Babe: Nephew in the city
July 20, 2012 9:53 AM Subscribe
My 17yr old nephew is staying with me in London for a few days next month, as I'm taking him to his first gig. He likes graphic design, Jack white and playing guitar. What cool things should he go, see and do?
posted by mippy to Travel & Transportation around London, England (10 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
I had my first visit to London in 1998 when I was 16, and grew up in the same small, dull, townie-centric place he's in. Back then, I wanted to go to Tower Records, look at comics in Forbidden Planet, eat at somewhere that wasn't McDonalds and buy some of the hippie crap that appeals to teenagers in Camden.(We also - oh callow youth - thought the Trocadero was AMAZING, if only because I could buy a McDonalds at 9am.) Given the internet and such, I'm not sure record stores are as big a draw and I am not a practicioner of his main interests of drawing or playing guitar. I was thinking about taking him to the Design Museum when we have a day together, and maybe somethign to eat at Taro or Wagamama (no Japanese places where he lives so it would be a nice experience) but I was more thinking of shops or places I could give him a list of along with an A-Z.
So far I was thinking of sendign him to Cass Art or the London Graphic Centre (there is no art shop in his town, despite there being 100k people there) and the record/book exchanges in Notting Hill, and maybe Portobello or Camden, as even though I've become jaded and cynical it will seem impossibly cool to a first-time teenage visitor. Or will it? He's a huge indie fan so I wonder where the rock tourist hangout is these days.
My other thought was somewhere like Brick Lane or Covent Garden, just because it's busy and there are vintage clothes stores about (his town has no vintage scene - my college friend dressed entirely in 1960s clothing and got constantly verbally abused on the street for it - but he's whippet thin and would probably dig it) and lots of interesting stores and atmosphere - and the National Gallery is nearby as well. Or maybe the South Bank? He's a bright kid and interested in politics and books and news, but I don't think the historical side of London appeals much.
Where would you want to go if you were in his shoes? Bonus points if it's cheap or free, as well. He's pretty independent, but from my memories of coming to the big city on my own, he might not feel totally comfortable going to eat in cafes on his own or anywhere that feels fancy or out of place, so nowhere that feels particularly elitist or inaccessible either.