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#YOLOndon Review

Vol. 2014


Table of Contents #mappingLondon ............................................................................................................................. 1 Westbourne .......................................................................................................................................................3 Suggestions for getting oneself lost in London .............................................................................................4 “Excel in Bed”…or on the Tube ......................................................................................................................5 Mapping London: Traveling through Time, Space, and Cardiff ................................................................6 England by Rail .................................................................................................................................................8 Look Right, Look Left ......................................................................................................................................9 The Tube ..........................................................................................................................................................10 Book Sightings on the Tube ..........................................................................................................................10 A Man in Hyde Park ......................................................................................................................................11 Near Death Experience (Not my Own) .......................................................................................................12 A Tale of Two Cities: The Battle of Public Transit ......................................................................................13 #donewithdelta ...............................................................................................................................................14 Mapping London Tweets ...............................................................................................................................15 #friendingLondon .......................................................................................................................... 17 The OXO Tower Experience .........................................................................................................................19 Scenario Number One: I said I liked Her Jacket! .......................................................................................20 Oxford Night Out: Pub-Crawling in the Heart of English Academia .....................................................21 An Interesting Pub Conversation .................................................................................................................23 Friending London Tweets .............................................................................................................................24 The British Can Be Loud and Vulgar, Too ..................................................................................................25 How to Not Be in the Way.............................................................................................................................25 Englamericand ................................................................................................................................................26 Camden Town: The Hub of Legendary Music, Merchants and Eateries .................................................27 The Upside of Imperialism ............................................................................................................................28 A Jayhawk Abroad ..........................................................................................................................................30 The London Fire Brigade ...............................................................................................................................31 London Pigeon Tweets...................................................................................................................................32 Biggest Flirt in London ..................................................................................................................................33 A Haiku For Luke, the Perfect British Man ................................................................................................34 #likingLondon ................................................................................................................................ 35 Royal Albert Hall and the Royal College of Music ....................................................................................37 The North London Derby: A Rivalry Redefined ........................................................................................39 Little Girl, Big Dreams: Roald Dahl’s Matilda, Page to Stage ...................................................................41 Movie Theaters ................................................................................................................................................42 Ramblings on Concerts at Royal Festival Hall ...........................................................................................43 The West End vs. The Great White Way ......................................................................................................44

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St. Patrick’s Day, London ...............................................................................................................................45 A Candlelight Concert at St. Martin-in-the-Field’s ...................................................................................47 “Once” Upon a Time, I Met Arthur Darvill ................................................................................................48 Billy Elliot .........................................................................................................................................................49 Theater Reviews ..............................................................................................................................................50 #taggingLondon ............................................................................................................................. 59 Ministry of Sound ..........................................................................................................................................61 Wimbledon: More than Just Tennis .............................................................................................................62 Bletchley Park .................................................................................................................................................64 Hunterian Museum ........................................................................................................................................66 Natural History Museum ..............................................................................................................................67 Parliamentary, My Dear.................................................................................................................................68 Through an Engineer’s (London) Eye ..........................................................................................................69 An Automotive Engineer’s Dream: Morgan Motor Company Factory Tour .........................................70 Scratching a Sinister Itch: My Visit to the Clink ........................................................................................72 Scenario Number Two: They Made it Happen! ..........................................................................................73 Crawling Across London: Bookstore Style! ................................................................................................74 The Boy Who Changed My Life ...................................................................................................................77 Impaled-Bird Skies and Second Tries: My Times at the Tate ...................................................................78 The Oldest Thing I’ve Ever Seen ...................................................................................................................79 A Towering Memory ......................................................................................................................................80 People Watching in Trafalgar Square ...........................................................................................................82 Leicester Square & Avoiding the Pickpockets ............................................................................................83 Picture Perfect: Picasso ..................................................................................................................................84 A Royal Residence ..........................................................................................................................................86 Egypt in London .............................................................................................................................................87 …and then King Henry VIII ........................................................................................................................88 Churchill War Rooms ....................................................................................................................................90 #samplingLondon .......................................................................................................................... 91 Binging at the Borough Market ....................................................................................................................93 No Service Charge ..........................................................................................................................................95 Street Vendors of London: A Culinary Adventure.....................................................................................96 The Umbrellas are just better ........................................................................................................................97 Burritos and the Repurposing of Churches ................................................................................................98 The Bland Side of England: Pub Food .........................................................................................................99 An Ode to English Breakfast .......................................................................................................................100 Afternoon Tea: A Real Delight ...................................................................................................................100 Lucky Duck ...................................................................................................................................................102 Musings on Tea and Life ..............................................................................................................................102 “We’re Not That Kind of Pub” .....................................................................................................................103 Scenario Number Three: Don’t Meddle in the Affairs of Wizards .........................................................104

