact of how old the world of London actually is. Such as Buckingham Palace, Baker Street 221 B legendary home, and the London Bridge being built. In the modern comedic action drama, we see what life was like in the late 1800’s.
We follow Robert Downey Jr. as he represents the British investigator that everyone know.s He makes us laugh and fall in love with a man who is ahead of his time, and shows us some of the most iconic places in London, even those being built at the time. Of course everything changes in 100 years, but when you see these places, the illusion of the beautiful structures seem to be shattered by the modern world.
Such as apple stores, or street lamps, and lets not forget the tourist. The never-ending amount of people holding up there selfie sticks and walking in front of you trying to make their way to be ahead of everyone else, to get their picture in front of the Tower Bridge.
We don’t all grow up:
The first Bridget Jones movie came out in 2001, and showed us that even adults don’t always have it put together. Starring the quirky Renee Zellweger, we follow the 30-year-old modern women living in London, showing us the worst parts of trying to find love.
The movie took off, as the comedy and Pride and Prejudice paradigm made people fall in love. The sequels allowed us to grow up with Bridget as she continued not to grow up and run around London.
One of my favorite parts of the movie was imagining a life in London. Walking past the Tower Bridge on your way to work, buying groceries at the Borough Market, and taking advantage of everything London has to offer.
The famous Borough Market was an exciting place to see. The small shops offering samples, and the smells of everything from cheese to bread, fresh fruit and meat. The entire market over crowded with tourist and the locals makes a stream of the directions you can go, as you try to find what you smell, and then try to make your purchases.
Although there is a charm of the old-fashioned market, it isn’t hard to find the Jones legendary apartment above The Globe, as it is directly beside the market, along with a train bridge making the building look overshadowed.
The problem with finding Bridgets world was not that it was false, but more of it being a false illusion making us think living our lives in the expensive central location is possible. When in reality, your paying £10 for a slice of cheese.
The Magic Behind London:
There aren’t many Millennial’s that I know that haven’t at least heard about who Harry Potter is and J.K Rowling’s magical world that was just beyond the everyday lives people live.
Threw out the 10 years the movies were made the creators make sure to include the London charm that is one of the thing we love about Rowling’s work. From destroying the Millennial Bridge, and living in Surrey, one of the most memorable places we see was Kings Cross.
Kings Cross Station is an example of how she made something that was apart of everyday life into a magical universe. And as any kid I couldn’t wait until I went to the station in London, to see the beautiful station that I saw in the films. This is another example of how Hollywood changed and glamorized its version of Kings Cross.
I was shattered when I made my up to the station, first thing I noticed is that the building that is shown as Kings Cross is actually St Pancras Station, and the connection of the two is by the underground line below our feet.
The glamorous historical building with the clock tower that we flying around in the second movie, is for show. In reality Kings Cross only steps away is a pale white building that is being completely overshadowed by St. Pancras beautiful exterior.
As people rush by finding their train to far away destinations, you can see exactly where they go. With no pillars to run through, or trains on both sides, the trains and station are arranged more like the underground.
A shop for tourist to visit Harry and his friends gives you the option to take a photo going to Platform 9 ¾. Meaning in the public area you are holding on to a trolley nailed to a wall, and holding up a line of dozens of tourists.
Overall as you get to wander around London, and see each piece that you think that you know so well, there is a combination of awe and a sense of disappointment as things are never what we expect.
The best way to go about seeing iconic London is to expect to be surprised, because London is not what people build up. The hustling busy multicultural city is not what you expect, or what we were shown. It is beautiful in its unique way.