Living in London, New York ... The Politics, Cost of Living; Education.

London
London | Source

The Chard

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London
London | Source

Prior to coming to London in October, 1973, I was inspired by the Queen … the Monarchy … and my curiosity was filled with excitement when the good news came. Post some initial medical examinations which I took in Grenada, WI, I had visited Barbados and obtained a student visa for travel. I was truly elated, and so when I arrived at the airport, I was prepared for a new and different experience.

London is a busy city, always buzzing with life. It is also very cosmopolitan and in some ways, has become a victim of its success: crowded trains; high cost of living; little or no affordable housing, etc. Here people are busy either at work or going shopping and doing their social errands: taking the kids to nanny’s or school as the case may be.

Still, I love the vibrancy of this City, which, including the suburbs, houses close to some 12,000,000 people. It has its famous Parks such as Hyde Park, Richmond and Battersea Park. There are landmarks such as the Chard, London Eye, Canary Wharf, Tower Bridge, Buckingham Palace, of course, as well the famous Madame Tussauds or St. Paul’s Cathedral and Westminster Abbey, for both locals and interested tourists.

Buckingham Palace

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London also houses some fantastic museums and art galleries. Some great places to visit and shop are Piccadilly Circus, Knightsbridge, Harrods and Oxford Street and many traditional and ethnic restaurants have evolved over time, catering for the 300 plus ethnicities that exists here. Food and transportation is – in my view – generally more expensive than some European cities, as well as New York. But there are some great restaurants and chefs.

I first visited America in 1978, five years after I arrived in London. My father, Neville Hutchinson, had sent me the necessary papers to file for my Green Card, and so using this, I arrived in what to me was a relatively strange country and away from home: England.

Statue of Liberty

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Nevertheless, I spent eight months, during which time I got a job, did the High School Equivalency Diploma and was preparing for the State Board License, to become a Registered Nurse (RN). I returned to London, but have since visited 3-5 times yearly for 20 years and at least twice yearly in the last 13 years. I guess I initially found the Health, Educational and Parliamentary system very unusual indeed!

Brooklyn and its subways were quite different to London, as was the street designs and understanding how they work. ‘Do a right at the next block’ was initially quite unfamiliar, and I also had to get used to the transportation system. By and large America presented the opportunity to work; to study, free from the clutter of the studious mind such as in London, where the ordinary or advanced level certificates were very important to progress in one’s career.

I felt that America offered more freedom, opportunities … the knowledge that if I was prepared to work hard, there was very little barriers standing in the way. My father lived and thought all his life like an entrepreneur. He read the Financial Times, Times magazine, worked at the America Stock Exchange on Wall Street and mixed with the socially elite.

I could easily have got used to this. Actually, I only swung full circle when I read a book in September 1982 while in London, married with one son and a total re-birthing started which, by God’s Grace, has lasted till this very day some 34 years later.

Brooklyn Bridge

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Manhattan is like London, brilliant and superb at nights and buzzing with activity during the day. The city of New York, and especially the Borough of Manhattan is so vibrant, so alive! Central Park is huge and famous; Port Authority and Grand Central is always full of life and the people are open and liberal, sometimes too much so, but would generally help if you seem unfamiliar with things or are truly lost indeed! Happens!

As to the bridges, they are a marvel of great inventions and water itself signifies Consciousness which does so much for the serenity of my well-being! The Cathedrals in New York are also famous, enhancing the beauty and reverence of the ideals of the American dream.

Coney Island and the Statue of Liberty are worth visiting, and the latter still stand as a symbol of Liberty, Equality and Justice for all. I loved visiting Maryland where my X lives; especially Silver Springs with all its green; its solitude as well as amusement Arcades, and good food. Virginia was also quite appealing to me as well as Connecticut and as far afield as Chicago. Few go to America without visiting the White House grounds and there is a very Native American museum not too far away.

It was nice to visit Philadelphia, and to be reminded of America’s great and good Thomas Jefferson; to visit Austin, Texas, and spend a day in what is essentially a great American City. My sister lives in Houston, an oil industrial city, which is awfully hot!

