In 2004, when I first came to London as a student, I lived in North Kensington, in an area called Ladbroke Grove, which back then was just shy of being called “hip” (it was just a bit grungy, the dirty next-door-neighbor to beautiful Notting Hill). In my return seven years later, Ladbroke Grove (home of the famous Portobello Road and its markets) has been swooped up in gentrification. It’s strange to be old enough to look back on some period of time and reminisce about “what it was like back then…” (I better get used to it, though, as I’m only getting older!)
I looked for my home all over London — in Ladbroke Grove and other parts of Kensington, in Hampstead, Golders Green and Belsize Park in North London, in Angel and Islington, in Highbury, and even down south in Clapham and yet further south still in East Dulwich. Certainly I had a bit of neighborhood indecision, but I didn’t want to be closed minded, and at any rate, my flat hunt gave me an excuse to discover new areas of London.
Finally, finally, I found a nice flat that appeared to tick all of my boxes of living requirements in Fulham. Fulham is an area in southwest London that is bordered by South Kensington to its north, Hammersmith to its west, the river and Battersea to its south, and Chelsea to the east. Now as I review my previous posts on my requirements, it seems that most of them on satisfied:
- at least one bedroom – yes! a two bedroom flat, what a luxury.
- access to a garden (public or private) –a private garden for the puppies, and barbecuing in the summer.
- accommodation for two adorable puppies -the landlord is dog-friendly. Hurray!
- large bathtub -yes! a soaking tub and a separate shower.
- not a dump -no, it’s not a dump. Very, very important.
- 10 minutes or less walk to convenient public transport – less than 10 minute walk from two tube stations, and a 15 minute walk to yet another.
- green and leafy neighborhood -could be leafier. Could be greener. I had to compromise on this point.
- convenient high street with good and practical shops, like a market, dry cleaners, bank, comfortable pub. (no fancy galleries, high-end fashion shops or furniture stores necessary!) -many nearby amenities and decent high streets.
- nice, respectful neighbors. -well, I guess this is tbd.
All in all, a success.