I’m lying in my bed, with my windows open to the fresh, energetic air of London at night. I’m on Thoresby Street, living in Thoresby House, the yellow colored building with stairs that lead to the red door and a winding, wooden staircase that invites you into my hall. Perched in my bed, I hear the ripping of taxis and blustery honks, buzzing of motorcycles, and roaring of engines; but my favorite sounds so far have been the passing voices that find their way up and into my window. I’ve probably heard four different languages, fluidly speaking with ease and laughter and friendship as the passersby leave a trail of conversation. I can feel the wind blow in (the primary reason my window is open) and feel immersed in London already. I’ve been here for around 12 hours, I’ve been awake for around 34 hours, and I’ve already grown to cherish this city. I think of all the writers that I’ve read who have found inspiration in these streets, written of the exquisite beauty of the brisk walkers, the antiqued buildings, and the overcast skies. Virginia Woolf found London to be the only thing worth writing about – the true love of her life. Sherlock Holmes is one of the world’s favorite detectives (and certainly mine) because Arthur Conan Doyle’s medicine practice was unfortunately failing and writing was his escape. Winston Churchill echoed speeches that are inscribed in history books; and the royal family has been plagued by paparazzi since the establishment. And speaking of plagues – this city has seen them. I couldn’t wash my face and brush my teeth tonight without thinking of the cholera epidemic in London. Multiple diseases have ran rampant through this city and have faced eradication thanks to human intervention. Lots of things run through the old, regularly washed buildings of London. The streets taunt you with their secrets, the lives they have seen and the history that they’ve made. The buildings are beautiful – colored with character and stitched together with shades of red brick. And, oh, I’ve noticed – London is diverse. The people are colored many colors and speak many languages. Styles are different and some of the same. The university district was buzzing with students that held a sophisticated aura of intelligence and creativity. The people look different. They act different. They are different. Yet the real beauty I have found so far in London is that all of these differences are appreciated. Virginia Woolf would have been inspired by the many colors of faces she saw on the street and would have etched them out in unimaginable detail. London will charm you. I will lay here, with a Woolf-like awe, and observe with my ears the many sounds and feelings and emotions and thoughts that this sweet city will send up my window, to touch my heart and to move my hands to continue to write.

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