Monthly Archives: July 2003

A London Afternoon

I had such a great afternoon today. It will probably sound totally lame, but I just walked around London by myself quasi-aimlessly for 4 1/2 hours. (I sort of had a general idea of things I wanted to walk by.) It was so nice – I’d already seen most sights before, and it is such an experience just to wander through the various neighborhoods in a foreign city. Plus there probably aren’t too many people who would walk without direction for so long, so it was really nice to go alone and get to do whatever I wanted when it came to me.
I headed through SoHo and up to Picadilly Circus and Oxford Circus (not real circuses, thank god, but Times Square type areas of London). Then I walked through Hyde Park, where I ate my Pret A Manger sandwich, and past Buckingham Palace to Westminster. (I don’t think one can walk for ten minutes without passing a sandwich shop, which is fine by me because they are so good here.) I ended up down by the waterfront, which is so much fun for those of you who have not been there. It has this sort of street fair atmosphere. That is where the London Eye (the giant ferris wheel) is, and a few walking bridges to cross the Thames. There are all these street performers – some are very cool, some odd, and some just scare the crap out of me. There were a few musicians – one guy with a guitar singing Radiohead and some other songs and a guy that plays one of those silver inverted drum things playing classical-type music. Not like Mozart classical, but like non-words songs that everyone still knows. There was also this amazing artist who was painting on this huge canvas on the street. He was probably my age, and it really made me wish I still sketched and painted. I just stood and watched him mixing colors for each slight variation in tone for about 10 minutes. It was just so fascinating… I remember how fun it was that when you mix seemingly unrelated colors of red, yellow, and green together you get the perfect shade of red. There was also one of those performers that juggles and unicycles and stuff, which is usually very fun, but he had to stop performing when it started to rain. But there were also clowns (of which I am NOT a fan) and those bizarre people who paint themselves silver or white or gold and wear really weird drape-y clothes and pretend to be statues. (Aside – the lawyer in me just typed statutes) What the hell is that?! They are just creepy and weird, and I do not understand how one day you just wake up and think, “Today, I’d like to stand in front of strangers in metallic paint without moving for hours.” And the ones who try to interact with the little kids… man, I am scared of those guys – I don’t know what some 3-year-old would do if a silver man came after him. It’s like a nightmare from the Wizard of Oz.


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I’m in London!!! I am hot (no AC anywhere in the building, very stuffy in the basement computer cluster) and tired (too much reading left to do tonight), but I am here!!! Things are expensive over here, but in pounds, they almost look reasonably priced. (Damn conversion rate!) The keyboards are off, so I have a million typos all over the place. Anyway, this is a pretty useless entry, but I just wanted to keep y’all updated.  (You can see what sort of state I am in after my travels given all this gibberish!)
Love from London!!

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