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Daily Archives: 8, August 2011

The London Riots

A masked rioter is seen in front of a burning car in Hackney, North London. Photo credit: EPA/Kerim Okten

This weekend, my family and I were in San Francisco for a mini-vacation. No Internet. No newspapers. No TV. Just a heavy dose of rest and relaxation.

When we returned home, we were shocked to hear the latest news out of London. All of the headlines of looting, arson and violence were too much to stomach.

I know North London. Less than ten years ago, we were living in the small neighborhood of Harringay, only a stone’s throw from Tottenham, where 29-year-old gangster Mark Duggan was fatally shot last Thursday by police after resisting arrest. It was this incident that spurred this weekend’s riots. I would routinely take the bus to Wood Green Tube Station to commute to work – another area that has been targeted by rioters in London.

And these riots have continued to spread far beyond the North London borders. To Lewisham, Peckham, Clapham, to the northern cities of Birmingham, Leeds and Liverpool. I’ve been watching the #londonriots tweets today, still in disbelief by how much destruction is taking place and the momentum at which it is spreading.

To my friends and family in the UK, please stay safe.

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The London 10

Don't miss the London Eye. Photo credit: De:Benutzer:Swgreed

Every time a friend travels to England, I’m inevitably asked for recommendations on the best spots in London. With that in mind, here is my London 10.

1. London Eye. This walk-on ferris wheel provides the best views in the city! Buy your tickets online and avoid the long lines. Riverside Building, County Hall, Westminster Bridge Road, London. SE1 7PB. (0)871 781 3000.

2. Notting Hill. Great boutiques and pubs on Portobello Road and don’t miss Portobello Market.

3. Covent Garden. Plenty of restaurants, boutiques and shops to visit including the world famous cheesemonger Neal’s Yard (17 Shorts Garden, London. WC2H 9AT. 020 7240 5700).

4. Oxford Street. H&M (261-271 Regent Street, London. W1B 2ES.020 7493 4004), Top Shop (216 Oxford Street, London, W1D 1LA. 0844 8487 487) and plenty of retail therapy.

5. Theater District. Culture vultures, here’s your spot!

6. Hampstead Heath and Hampstead. You’ll feel like you’re in the country even though you’re only 20 minutes or so from Central London.

7. Green Park, Hyde Park, St. James’s Park, Kensington Park. They all connect. Take a picnic and people watch.

8. British Museum. You can absolutely spend days here and the admission is free. Great Russell Street, London. WC1B 3DG. 020 7323 8299.

9.  Tate Modern, (Bankside, London. SE1 9TG. 020 7887 8888) if you like modern art. Also, don’t miss a stroll along the Thames. There are lots of little restaurants and shops there, as well as Shakespeare’s Globe Theater (21 New Globe Walk, Bankside, London SE1 9DT. (0)20 7902 1400) and the Millennium Bridge.

10. Selfridges Food Hall. Totally amazing. Actually Selfridges department store is amazing. It puts every department store in the US to shame. Fortnum & Mason and Harrods also have amazing food halls but my favorite is still Selfridges. 400 Oxford Street, London. W1A 1AB. 0800 123 400.

Do you have a favorite spot in London? What’s your London 10?