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While You Were Away (in Paris)

by Katherine Gesoff

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This past weekend, the majority of my fellow study abroad students went on the acclaimed Paris trip through AIFS. I did not attend because I had been before and wanted to explore more. So that’s exactly what I did! On Friday night, I ventured off into Soho with some friends where we explored Wardour Street. The locals were all standing outside in the streets, drink in hand, just chatting and mingling after a long week of work. It was great to experience how Londoners blow off steam after a week of papers, files, and bosses.

On Saturday a couple of us who stayed decided to explore Shoreditch, which is about a 40 minute tube ride from Kensington. This is a fantastic town for those of you who are in to vintage. There are shops, on shops, on shops of vintage clothing, shoes, furniture, etc. It is such a unique place to explore and see all the different shops, hipsters, and people bringing back everything from the 50’s to the 90’s. Another cool aspect of Shoreditch is all the graffiti tags on walls and buildings. They are so bright and colorful and give so much character to this town! After exploring some of the graffiti we walked down the main drag and came upon a basement vintage shop that was selling vintage vinyls for 1 pound! It was really cool to go through boxes and boxes of old vinyls that had once had their heyday and were now in my hands. We found our way back to Kensington and realized walking really knows how to wipe you out and make you extremely hungry. We found a burger place right across the street from Gloucester station called Byron Burger which was phenomenal! Magnificent and delectable burgers for those who love a good juicy burger! We were all pretty exhausted from the day’s activities so we decided to call it a movie night.

Sunday was an interesting day; this whole weekend had been “Open Weekend” in London, which is a weekend where normal buildings, monuments, houses, mansions, and such which are not normally open to the public are open for tours- and free! The Bank of England was number one on the list considering tours of the bank do not occur on a day to day basis, one can usually only go into the museum. So after a long 2 1/2 hour wait around the side, front, and half of the other side of the bank, we were finally let in for a great experience and wonderful tour! It was definitely worth the wait! After our tour, we went back over to Soho to a place called Zebrano, which housed the quarter finals for “Battle of the Bands”. This was a great night out, we were exposed to seven new acts that were all great! Some better than others, naturally, but it was an experience that not many others can say they got to be a part of!

Overall, the weekend was very successful in opening my eyes to more and more places of wonderful London! I cannot wait to continue my adventures with the exploration of this magnificent city! See you back next week!

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