Central Park

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Politics is like Science. Perhaps they are like brothers and sisters, in the sense that they both act as conduits to influence our lives in a diversity of similar ways: school, environment, workforce, laws, nature … science takes over when it comes to great inventions, whether it’s the Law of Gravity; the discovery of the Atom and hydrogen bombs, of Penicillin, electricity or modern day electronical systems, which can become frightening in the wrong hands.

I see only Spirit, by the way. In my world there are no two’s, no boxes. So politics and science are playing critical and essential roles, all as a part of this one giant plan of the Absolute Supreme. In a flower garden, they all carry fragrances, but the rose will have its own beauty; the lotus its own charm and the daffodil its own elegance. Yet together, they enhance and contribute to the entire garden.

American Politics is sometimes more colourful, encourages more pageantry … more circus…the system of congress and two terms is also special and unique. I rather enjoy that one individual is not given more than eight years, as this can become dangerous as we have seen in some countries.

The British system, to an extent, follows the way of the Crown, parliamentary democracy with a Prime Minister, rather than a President as in the U.S. It is currently bound by or affected by an EU legal system and I feel that America has a less knotted one. It is not tied to anyone.

Massachusetts Institute of Technology

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The United Nations is a potent force not only in American but in world politics, working towards the ideal of a better, more humane and just system for all. This includes Education, and both our great Countries have taken credit for the outstanding abilities of their universities, whether it be Oxford, MIT, Stanford, Cambridge, Harvard or California Institute of Technology.

Of course Britain has the private Grammar schools and America has perhaps a more open system, where everyone with ambition, is allowed to excel. Colleges are quite useful for this.

All in all, I love both countries, one for its dynamism and speed, courage and great inventions; the other for its nobility, self-giving and sacrifice; its willingness to come forward and serve less fortunate countries in times of need. Britain is not so great in the sense of an Empire anymore, and perhaps America seems to be drifting, or rather unsteady with the higher ideals of Washington, Payne, Lincoln, Luther King Jnr, Jefferson, Emerson …

Yet they both share much in common and indeed some of the strengths that I have mentioned, do merge or overlap. The belief in Something Higher or in Christianity is common to both and I suppose that they believe they are both doing their best for their respective citizens. I wish them well.

Manatita. 5th November, 2016.

England Vs America

England and America

Do you feel that England and America have by an large worked well together?

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19 comments

shanmarie profile image

shanmarie 4 weeks ago from Texas

Interesting, manatita. I never liked the idea of actually living in a big city or within a metropolis. However, I did really like it in London and probably would not mind living there. It was easy to get around and I found that the people there were generally friendly. I think we stayed at the Plaza on Hyde Park. I remember my roommate and I were a little too amused by the drinks we purchased. The instructions on the side said to "serve seriously chilled." It was cold there in January so we stuck our items that needed to be refrigerated out on the window ledge since there was not a refrigerator in our room.

Aside from Dallas and Fort Worth....oh, and Chicago since I grew up in IL, I've never spent a lot of time in any other major city area here in the U.S. I have been to Paris and Rome, but I wasn't a huge fan of Paris. Maybe some day I will make it to New York.

By the way, very kind of you to take Norine up on her suggestion to do this hub.


always exploring profile image

always exploring 4 weeks ago from Southern Illinois

Manatita, this was a great way to blend the world together. I have a connection with England through my uncle Jimmy, my mother's brother. Before WW2 started here in America, he went to England and flew for the Royal Air Force. There is a picture of him wearing the pilot wings. I wish I had known him, it seemed like a brave action to fight a war in a foreign land when he was not obligated to do so. After reading this it is apparent that you have lived and learned in the best places. I remember reading that you sat under the tropical trees in the Caribbean listening to Sir Chimney teach. Your life has been full and rich. I am proud to call you a friend and a wonderful poet. God bless..


manatita44 profile image

manatita44 4 weeks ago from london Author

shanmarie,

Thank you so much. You came a long time ago, right? I could not see the Plaza not having a refrigerator. Lol. Funny, one of the best Hotels that I've stayed in was in Cambodia. It was to me a six-star, not five. Ran by Germans, I believe, with super-excellent food.

Travel more, and yes, Paris have some truly great places. I have mentioned the Jardins (gardens, Louvre and the Eiffel Tower in my poems. There is also the Cathedral, Monte Marte, I believe, and I have travelled outside of Paris, of course. Nancy and Mt Pellier are awesome!

