Winner – Mariposa Explores…the Neasden Temple

12 05 2010

Winner of the most recent So You Think You Know London challenge, Mariposa, explores Neasden Temple in her guest post spot. Words and pictures by Mariposa.

One of the things I love most about London is its cultural and ethnical diversity. Within twenty minutes you can pass through an area which is mainly Afro-Caribbean, come through a Bangladeshi quarter and end up in a part of town which is populated by hundreds of Haredi Jews. With this great mix of cultures, not only can you enjoy all types of food you can only think of – from authentic Chinese dumplings in Chinatown to a fantastic Indian curry on Brick Lane, explore little Vietnamese supermarkets or Polish convenience stores, admire traditional Indian Saris or African gowns in clothes stores in the parts of London where these cultures are widely spread.

You can also learn almost as much about cultures and religions of the world as if you were to visit the most far away countries around the globe. You could say that you need not even leave London to embark on a tour around the world.

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Guest Post: My Favourite Place in London

14 01 2010
One of the coolest things about running this blog is the chance I get to connect with other bloggers who share my love for London. One such blogger is Joe Harvey, of Centre of the World, which intertwines a passion for writing and a passion for London through poetic storytelling with unrelated imagery of particular London locations.

Joe’s been good enough to share some of this knowledge (and his pics) with MyMetropole. Enjoy his guest post below and stay tuned for a follow-up by yours truly, whose goal it is to go check out a few of these locations that I either have not yet visited or didn’t even know about!!

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My favourite place in London…

Of London’s myriad sites of intrigue and entertainment, the places and buildings that are most out of kilter with their surroundings tend to endear themselves to me the most.

In the North-West of the city, a gigantic limestone and marble Hindu Mandir hides amongst the grim suburbs of ‘the loneliest village in London’ – Neasden.

Shri Swaminarayan Mandir (Neasden Temple)

Camley Street Natural Park provides a retreat of calmness only yards away from the industrial activity of King’s Cross St Pancras.

Camley Street Natural Park

However, my favourite place in London has to be somewhere within the East End of the metropolis, where I currently live. In between disused docks, derelict warehouses and vacant lanes, is Trinity Buoy Wharf. This peculiar peninsula is home to London’s only lighthouse, a thousand-year-long record featuring Tibetan “singing bowls”, a minute hut displaying the works of Michael Faraday, a city made out of recycled cargo containers, “fatburgers” and a multitude of artwork, both complete and in progress.

Since 1998, this former buoy manufacturing site has dedicated itself to the creative arts and now houses approximately 350 artists and businesses. Artwork is strewn around the wharf, while in the distance

Antony Gormley’s Quantum Cloud

structure sits just to the side of the building formerly known as the Millennium Dome.

Fatboy’s Diner, an original 1940s all-American diner, serves ‘Fatburgers’, American breakfasts, omelettes and sandwiches. All delicious.

The Chain and Buoy Store and the Superintendent’s House provide the wharf with its historical insight. While Container City, a community built out of shipping crates, provides an alternative view on modern housing. London’s only lighthouse is home to the Longplayer Sound installation, an ever-evolving piece of music that has been designed to play continuously without repetition for a thousand years.

Container City

As with many of London’s delights, Trinity Buoy Wharf is enhanced by its inauspicious surroundings. Docks lie disused and industry unplugged. Regeneration is needed and the wharf is a prime example of how creativity can be used to rejuvenate a vacant space into an extraordinary site.

Thanks to Centre of the World for this excellent guest post!