I leave for London the day after tomorrow. At the moment I'm drawing up a research and writing plan: I need to figure out what to do with my first chapter, whether I want to toss it and rewrite it entirely with a new argument about the same old text, or whether there are salvageable bits; I need to finish researching and writing my final chapter.
But the reading rooms of the British library aren't open all night long and they're closed on Sundays. Plus it can take up to half a day to get the books I need and I can only look at manuscripts until 5pm.
So I'll have some time to do a little exploring. I've spent lots of time in London, but I always stayed out of the way in Crouch End with my family friends. This time I'll be in Bloomsbury. I don't feel as if I know London particularly well. It's so big. The only place in the UK I know really well is Oxford, and that's because I lived there for a year and then dated someone there for almost two years. But back to London: I'm planning on doing some London walks, and already have plans to see an Opera with my mom's best friend, visit family friends, catch up with Oxonians and catch Othello at the Globe. And a pilgrimage to Ormonde Jayne, my favorite perfumer, which has a tiny shop in the Royal Arcade between Albemarle and Old Bond street and makes otherwordly scents out of black hemlock and violet and coriander, and of course I'll hang out in Islington and the East End. But I was wondering if any of my loyal readers (do you still exist?) who have much more London knowledge than I do, might want to make some suggestions of places off the beaten path for me to explore whilst there. Am I missing anything great? What are your London secrets that you don't mind divulging? Where is the best curry? What's your favorite pub? Which parks are hidden and beautiful?