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.