Do you live in London? Have you been sitting and repeatedly asking yourself ‘What should I be doing?’, ‘What is good in London?’, or ‘Where can I find two entertaining gents to show me where the best haircut in Soho is?’ Then this channel is for you…
Self-acclaimed “experts in having fun”, Pete Juszczynski and Jens Thenakara launched What’s Good London in February of 2015, with the help of Hayden Hillier-Smith and Edward Howes. It highlights the best things to do and experience in – you’ve guessed it – the city of London.
“Because we work for such a large international company, we botht have tons of friends who live across Europe and beyond,” says Pete. “When our buddies come to visit London, we always get emails from them asking us ‘What’s good in London for cocktails?’, or ‘What’s a good place in London for dim sum?’
“We kinda got sick of writing the same boring-ass emails over and over, and we are both big fans of YouTube,” he continues. “We thought to ourselves, ‘We should just make videos highlighting what’s good in London so we can send our friends the links instead’.”
The duo says they live life by a simple motto: life is super rad, enjoy it. “We wanted to create something positive where we encourage people to get out there and enjoy themselves in the real world,” says Pete.
Now, that’s a slogan we can get behind. Y’know, when we’re not busy staring at how pretty their videos are…
Pete is from Canada and Jens is from Germany. They first met in Dublin, when they were stationed there for work. They instantly clicked over a mutual love of and zest for life. “We both have the same sense of humour, taste in music, similar passions, and most importantly, we both share an extremely positive outlook on life,” says Pete. “It’s fair to say we get along quite well.”
The boys travel through the vast expanses of London finding everything the city has to offer, looking for the best of the best to showcase on their channel. But it wouldn’t be as well-put-together and visually pleasing without Hayden’s handy camera work and editing.
“I wanted to make the show feel broadcast-quality,” says Hayden, “but on the flip-side, television doesn’t have the intimacy that YouTube has.”
Citing Ben Brown and Casey Neistat as influences, Hayden believes he’s helped create something special. “I had to find to find the sweet spot between TV travel shows and YouTube travel videos,” he says, “…and that’s how the format of What’s Good was born.”
The lads love a good practical joke (dw, they keep it safe for work). During Best Haircuts in London, Jens convinces one of the barbers to etch his initials into the back of Pete’s head. #Banter. “I remember rubbing the back of my head a few days later and feeling his shitty initials and thinking to myself, ‘What an asshole’!” says Pete. “But it’s all love, I watched the video back over the holidays with my boys back home in Canada and it was a good laugh.”
Here at TenEighty, we’ve been toying with the idea of making some of our writers shave ‘TE’ on the back of their heads, but they all seem quite reluctant thus far… We’ll keep you posted.
Considering how much there is to do in London (it’s really quite big, haven’t you heard?), Pete and Jens seem to visit some really interesting and amazing places. But sourcing all of those locations must be difficult?
“We always pick places that either of us go to frequently,” reveals Pete. “Decid[ing] what makes the cut for our channel, we always ask ourselves one simple question: ‘Have I been here more than once and did I have shitloads of fun each time?’ If the answer is yes, we good.”
Hayden confirms that both Pete and Jens are “exploring London constantly”, although they are aware one day they may run out of spots. “We do read blogs and follow bloggers for inspiration but for now it’s all us,” says Pete.
London is a diverse place where you can experience different things every day. Their channel reflects that diversity, from cocktail bars and restaurants to barber shops and markets. But what was the best place the best place they’ve ever experienced?
For Pete, it was Crosstown Doughnuts. “We were the first ones ever to do an official review on them,” he says. “ It was such a crazy experience to be in a doughnut-making factory getting taught how to make gourmet doughnuts by hand! That was special. ”
And like a true cinematographer who gets excited at beautiful scenic shots, it was the Rooftop Film Club for Hayden. “We were blessed with a golden hour and a picturesque Canary Wharf in the background,” he says. “Oh man, some of those shots still make me giddy.”
Big things are on the horizon for Pete, as he’s just moved to Tokyo for three months, and plans to launch What’s Good Tokyo while out there. “We filmed a ton of videos [in London] before my departure so we will be posting regular videos once a week [on What’s Good London],” he reassures us.
But What’s Good Tokyo is only the second step in their envisioned empire. “We have plans and discussions in place to create a very unique local recommendations app for top cities around the world,” says Pete. “[It’ll] be very different than Foursquare and other such apps.”
And of course there will be more channels outside of London and Tokyo. “We have plans of making a massive What’s Good movement around the globe… and big hopes to spread the message of ’Life is super rad, enjoy it’.”
Well, frankly boys- we think YOU’RE what’s good about London. Keep doing you.
Thirsty for more?
Check out our last Spotlight feature with satirist of our generation Adrian Bliss, or you can read about the announcement of the second series of Two Housemates.
For updates follow @TenEightyUK on Twitter or like TenEighty UK on Facebook.