Saturday, May 05, 2007


OK, Im back, after 6 months away. My last post was in Berlin. Today's post is from London. So, I've straddle the two major WW II capitols. I'm typing this on the banks of the Thames.

I arrived in London this morning and the weather is, well, like London. Cold and overcast. I'm staying at the St. Martins Lane Hotel, a very "new wavey" kind of place, with spare furnishing and wierd videos playing in the elevators. The staff is very accommodating, but I did run across the dimmest clerk I think I've ever seen. When I first arrived, the concierge told me that Trafalgar Square was close by. So, I dropped my luggage and came back down and, since the concierge was not at his desk, I asked the clerk at the reception desk where Trafalgar Square was. She seemed very puzzled, pulled out a map and scanned it very closely for a few minutes, scouring both sides of the Thames River and finally, uncertainly, sent me to the right going out of the hotel and directed me to an intersection and down a main street. I proceded with great suspicion.

At the intersection, there was a sign for Trafalgar Square pointing in the opposite direction, back from whence I came. Turns out that the Square was to the left, within sight of the front door of the hotel. I don't know how this woman finds her way to work in the morning.

The Square was filled with people, but the most striking feature in the statue of Alison Lapper, which presides prominently over everything except the towerring stature of Trafalgar himself. It is a massive shite statue of a pregnant, handicapped woman. I remember seeing a news report about this stature some years ago, but was taken aback when I saw it, given its size and pronience. My picture is posted, but you should click here to learn more about it.

Another amazing discovery is the fact that the hotel is next door to St. Martin in the Fields. It is currently being renovated, so its covered with scaffolding. I've got quite a few classical CDs of music by Neville Mariner at St. Martin in the Fields. I'd always pictured some buccolic setting for this church, not plopped in the middle of London's major intersection with cars, trucks and busses barreling by. Another bubble burst.

There is a fantastic concert being held tonight with Mozart, Back and Vivaldi. Unfortunately, I made the mistake of buying a ticket to the theater before leaving the hotel. Bummer! But they do have choir music on Sunday, so I will catch that.

As for the theater, it won't be so bad. Front row balcony for Spamalot.

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