Aug 9, 2010

New dawn, new day, new life, new blog

As promised, I've revamped my blog. What do you think? I figured since I'm now in a new city, I ought to change my look, use my name and broaden my scope. Special thanks to my brother, Reza, for his mad pro skills and advice in the redesign process of this blog! Couldn't have gotten it looking so slick without his feedback and design expertise. Big besos to you bro!

This last month in London has been a mind boggling, surging swirl of new experiences, hopes, disappointments, magical moments, possibilities, impossibilities and the raw excitement of the unknown. I've been riding the wave of uncertainty and trying hard to find solid footing on which to build my sandcastles. Things are crystallizing slowly. I've got new projects on the go that I'm thrilled about. More about those plans later.
All Tarted Up
I suppose the question I get asked a lot is how London compares with Madrid. In fact, one cheeky reader suggested that Madrid still has what London lost years ago, which I find baffling. Of course you can compare cities superficially but the whole point of relocating to a new place (and not simply being a tourist passing through) is learning what is unique about each city in a more profound, day-to-day way and besides, places are often charming for very different reasons. Madrid has lively street culture, fabulous nightlife, and a 'no pasa nada' easygoing attitude. But London is huge! You can find everything here (it's light years ahead of Madrid in the cosmo, multi-ethnic, open-minded department). Whereas Madrid is still quite Spanish in their tastes (especially for food) which is charming, London embraces all cultures and you can find pockets of every type which is charming in a different way. Dining out here is really an amazing experience with a multitude of delicacies from all corners of the globe on offer. London is also beautifully green and filled with parks and wildlife. Then there's the water. I love the water. The mighty river and the snaking canal. Both wonderful. Madrid may have many fiestas but it's dry and the poor narrow/shallow excuse they call a river is just pathetic. This is not to say that I don't miss Madrid. I miss my villagey Lavapies with the intensity of an estranged lover but I know the time had come to move on, to grow, to flourish in ways I no longer could in Madrid. Now, Brick Lane and Spitalfields promises to satisfy my craving for alternative, gritty, hip street culture. And in the end, I think London offers me opportunities and adventures I can find no where else. How exciting is that!

It's a new dawn, it's a new day, it's a new life for me

Photography by Shehani Kay. Cake shop window in Brighton.


Te said...

I love the new layout. It's funny, we were both in Spain (you in the capital and me in a smaller town) and now we're both in in London and I am in Cambridge. I can't say I like London very much, but I think that's because I've never discovered its charm...I'm sure it has some...somewhere.

Shehani said...

Thanks Te!! That is funny how we're both somehow plugged into the sameish geographical wave length - me always choosing the capitals and you the peripheral city/town. London does have many charms in its corners & pockets - there are river walking paths, loads of parks, a canal lined with leafy trees and houseboats. There are swans, markets, ornate pubs, Victorian era under the river footpaths, free museums, and food from everywhere. My favourite area at the moment is Brick Lane for its vibrant mixture of culture. This seems to me, the authentic street London. I suppose you've got to think of London as a collection of different villages, each with its own distinct flavour. Explore enough, and you'll find exactly what you crave.

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