Next time walk along the Champs Elysees in Paris. You will need to be 'seriously chilled.' (smile)

Hi Ruby,

So sweet of you! No, I did not know him then. I am an Anglican and studied the Bible a lot!! I spoke of reading the English and American poets and doing poetry since four. I was innately spiritual and followed the Evangelists everywhere! I was so fired with the love of God! I cemented the missing link in England in 1982, some 30 years later.

Nice to know of your connection and of course you are welcomed here. Pilots are dauntingly brave and I wrote a poem for Emge (Madan) about this. Sacrifice can be a very noble thing indeed!


threekeys profile image

threekeys 4 weeks ago from Australia

Interesting read manitita. You seem to have the best of both worlds


manatita44 profile image

manatita44 4 weeks ago from london Author

Thank you, threekeys. Best indeed!


MsDora profile image

MsDora 4 weeks ago from The Caribbean

Can I be jealous just this once? You've had the best of both good worlds and I'm still longing to see London. Great write by a native Caribbean pen. Good read for a fellow- Caribbean soul. Proud of you, homey!


billybuc profile image

billybuc 4 weeks ago from Olympia, WA

I've always wanted to spend some time in London, but that ship has sailed. Now, the thought of spending all that time on a plane just to get there....as they say in Brooklyn, forgetaboutit!


Venkatachari M profile image

Venkatachari M 4 weeks ago from Hyderabad, India

Very interesting hub comparing and relating England with America (or London with Newyork). You have showcased the salient features of their cultures and lifestyles. I learnt much from this article.

Thanks, Manatita, my Bro for sharing this and my thanks to Norine Williams also for inspiring you to write this article.


manatita44 profile image

manatita44 4 weeks ago from london Author

Cute remarks, Dee. I love it! Go ahead, be jealous, in fact why not come? I'll look after you. Bring one of the kids. A girl, is it? Much Love this Sunday.

Bill, only seven hours from your side. Just think, you can probably get to shake the Queens hand. (chuckle). Can't be worse than your ... 'you know who, friends.'

Ah! The money, eh? Let us pray. L.O.L.

Venkatachari M, I thank you. Much Love, Bro.


fpherj48 profile image

fpherj48 4 weeks ago from Beautiful Upstate New York

Man....Another interesting read by you. Although I have been to many places is Europe, Paris, Austria and much of Germany, I missed London, unfortunately. Should the opportunity present itself, I'd love to visit! England in general has always fascinated me.

Have a beautiful Sunday, my friend. Peace, Paula


manatita44 profile image

manatita44 4 weeks ago from london Author

Well, my sweet Paula, if the Tourism Industry here gives me a job, then I will write much better. For a start England has some truly great tourist attractions. There is the Peak District ... there is Matlock with it's Abraham Heights and Lovers Leap; there is Buxton with great caves, water and scenery; Dovedale with its meandering streams and Bakewell. A charming little village with its home-made famous tarts, tea and scones.

Of course there is internationally known Glastonbury, and changing the topic slightly, we do have these trendy market in London such as Petticoat Lane and Campden Town. You can also walk along the river and visit the House of Commons. They are must visits!

I ran through Austria on our World Harmony Run and got lost. They took four hours or so to find me, and that was a miracle described in my book. We held a Public event at the Mayors Parlour, and I did some great work with schools there. So you see, I'm familiar.

I have done a ten-city German tour and been there many times. I have a piece of the wall at home, chiselled with the compliments of my own hands. Ha ha.

Thank you so much, Paula. I'm drifting here. Any writings lately? I'll look you up tomorrow, God's willing.


Nellieanna profile image

Nellieanna 3 weeks ago from TEXAS

I appreciate this hub, dear Manatita. So good to share some of your personal experiences with the cities and countries of your lifetime from your special perspective. It was like a conducted tour among the times and places which have helped shape the person you are and one feels how you have helped shape them!

You’ve captured so much of what is special about this country of mine, too. I appreciate that.

