Does London remind anyone of Italy, 1974? 1974
7/27 Saturday London
Walked down Oxford Street today and then went to Harrod’s. I like going out by myself because I can do what I want. When I meet someone from the group I can stay with them awhile but I don’t feel obligated to stay with them. Harrod’s is really a fantastic place. I still can’t figure out its shape, but I think it’s square. When I ask people on the street where to get things, they name a few shops and then say “Try Harrod’s. It has everything.”
Men in morning suits assist people with their shopping. It’s really cute. The crowds are similar to those at Via Veneto, but not really. Anyone can walk along Via Veneto and window shop. Not everyone can or would come to Fortnum and Mason. People on Via Veneto are well dressed (those who buy), but in a different way. Some people send their butlers to Fortnum and Mason. No one would do that on VV. The FM crowd is more quaint the people are older and there are more women. Also, FM isn’t as crowed as VV. http://www.roma2000.it/
VV sells more clothes and other things than FM. FM is most famous for its food hall. Personally I like Fortnum and Mason better than the Via Veneto.
I really liked Billy, the musical we saw. I thought I wouldn’t after seeing the pictures on the marquis. After the play Ann, Lisa and I went to Trafalgar Square and had a riot with the pigeons. I took a little boy’s picture and he thanked me in a cute way. When his sister told him people swam in the fountain on New Year’s Eve; he wanted to swim right away. I helped another boy fish tins out of the water.
The crowds at Trafalgar are different from those at Piccadilly. There are more English at Trafalgar and people of all ages. There are many more young people at Piccadilly. Many families come to Trafalgar. There are more typically English at Trafalgar and more children. From the above stories, I’ve decided people are friendlier at Trafalgar. I had no experiences with kids at Piccadilly. Nevertheless, this doesn’t mean I don’t like Piccadilly. Piccadilly is more a night place. I was there during the day and it’s really different; nothing happens. We saw no student hangouts or squares in Moscow, or places where people really hang out, but then Red Square was closed. http://www.travellondon.com/templates/attractions/gallery_piccadillycircus.html
The Kremlin seemed really empty, despite the long line everywhere in Russia I wouldn’t call a museum, store, etc. a hangout. Those people were there for a different reason. The Piazza Navona is similar to Trafalgar. There were lots of kids there too, but not with their families. There was a street soccer game. There were old people too, but there were fewer people at the Piazza Navona than a Trafalgar.
Kremlin and Piazza Navona
For Dinner we ate at a Chinese restaurant. I had roast duck that was really good. I tried the girls’ food too: Sweet and sour pork and curry chicken, which was also good. I also had Chinese tea, strange but good. After dinner the girls left and I went to Piccadilly. I saw a building on fire and watched that for awhile.
From what I’ve seen and heard people say, England (at least London) is a lot like the U. S, besides having a common language and history we share many of the same problems: Inflation, housing, pollution, and energy. From signs in the tube it looks like they’re having trouble with mass transit (not enough employees). On top of it all they have Ireland, a sore thumb like Watergate that no one really understands or can explain. Maybe there were the same similarities in other countries, but because of the language barrier I didn’t notice them (not being able to communicate with ordinary people or read signs or newspapers).
7/28 Sunday London
Sunday a day to relax. My first day of breakfast since Moscow. I had Corn Flakes. Was it good! Went to Hyde Park with Cheri ‘queen of tootses (toots (toots) pronunciation like took n. Slang. Babe; sweetie. Girl or young woman) , Kim, Susie, Lisa, David and me. Made a hilarious pose with a statue (wait till you see the pictures). Went for a rowboat ride and had a ball. My first time in a rowboat. Ate lunch in the park. Went to speaker’s corner. Located on the corner of Park Lane and Cumberland Gate, opposite Marble Arch tube, Speakers’ Corner is the spiritual home of the British democratic tradition of soapbox oratory.
Every Sunday since the right of free assembly was recognised in 1872, people from all walks of life have gathered to listen to speeches about anything and everything… and to heckle.
The coherence of the speakers varies greatly as do the topics of discussion, but as a whole it makes for great street theatre. So, if you have a burning desire to share your opinions with the world, take something to stand on and start pontificating.
Although Sunday morning is the best time to visit, speakers can now be found on the corner throughout the week.
What are you waiting for?
We saw communists and socialists, but the most interesting was the anti-American. We had just been in the Soviet Union so we had lots to say.
We had fun defending America against him, along with other people. One of his points was that America didn’t send enough aid to countries like Greece, Chile and Bangladesh. Then he contradicted himself by saying we were involved where we shouldn’t be. He said we had no business in other countries like Vietnam. Basically, when we weren’t involved we should have been and when we were we shouldn’t be. Despite what he had to say, the fun was in arguing with him. Even though, I didn’t agree with him, it’s good he had a chance to say it. Some of his speech was sarcastic and funny.
He said he was a CIA agent sent to start revolutions and wars in other countries. When he started attacking Blacks a Black man came over from another soapbox and they started arguing. It was hilarious.
After speaker’s corner I looked at the artwork on the railings and ran into Mr. Cordell. I bought a beautiful acid etching of the Tower Bridge.
For dinner we went to Oliver’s. I went on the metro and passed right by it. The food was good and I liked the dessert, especially. I think Susie had a good time for her birthday. After dinner Kent, Phil and I went out to a Pub and had two pints of beer apiece. We talked and listened to people and watched two dogs playing in the pub, one was a cute bulldog. When we got back we all had to go to the John so bad it was funny.
- Fortnum & Mason (katiegirlich.wordpress.com)