1. Portabello Road
I love markets in general, but this market combines those things which give my life passion: antique books, vintage clothing, young and talented fashion designers, fresh fruit, pottery and flowers.
I visited the National Gallery on Sundays after attending church. I love the intimate feel of this gallery and the excellent selections of art. Tears welled up in my eyes looking at the Van Gogh walking away and knowing it was the last time.
The south bank during Elizabethan times was a walk on the wild side full of bear baiting rings, contraband theatre and prostitutes. The south bank provides a pleasant view of the river side, architecture and houses the Globe theatre, Royal Festival Hall and National Theatre. I would walk across the bridge after seeing a play deep in contemplation while the river bank hummed with the activity of an outdoor used book sale, restaurants, skate boarders and adorable couples strolling along hand in hand.
4. 27 Palace Court
5. Hyde Park
Sunny afternoons in Hyde Park present a microcosm of London as people from all professions, nationalities and races join together to enjoy the weather. I would sit on the grass attempting to read my book and embracing the distractions of adorable children interacting with their parents and pick up football matches.
1. Gelato Mio
2. Amish Oatmeal
3. Fish and Chips
4. Amore yogurt
5. Indian Food
The production included the two loves of my life: Royal Shakespeare Company and David Tennant. I already dedicated a whole blog/essay on this experience, but I cannot emphasize how life altering the experience was.
2. The Walworth Farce
I went on a Saturday afternoon by myself with the most uncomfortable restricted view I ever endured. The play beings with two sons and a father each consumed in odd activities: ironing a dress with a wig on, staring at a newly purchased sausage with disgust and the father listening to Irish opera while clutching a trophy victoriously over his head. They begin to perform a play for each other; the hilarious dialogue and the stage conventions of playing multiple parts keep the audience intrigued and engaged. However, as time draws on the audience beings to piece together why this family performs this play everyday. The humor progressively darkens shades by shade as the audience ironically becomes more enlightened about their history. Drawing towards the end the audience has been lulled into a foreboding and dark history which consumes this family. It’s the most extreme dark comedy I have ever seen: thought provoking, unsettling and hilarious.
3. Merry Wives of Windsor
Standing as a groundling in the Globe theatre was my first exposure to an excellent Shakespeare production. The light hearted comedy had us singing and dancing merrily after the curtain call. Shakespeare’s rich language often becomes difficult and time consuming to gather its meaning. However, in this production no modern translations were needed as the lines were delivered and enacted in a way needing no explanation. This play began my journey of understanding Shakespeare’s title of greatest English playwright.
It’s a lesser known play written by the Russian playwright Chekhov. I had little exposure to Chekhov before I saw this play but was drawn to the opportunity to see the talented Kenneth Branagh. Tom Stoppard adapted the play beautifully and the strong cast achieved a difficult task: performing Chekhov well. The story explores the early nineteenth century Russian dark and existential mentality through the life of a middle aged man who struggles financially and spiritually. I still remember the scene where Branagh crouches on stage cradling his face crying uncontrollably.
5. Love’s Labour’s Lost
Three men in Elizabethan dress lounged under a large tree; the one in blue nonchalantly covers his face with a straw hat. How does the famous Jerry Maguire quote go…"you had me at hello”? David Tennant did not have to utter a word, even with his face covered and the play had not yet began, his playful and boyish charm became irresistible to the female audience. The production was fantastic, but it’s the play where I fell in love with David Tennant and the Royal Shakespeare Company.
Random Things I'm Going to Miss
The Londonpaper is a free readers digest of fashion, world politics, celebrity gossip and sport. It gives the perfect amount of information to keep you occupied on the tube and I always feel satisfied after reading it.
3. Adorable British children in their school uniforms
4. "Please keep coughing to a minimum"
They actually tell you this before a performance...
5. Attractive British men on the tube
This does not include Paris and is a rough attempt to name my top five...
Pieter de Hooch, "A Boy Bringing Bread"
John Singer Sargent "Carnation, Lily, Lily, Rose"
Vincent Van Gogh, "Sunflowers"
Mark Rothko, "Red on Maroon Mural, Section 4"