Over the past six weeks here in London, I have been privileged to live at 54 Goldhawk Road, a complex of flats that CAPA rents out for their students. Somewhere between 40 and 50 students, all of whom study at the CAPA center, live in this complex’s 13 flats. They range between 3 and 5 people to a flat, with bedrooms being no greater than a triple that 3 students live in. I personally live in a flat with 2 other Pitt students who I have been lucky to grow close to. We only have one bedroom with a set of bunk beds and a single bed off to the side, making space and privacy at a premium in the bedroom. Besides that, we have three other rooms: a bathroom, a living room, and the kitchen. The kitchen is rather small with a stove, a refrigerator, a sink, and our washer all packed into a tiny space, making it nearly impossible for two people to be in there at the same time. The living room is rather large relative to the rest of the flat with two couches that sit two people, and a table off in the corner of the room. While space is at a premium in the flat, the three of us have been able to make it work and it has become a home for us.
The biggest challenge of living in Goldhawk has been the lack of a dryer. England apparently has something against drying their clothes via machine and everyone in the country hangs their clothes to dry. This would not be that big of a deal, but we all did not bring extensive amounts of laundry, and with space at a premium finding spaces for each of us to hang our clothes is highly difficult. In the coming days, I will be returning home, and I am beyond excited to utilize the dryer in my house again.
As far as the location of Goldhawk, I have been very pleased with what the neighborhood of Shepherd’s Bush has had to offer. To an extent, it feels like Oakland does back home, where you know you are in a city, but the big city vibe is not really felt. There are plenty of options for food and places to hang out, along with the biggest mall in London just right down the street. While you are rather far away from the actual city of London, you are given easy access to the Central, Hammersmith and City, Circle, District, and Piccadilly lines all within 10 minutes of the flat complex, allowing for easy travel anywhere in the city.
Overall, I have made countless memories and friends in Goldhawk and the flat has become a home I will be sad to leave in the coming days. While there are plenty of options for where you can live here in London, living the life of a Londoner in a flat has been an experience I would never trade away.