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#sharingLondon ........................................................................................................................... 105 Casual Automotive Observations ..............................................................................................................107 Sharing London Tweets ...............................................................................................................................109 Walking Art: London Street Style...............................................................................................................110 Wherefore Art There No Rubbish Bins? ....................................................................................................111 Hampstead Haven ........................................................................................................................................112 The Guards, They Are A-Changing: Musings on Military and Government .......................................113 10 Things about America ............................................................................................................................114 Day and Night, Over vs. Under ..................................................................................................................115 The Struggle for WiFi...................................................................................................................................117 The Top 8 Ways That Dan Almost Got Injured in London.....................................................................117 From Beowulf to Harry Potter. The Legacy of Literature ........................................................................118 How To: Avoid Going Broke in London....................................................................................................120 True Life: My name is EVERYWHERE in London .................................................................................121 National #Selfie .............................................................................................................................................122 Portrait Gallery .............................................................................................................................................123 The Hills are Alive…with the Sounds of Britain ......................................................................................124 “Well Fertilized”............................................................................................................................................125 Result of Not “Minding the Gap” ...............................................................................................................126 Scenario Number Four: Brain Swap Gone Wrong ...................................................................................127 The Future is Now! .......................................................................................................................................128 Liberal, Kansas Takes on The London Review .........................................................................................128 Growing Up, Growing Out..........................................................................................................................129 Dear Mary… .................................................................................................................................................130 The London Review Staff Profiles...............................................................................................................134

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Mapping London

#mappingLondon

The joys and perils of traveling to London and back, along with London Tube adventures. Other experiences include a daytrip to Oxford, adventures outside the city with visits to Harry Potter studios, and wandering aimlessly.

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Mapping London

Westbourne @JennyCuratola With my notoriously bad knees and feet depleted from a week of wandering London, getting lost on my last day was certainly not on my list of things to do – especially since the last time I got lost in London, I walked for two hours through a construction zone by King’s Cross Saint Pancras. Needless to say, I was not amenable to another ‘immersive’ disorientation. But the Portobello Market in Notting Hill comes highly recommended, and as a fan of the movie, I couldn’t go home without witnessing the sweet nostalgic borough where Julia Roberts presented her original Chagall to Hugh Grant with the words, “Happiness is not happiness without a violinplaying goat,” a quirky comment that makes perfect sense in a borough so buoyant and peculiar as Notting Hill. Happily, Notting Hill is much more charming than the cement panoramic of a train station and construction zone. Pink homes seem to be popular in the U.K. (I’ve seen them in Kensington and Hampstead boroughs and even in Oxford), but Notting Hill holds nothing back. Darling homes in all shades of pink and other hues dot the sloping streets, modernizing quaint architecture to timelessness. There is a feeling that inside these homes the people are still sleeping, for how could anyone be busy, rushed, or alert when the very borough itself sounds like it’s nodding off. Of course, Portobello Road is abuzz with life. Tourists mostly, I imagine. They are the wildlife of great cities. Natives pay them no more mind than they do the squirrels and pigeons. They only curse them when they get in the way. On Portobello Road you can buy scarves, antiques, teapots, jewelry, hats, and even flowers and produce from shops and small sidewalk stands. Italian is audible everywhere. On my first night in London, I struck up a conversation with an Italian man in a Starbucks, and after that I found them everywhere. (I

was mistaken for one myself in the Camden Market.) Most Italians in London aren’t tourists, I found when I finally asked the shopkeeper who sold me my scarf. “There are many of us here now,” she said, “Because our economy back home is bad.” I think that international essence is what has surprised and impressed me most about London, what I previously perceived as the quintessential ‘English’ city. Anyone can make a home here. One fits in not through her Englishness, but by her comfort confronting crowds, crosswalks, and closing doors on the Tube.

going, and I didn’t even open my umbrella when it started to sprinkle. It was a magical moment finally feeling at ease in London, with the sun still shining during a morning shower. I thought about attending school at SOAS, buying my groceries at the Borough and Portobello Markets, spending a Saturday afternoon at the Victoria and Albert Museum, and keeping up on my Italian and Arabic with all my international friends. And then I realized I had to go to the bathroom. And I had completely lost track of time and any idea of where a Tube station might be. Des-

