Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Harry Potter

Because this blog just got deleted....I will be rewriting my Harry Potter post. I really enjoyed the movie not only I was able to watch it in London but because I was also able to see how Britains approached this amazing movie. First off, on the fashion aspect, I was extremely suprised that noone dressed up for the show. In NYC you at least see capes, broomsticks, hats, or at least a protruding scar but none of that was present at the Harry Potter showing in London. I was shocked. Initially I believed that maybe Brits are not as enthusiastic about movies or the Harry Potter culture as us. I began to think about it but decided that maybe this is the London culture. I immediately had the latter backed up while watching the movie. People gasped and cheered and even clapped at the end of the movie! I thought it was an amazing experience filled with so much Harry Potter love!


To continue on with my fashion scheme I decided to make an appearance at Harrods. Initially I took a tour of the whole outside of the building. I passed by the Diana and Dodi memorial. I found it interesting that at the time people still left out flowers underneath the memorial. It shows how this tragedy still affects the British today. Though upon going to Harrods twice, I found out that it had been sold by the original owners. During the sale they had asked the new owners to not remove the memorial of Diana and Dodi. Apparently they did not listen because the second time I came, the outside memorial was nowhere to be found. Afterwards I proceeded inside. The inside was gorgeous. Each room had a different theme ranging from Egyptian to Christmas. The store held all the best fashion spots ranging from Chanel to Burberry. I found it astonishing to see the amount of people in the store but yet how little people bought. Harrods has become a huge tourism site where people literally go to window shop. What I enjoyed the most was the new Christmas world. I thought it fantastic and new. The food market was all the more better. All the different ranges of foods that not even Borough Market could provide were all featured in Harrods. Although the prices were way out of hand, it was interesting to see so many new fruits that I did not know even existed.

Borough Market!!

On a lovely Saturday morning I decided to go and visit the Borough Market. Since I already stayed by my best friend's dormitory and she lives down the street we got up early in order to get some breakfast. I have never seen a place so packed in such a long time. There were masses of people either trying to get some food, simply visit, or haggling for the best things. We immediately bought ourselves some fresh squeezed juice. It was delicious although expensive. From then on we walked around in search of breakfast. I passed so many new types of food I have never seen before in my entire life. What was nice is that many of the stalls would give out samples so to a certain extent I didn't even need to buy breakfast! I eventually decided to settle for a falafel. This decision became tough since I wasn't sure whether I wanted that or the bread with melted cheese on it. This opened my eyes entirely to the new type of London where the stereotype that London food is awful is definetely not true. Borough Market was one of my favorite experiences especially since I love people and food. You would assume the people who work there would get nasty due to the crowds but they were the sweetest making the experience even more lovely.

Tower of London!!

I especially really enjoyed the Tower of London. Not only is this structure surrounded by history but also by mystery and passion. My dad and I arrived there early and decided to join a group tour. We went everywhere ranging from the Bloody Tower to the White Tower. What I most enjoyed was listening to all the ghost stories associated with the tower. I got to see where Anne Boleyn got her head cut off and also able to visit the crown jewels! I thought that was the most spectacular part of the trip. I learned about the ravens and myth that if they ever leave the tower then the British empire will fall. Coupled with a visit to Tower Bridge I found it quite an amazng experience.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Westminster Abbey

In September I decided to visit Westminster Abbey. Initially when standing outside it has a huge impact on a person. To know that kings and queens are coronated here and when they die buried was something marvelous. The age of the Abbey also contained such a presence. I went into the abbey only to find that there are small recorders everyone can recieve in order to learn about the numerous tombs. It was cool to see that there were so many language options on the recorder since so many people from around the world visit the abbey. Going further inside the two things I found most spectacular was the tombs of Queen Mary and Queen Elizabeth I. I found it rather odd that the sisters were buried one on top of the other due to their different ideologies considering England and religion. Apparently they were buried together in order to console their differences. Another interesting thing was the Poet's Corner. Walking into this section of the church was amazing since I am a huge poetry fan. I was able to see tombs such as Chaucer, Charles Dickens, and Lewis Carrol. Even if a famous poet was not buried in the abbey, he had his own plaque or statue to commemorate him. Poets like this ranged from William Blake to John Keats and finally Shakespeare. I was stunned by the architecture and the vastness of the abbey. I was also shocked to see Darwin and Newton being buried within the abbey. It was interesting for me because I would never think that science would hold such a special part in Westminster Abbey. It gave me a different insight on the church and its ideals which I found to be rather enthralling.

