around town

Barbican Conservatory

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I first visited the Barbican Centre when I photographed Samuel for his 4×3 Londoner profile. I was just short of amazed when I walked around since I had never actually been inside before. From the outside the building looks overbearing but once inside it has all sorts of wonderful things to explore like galleries, cinemas, cafes, fountains and much more. But my favorite part is the Barbican Conservatory. This hidden oasis in East London is free to the public but is only open on certain Sundays throughout the year so a little bit of planning is required before you visit (opening times are on their website). Once inside you completely forget that you are in the middle of the city as you are surrounded with green. The paths meander throughout and some even take you up a flight or two of stairs so you can view the greenery below you. Up one of these staircases is an amazing room full of every kind of succulent and cactus you can think of (it made me realize how tiny my own succulents are at home).

So if you find yourself wanting to escape to some green in the middle of the city, head on over to the Barbican Conservatory and relax amongst the endless array of plants. And maybe take some time to check out the rest of the centre too!

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Regent’s Canal: Winter

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One of my favorite semi-hidden gems in London is the Regent’s Canal that stretches from Little Venice across North London to the Limehouse Basin. On any given day you will see people taking a stroll, going for a run, biking or boating along the canal. And depending where you are, there is usually a nice spot to peel off from the path and explore London. Since we live so close, I am documenting the way it changes through the seasons starting with the canal during winter time. These shots are along the path that goes from Regent’s Park up to the Camden Lock. A few of my favroite spots (like Melrose & MorganThe EngineerThe Corner One) are just off of the canal and are great places to grab a bite or a coffee.

The Shard

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I love to have family or friends visit us in London because it makes me go out and enjoy parts of city that I keep meaning to visit but don’t simply due to getting caught up in the  busyness of everyday life. So back in January when my sister and brother-in-law visited, I knew I wanted to take them to The Shard to get one of the best views of London below. The 87-story skyscraper was completed in 2012 and the viewing deck opened to the public back in February of 2013. There are two levels to the viewing area, the second of which is open air which is a little scary at first but I got over this pretty quickly. We managed to book our time for about 20 minutes before sunset on such a clear day you could see for miles and miles- I don’t think I really understood how huge this city is until I saw it from so high above. I know a lot of people complain about the price to get up to the viewing area, but my thinking is this isn’t something you do everyday, more of a special occasion type of thing. Plus once you are up there, you can stay as long as you like- no time limit. So why not take your time and take all of London in for a bit?

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