Rhiannon Williams, 28

Chilling at a neighbourhood hub is par for the course on a weekend for Rhiannon (above) and her friends.

Portrait of Tammy Strobel
Chilling at a neighbourhood hub is par for the course on a weekend for Rhiannon (above) and her friends.
My Reading Room

“I am drinking in a bar near where I live in the east hipster district, Shoreditch.

This area is one of the city’s busiest at the weekend, and hosts everyone from poor art students to grizzly old men. The price of everything around here went up a lot in the run-up to the 2012 Olympics and has never readjusted – the bars, pubs and restaurants are super expensive thanks to gentrification. Just over the past five years, the price of a pint of beer has gone up by a pound.

London’s nightlife is among the best in the world, from pubs with beer gardens (which will be packed in the summer) to rooftop spots and artisan cocktail bars.

House parties are still really popular too, but we’ll usually head out to a club after 11pm to avoid waking the neighbours’ kids. Our nights usually end queueing for a Jewish bagel on Brick Lane in the early hours, or in a McDonald’s.

I am a technology journalist for a national newspaper called I, so testing out new phones, speakers, and laptops is a big part of my life. Because of my job, I also travel a lot for product launches and conferences. I adore my job, but journalism is a tough gig with generally low pay. Few of my peers earn more than £35,000 (S$61,400) a year, whereas my friends in digital marketing and PR earn much more.

It feels as if almost everyone under 30 here works in some form of marketing.

All my friends are working to buy their own homes – even if it’s insanely expensive to do that.

A studio apartment in a central location can cost £290 a week. Some of my friends talk about moving back to their home towns to raise children, but most of us love London too much to seriously think about leaving.

London is also a very liberal and multicultural city, but dissatisfaction about Brexit and the current situation is rife. We’re uncertain about what the next decade will hold.

The recent terror attacks have shaken everyone up, but it hasn’t got in the way of our everyday lives.

Things are back to normal, though sometimes you can feel a ripple of fear pass through the crowd in a packed train on the tube, if it unexpectedly grinds to a halt in the middle of a tunnel.”
My Reading Room