This week we have Meaghan Fitzgerald of The Top Floor Flat, a San Franciscan expat-blogger, providing a resident- but fresh view on the city. Using her blog to document her life here, keep in touch with home, and make new connections in London.
If you had to describe your blog in less than 15 words how would you do it?
American living in the UK, blogging about London, the local tech scene, travel and tea.
Why did you start blogging?
I moved to London with no job or place to live after I graduated from university in the States. I wanted to keep my family and friends up to date with my life abroad but as I've settled down here, I've found that even readers beyond my immediate family are interested in reading about unique perspectives on London.
What about London inspires your blog?
It's a combination of the city's history, the amazing entertainment scene, and the local technology scene. I studied English literature in college so I get really excited about things such as seeing plays at the Globe or visiting Poets Corner in Westminster Abbey. Here in London I'm lucky to be working for Spoonfed, a local web startup and guide to things to do in London, so I often have the chance to discover and attend some of the incredibly unique events in the city such as Shoot London 2009 or the International Buddhist Film Festival. Finally, working for a startup and having grown up in the Silicon Valley, I've tried to get involved in the local tech scene and a lot of those experiences appear on my blog as reviews of London tech meetups such as Open Soho.
What’s your favourite post you’ve ever written - your favourite London find to date?
I think my favourite post is a review of one of my favourite memories so far in London - a 1930s vintage party held at No. 5 Cavendish Square. One of my favourite London finds, however, is the Book and Comic Exchange in Notting Hill, now my only destination for used books in the city.
Would you feel more or less connected to London, would you have missed out on things without your blog?
I think I would feel a lot less connected. I've found that I often will approach a weekend thinking “I haven't written anything new on my blog in a while” and actively seek out events and areas that I know I'll find interesting and want to write about. This helps keep me excited about the city and connected to what's going on.
How has your blog connected you to another community of bloggers in London? The world?
I've started attending the London Bloggers Meetup groups which have introduced me to a wide range of Londoners I might not have met. It's such a friendly group, and people have such a wide range of interests that it's been a real benefit for me - a relative newcomer in London.
Tell us about another up-and coming London blogger you like
I really enjoy my friend's new blog Cricket Tragics, a really funny blog by a group of London amateur cricket players. I don't really know much of anything about the sport but I think I'm learning a bit! What's a wicket again...?
And for some general London chat Where do you live and why do you love it?
I live in Olympia, in West London, but work in Shoreditch. The areas are incredibly different but both together give me a really great perspective on the whole city.
What's your favourite place in London?
It's a close competition between standing in the middle of the Millennium Bridge or walking along the Westminster Embankment. I'm a very visual person (I try to include a lot of photos in my blog) and I've always enjoyed the views of London - in my opinion, those are two of the best.
What do you know about London that noone else does?
I can give the best tour of London in 48 hours - I somehow managed to get my cousin to 50 major landmarks in London, and out to Windsor Palace, in the two days she was in town.
Have you ever been sick on the tube?
I haven't but I was coming back home at about 9pm on a week night and I was in the car alone with three kids. There was this one teenaged boy who was wasted out of his mind. He was sick on the seat across from me, looked at me sheepishly and then put an old London Lite over the mess and seemed happy that had solved the problem. Needless to say, I switched cars at the next stop.