Alex Soojung-Kim Pang, Ph.D.

I study people, technology, and the worlds they make

London calling

I’m go to London next week, in pursuit of a big project. This morning I was just minding my own business, quietly doing my own work; by afternoon I was comparing flight prices and trying to figure out how to spend as few evenings away from the kids as possible.

So next week I’ve got two days in the air for one day of meetings. There and back in less than 72 hours.

I hope I get real stamps in my passport this time.

So, a question to anyone who knows London well: I’ve got an afternoon and evening free. If you had lived in London for a long time, had an intimate knowledge of and affection for the city, and were back for a visit, where would you go / eat / hear / etc.? What cafe or bookstore can I absolutely not miss? Where’s the most interesting view of the city?

[To the tune of The Blue Nile, “Over The Hillside,” from the album “Hats”.]


  1. If you pack the right shoes, you could do worse than walking along selected stretches of the Thames (say from Tate Britain to Tate Modern). It’s a great way to get a feel of the city in a short time.

  2. I imagine Kew Gardens to be downright verdant at this time of year. The (new) Globe Theater was open (as of 2002)–very cool–and right behind is a Neal’s Yard Dairy outpost where you can grab a hunk of cheese, small loaf and an apple for your Thames stroll; though from there to Greenwich isn’t too hideous, either. (Can’t you write off expenses if you go to the prime meridian?)

  3. There’s obviously a thing about the Thames going on here because I’m going to recommend it too.

    Go to Saint Pauls, turn down the right side of it & look for the Wobbly Bridge, cross over to Tate Modern, catch the Joseph Beuys exhibition, go to the restaurant on the top floor for a great view, come out of the gallery & walk down stream a few hundred yards & visit the Globe. On The Town might be playing at the Coliseum; if so go to Sheekeys fish restaurant in the alley almost opposite in St. Martin’s Lane. Whatever…enjoy, it’s a great city.

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