It’s been exactly two weeks since I landed here in London, although with my schedule so far it seems that easily could have been two months ago. I’ve managed to see a lot in my time here so far, but I thought I’d start my first in-country blog post with an introduction to my home here for the next few months.
My flat at 54 Goldhawk Road is nestled behind a Sainsbury’s Local in the heart of London’s Shepherd’s Bush neighborhood. A primarily residential area of West London, Shepherd’s Bush boasts a unique blend of craft pubs, textile markets, and the Empire music venue, which has hosted the likes of Charlie Chaplain, The Rolling Stones, Madonna, and others. I caught a show there in my first week here, just an eight minute walk from my flat.
My flatmates are all around my age, three attend the University of Minnesota, one King’s College in Pennsylvania, and the last is one of my classmates at the University of Pittsburgh. Everyone is very friendly and tries to include one another in spending time together.
The flat itself is one of the larger ones I’m aware of on the program. It’s two stories, large enough to host the six of us that call it home, and includes 4 bedrooms, two bathrooms, as well as a standard kitchen and living room. While I share a bedroom with one of my flatmates, there’s still plenty of personal space to keep my belongings and so-on.
Probably the most glaring (yet still minor) inconvenience of the flat is that there is is not a clothes dryer. Though this is not a common amenity in London, it has been an adjustment having to hang-dry clothes in my bedroom. I also find it a little strange that the washing machine is located next to the kitchen sink.
My favorite thing about my flat, however, is its proximity to the unique attractions of West London:
- Westfield London, a huge shopping center with 400 different stores
- Shepherd’s Bush Market, a brimming outdoor market filled with everything from Middle Eastern fare, tourist shops, clothing, and Asian street food
- Numerous local craft beer pubs such as Brewdog
- Great breakfast spots such as Zippy Diner or Liz Cafe
- Goldhawk Road Station, a tube stop directly across from the flat
Though Shepherd’s Bush is a little quieter than the residences in Camden Town, say, these great amenities and homely environment of the neighborhood make it a great home for my time here in London.