I think every time Cal and I are walking the streets of Greenwich, I mumble something about wishing we could have made it work here. The very first apartment we looked at was a 12th floor penthouse overlooking the Thames and the London skyline, from an enormous private terrace. It was brand new, right on top of the DLR (11 mins for Cal to get to work), and high above the street noise. Private lift. Air conditioning. Ultra Modern. And, £700 cheaper than anything else we looked at. Schools were the deal breaker. It just didn't seem like what we wanted for the kids and Eli would have to ride a bus an hour to and from school. I don't like the idea of a commute for a 12 year old. And aside from the ridiculously cool penthouse, I just like Greenwich.
Yeah, it has some touristy parts that are somewhat annoying, though I imagine it's not quite as bad after the summer months. I guess I'll have to come back in November or something. I like the shops and the old Naval College and sprawling Greenwich park. We live just a few doors down from an entrance to the park (and a very noisy tavern) and it's been a place we end up for many reasons: picnic, playground, scooter races, paddle boats, observatory, or just wandering the heath and climbing to the top of gentle hills to catch the views of Canary Wharf and tiny London. On Sundays we can walk by the bandstand and there's usually a performance, and there's usually ice cream pushers. There's a flower garden and there's a deer enclosure. (I did not know their racks would be so impressive.)
Also, there's Greenwich Market with food stands and vendor stalls that change daily. Lunch time? Empanadas and pressed juice. Snack? We definitely need to find Pancake Planet and get ourselves some nutella smothered mini cakes with strawberries. And I bought myself a handmade shirt just the other day. One night we cut through the market and found it full of vintage cars and specialty beer vendors. It's amazing to me how often the scene changes. Although on weekends, it's crazy busy. I haven't dared to take a camera there for fear I will get knocked over if I'm not paying attention.
Last weekend we heard loud music, and what seemed like it might be karaoke coming from behind the garden. Of course when they started singing, "Total Eclipse of the Heart" I grabbed Cal and made our way around the corner to discover the vocal and comical talents of local drag queens singing and racing to raise money for prostate cancer. We sung along and then made our way back to our flat, and then the drag racers ran down our street in their heels and giant wigs. The kids opened the top floor windows and hung their bodies out to watch the race and cheer them along. Way more fun than the suburbs. Although, I did have to ask Finley to stop speculating so loudly about which lady parts were authentic on several participants.
On slow days (you know the days we don't have drag queens running through our house), the girls like to take their little plastic animals over to the Maritime museum fountain and send them down the river, so to speak. I'm pretty sure we're not supposed to use the fountain this way, but we mostly don't care and nobody has asked us to stop.
Anyway, I just wanted to say being a parent means giving up your cool pad so you can suffer with all the other boring parents. (read: I love my kids dearly and only want the best for them.) And I'm sure our new place will have lots to offer, because I'm such an unfailing optimist.