I’m a modest world traveler, but places I have traveled have been highlights. I’ve seen a wide variety of U.S. places, but much fewer beyond these borders. In 1998, a month-long stay in southeastern England, including special guided tours in London and its amazing historic places are among my valued experiences. It was all in our visit to an online friend who invited us to come stay with her and her husband in their home in an Essex village near Chelmsford.

His career was with the London police, so on trips into the city, we got special V.I.P. treatment at the main attractions. But most of our forays were into less touristy, more in-the-country places where we got to witness amazing life in progress and to feel the history in the very reality of it.

Just ‘living’ in an English home for a whole month was an amazing experience, especially in the company of Gus, his police dog who was the sweetest pet, but who was trained to seriously attack at his master Bob’s command, - and even would attack his master’s wife, if commanded. Yet we fell so in love with that dog, we wished we could bring him home with us. They had several other pets and all got along admirably, including a wicked looking tropical fish named Damien. We got to read the daily newspaper with our coffee each morning. We shopped in the local markets. We visited many English pubs, both in the city, in the village and around the countryside. It was from April 19 through May 19, so we got to experience Spring in all its glory.

We visited Dover and the amazing mementos to WWII there. As a youngster during that war, the song,"The White Cliffs of Dover" was etched on my memory. It was amazing to actually see and walk on them. Then we crossed the Channel on a rapid Hovercraft and visited a French village, Boulogne, one day, too. One could even shop for French perfume and such things duty-free on board the Hovercraft. Such delight.

We regretted not making it to Stonehenge, Wales or Scotland, and always intended to return and tour around on our own, but it didn't happen.

I loved the aura of England, though I’m untempted to live there.


manatita44 profile image

manatita44 3 weeks ago from london Author

Wow! Nellieanna, so much done in so short a time!! You've covered a lot! Glastonbury or Stonehenge is becoming ever so popular! Many foreign singers, including famous Americans come. Aylesbury is also not too far away.

Our Sri Chinmoy's Oneness-Home Peace Run is almost in its 30th year and we have ran through all these places and quaint little houses and towns.

Your America has some great places too. More perhaps. I didn't mention the Grand Canyon or Rocky Mountains etc, and you do share Niagara with Canada, I suppose. We have a Peace plaque there and I was at the Inauguration many years ago.

Dover is very beautiful and there are some great restaurants. I trained for the English Channel and stayed there a bit. Alas! The cold got me and they had to pull me out. There is a Castle near the white cliffs and it's interesting to see.

I'm so happy that you came. I'm happy also that I wrote this Hub after all. Good on Norine. I'm battling with a ceaseless cough and a tickly throat right now. Much Love.


MarleneB profile image

MarleneB 3 weeks ago from Northern California, USA

I enjoyed your description of the various communities. I am grateful that, being brought up in a military family, I was able to experience different parts of the world. No matter how different or similar, there are nuances to be enjoyed everywhere. One of my favorite things to do when I move to a new location is to visit the local museum and art galleries. I also do that when vacationing. I find it fascinating to learn and be among different cultures. Oh, by the way, Ricky Gervais is my favorite comedian. I start laughing as soon as I see his face because I know he is about to say something that will tickle my belly in a hearty way. He was more serious in the video, still he managed to plug in a little bit of appropriate humor.


manatita44 profile image

manatita44 3 weeks ago from london Author

Ha ha. I chose his because he was serious and being sincere. I like that.

You're very busy today. An ardent fan, eh? I like that. I would love to call you one day; to just chat for a while. Have a great evening.


Surabhi Kaura profile image

Surabhi Kaura 3 weeks ago from Toronto, Canada

I’ve recently come to know that I have an Aunt who lives in Swansea, London. She is a Nurse. We’re planning to visit her sometime soon. Would love to meet my Acharaya as well :)

This is a very informative hub, both about London and America. Loved the pictures. You've covered it all. Wholesome hub. Excellent work here!


manatita44 profile image

manatita44 3 weeks ago from london Author

Thank you, now get some sleep, my Dear Chela. Jai Bhagwan! Jai Surabhi!


bravewarrior profile image

bravewarrior 2 weeks ago from Central Florida

I've enjoyed reading of your experience and observances, Manatita. I've never been to England. You're fortunate to have seen so many different cultures.


manatita44 profile image

manatita44 2 weeks ago from london Author

Come! I look after you. Much love.

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