Fashion Night Out!!

Fashion Night Out was held on September 8, 2010. We decided to take the tube to Bond Street, a street filled with numerous stores. I decided to attend this event since it was more posh than the street festivals I have been attending. I wanted to get a feel of what the other London fashion is. Each store was serving champagne and had major discounts in order to prepare for next weeks Fashion week. Many people were dressed elegantly ranging from pencil skirts to cocktail dresses. Some stores were more private than others, using guest lists to seperate the regulars from those higher up. Fashion Night Out also has many celebrities present, ranging from models to designers. I was extremely excited since I was able to get a glance and a picture of Giorgio Armani. It was interesting to see as to how many people viewed this night as a shopping steal versus a social event. Many people were simply chatting in corners while others were fervently attempting to get the best discount on the streets. Some stores even had live bands playing. This experience has led me to believc that fashion is more a social get together rather than a cut throat buisness center. People genuinely came out to just take a look around, meet some people, and potentially buy something. I've never seen anything like this.

Monday, October 4, 2010

Thames Festival!!!

I went to the Thames River Festival on September 12, 2010. This time I decided to experience a festival during the night instead of the day. Similar to that of the Notting Hill Carnival, many people wore extravagent clothing. What was most interesting were the fashion choices of those working at the festival. Many shops were set up to represent different cultures, where people were selling things of that culture. For example, I saw a Polish booth where the people working (including a little girl) were dressed in the old fashioned mountain uniforms consisting of bright red long skirts, a white shirt, and a black vest embroidered with colorful flowers. Another example is I saw a bunch of vendors dressing up as Native Americans. This was unique for me because it showed me as to how diverse and cultural London is. It reminded me of how the United States are not the only melting pot in the world. It also made me happy to see so many people proud of their heritage. Although people dressed more warmly since it was nighttime, the clothing got even crazier. One man had on a top hat where on that hat there were minature houses going up. It was also really cool to see so many clothing shops lining the Thames. It displayed as to how much people enjoy fashion within London and how street clothes have just as much worth as those in posh stores. Lastly it was great to see the fireworks go off at night. Although we were actually trying to exit the festival, we got caught up in the crowd and being unable to move the fireworks went off. It was a spectacular sight!

Notting Hill Festival!!

I went to the Notting Hill Festival on August 29th 2010 in order to see what type of clothing people wear for carnivals in London.The fashion at the Notting Hill Festival was pretty diverse and exotic. In comparison to New York City, people were more adventerous and daring in the choice of their clothing. Most people in the carnival were lightly clothed in brilliant colors ranging from fire reds to sunny yellows. Each group within the parade dressed accordingly with the theme of their float. Even more interesting than the clothing of those within the parade were the clothes of the viewers. Some joined the fun and participated in dressing carribean-esqe. Others dressed casually. The majority of the crowd was dressed for comfort since the streets were packed and manuvering in the crowd was difficult. Face painting was extremely popular, not only for the young kids. Another popular accessory was hair pieces. Girls would wear large colorful flowers in their hair. Another accesory was that of flowing flower vines. These were even being sold on the street for 3 pounds encouraging the usage. People could be seen wearing clothing that actually flashed signs along with whistles and glow sticks. It gave me the impression that in London people are more vibrant and care less what other people think of them. The atmosphere was cheerful and promoted diversity within the crowd. I extremely enjoyed this experience and would not mind doing it again.