Global Voices contributors are very ‘mobile’, and live or have lived practically everywhere. We're going to learn about some of their favorite spots in their current city. We begin this series with Abdelmadjid, who lives in London. We'll give you three or four recommendations, among many other contenders, but always with keeping an eye on the rest of the world's viewpoint.
The Barbican Center is the secret garden of a concrete jungle that doesn't often see the sun. The Center is surrounded by low-rise buildings: but don't let that stop you, go on in! And discover one of the richest places in London for culture and the arts: concerts, cinema, theater, expositions, and activities. Walking through the Center, we reach the Barbican terrace, which is still rarely crowded. Around a huge body of water with fountains, it offers a number of places to sit, and as well as coffee shops.
Barbican Centre, Silk St, London EC2Y 8DS
Manzes Pie Shop
London is in the grips of a devastating real estate speculation crisis. But despite this, many neighborhoods are attempting to preserve their history and identity. To the east of the city, Manzes, a quintessential pie shop, hasn't changed the decor since the last renovation in 1929. Manzes offers the popular dish par excellence: the pie- with meat, or eel. A unique atmosphere with affordable prices.
Manzes, 76 High St London E17 7LD,
The Shadwell Basin
Built nearly two centuries ago, Shadwell docks welcome freight from all corners of the Empire. They were destroyed during WWII, and then left in ruin-as was the majority of that area near the docks, until the mid-eighties. A renovation program then enabled the re-population of this area which had not unfortunately escaped gentrification which affected nearly all the city. The inner harbor however is great for a stroll, a coffee, or even a bit of sport. Canoeing, kayaking, wind-surfing, rowing, and even climbing; many activities are offered year-round and it is even said that the harbor is open for swimming in the summer.
Shadwell Basin, 3-4 Shadwell Pierhead London E1W 3TD,
It's not a stereotype: London is one of the most cosmopolitan cities in the world. During the month of Ramadan, which this year begins in summer, each of the city's Muslim communities (Near and Middle-East, Indian sub-continent, and Far-East) celebrate the breaking of the fast in their own style.
On Edgware Road, when the breaking of the fast begins, terraces are filled to the brim all night long. Shisha, tea, music; the atmosphere is unparalleled. Between a summer evening in a Middle-Eastern country, and the hustle and bustle of a major London street, the choice of cafes and restaurants is extensive.