I suppose Notting Hill’s calming demeanor made my knees and feet feel rested, so I challenged myself to get lost off Portobello Road and then find my way to a Tube station without using a map. I saw more adorable houses and much fewer people. I saw a British man yelling so ferociously I could hear him several blocks away. I did not see who or what he was yelling at. All in all, there wasn’t much to see, just a feeling of home to feel. With my Hummingbird Bakery latte in hand and my map decidedly not, I walked tall as if I knew where I was

perate, I got out my map. I was on Westbourne, but my cross-street was off the map. I looked all around for a sign. For a Tube. For a restroom. For a sign from the heavens. And there it was. “Vegetarian Fish & Chips” at a pub called Redan. After deferring many English breakfasts of meat, meat, and more meat, this vegetarian was starting to feel she would never fit in in London. I had been looking for vegetarian fish and chips all week. I wasn’t hungry, but my bladder was about to burst and I was out of opportunities to en-

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Suggestions for getting oneself lost in London @NinaScheibe

joy this oxymoronic dish. I ordered quickly, rushed to the restroom, and returned to a glass of water, classic British chips, and what essentially amounts to fried cheese. Not that I’m complaining. Drizzled with lemon and dipped in tartar sauce, vegetarian fish and chips are the most sophisticated mozzarella sticks a person can eat with a fork and a knife. I unfolded my map, torn in the creases from overuse and damp from the sun shower I had just enjoyed. It was useless to me. Resigned to relying on the bad intuition that got me lost in the first place, I glanced out the window. What did

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I see across the street, but neighborhood map – the kind with all the important tourist spots marked within radii of five-, ten-, and fifteen-minute walks. Sure enough, the nearest Tube station was just down the street. Sometimes you find what you need when you stop looking for it. Sometimes you find a sense of home far from where you expected. Sometimes you need to be lost to be found. #nomaps

• Attempt to find an ATM. Succeed, but make a wrong turn on your way back. Discover that every single street in the neighborhood is named after the Queen, and you are now so hopelessly confused even the locals can’t help you. • Enter any street market. Forget to arrange a meeting time and place. Begin browsing. Look up hours later and realize you haven’t seen a familiar face in hours, and likely won’t for hours more. • Arrange a meeting time and place. Run a little late, and catch the next train fifteen minutes later. Never manage to catch up to the group. • Exit the tube station. Walk five blocks before noticing you’re going in the wrong direction, and now you can’t even find the tube station again.


Mapping London

“Excel In Bed”...or on the Tube @LydiaYoung With the hustle and bustle of everyday London life, it comes as no surprise that London advertisers flock to the Underground as a main outlet to meet almost every target market imaginable. With ads from floor to ceiling by the platforms and display cases along the escalators, London advertisers continue to take full advantage of every inch of available space in the Tube and Tube stations. As an avid “strat commie,” my eyes always seem to drift to advertisements when I am in any sort of new environment, and then immediately to people’s reactions to ads. It continues to amaze me to see direct interaction with advertising, and to see people’s first impressions of an advertisement – Does it excite them? Annoy them? Evoke emotion?  I first noticed the difference in London advertisements through their unique ability to portray more innuendo within advertising, allowing everyday citizens to get a chuckle or two during their otherwise dull commute. One that caught my eye instantly was for the newest Windows phone, the Nokia Lumia. It was located on the Tube itself, directly adjacent to the Tube map onboard to attract the most

attention. It featured the phone prominently on the right-hand side with charts and information displayed, and the bold headline of “Excel in Bed” directly to the left. The rest of the copy is perfectly placed and executed, explaining that the new Nokia Lumia has the capability to create and edit Microsoft Word, Excel and Powerpoint documents wherever you are, and with ease. This particular ad by far evoked the most emotion out of any of the smaller Tube ads, especially with our London Review group.  Besides ads on the Tube itself, Tube stations across London featured complete ad campaigns executed in one setting, something that is hardly seen in the States. The most prominent placement for complete advertising campaigns came from the display cases (both print and digital) alongside the tall escalators bridging from the platforms to the Tube station exits. The print cases prominently featured live entertainment across London, specifically musicals in the West End, while others also adopted the full campaign capabilities. The campaign I remember most is the golakes.co.uk ads advertised in the digital cases by the escalators. With advertisers’ tar-

get markets moving quickly through the Tube station, it only makes sense that these advertisements move with them, with different images in each case to increase attention to the campaign. The ads were different enough to attract an audience, yet cohesive enough with the same color schemes, fonts, and logo placement that you can identify them as a part of a campaign. The images featured beautiful travel photos, urging London citizens to explore more than their beautiful city, and to do this through their website. It is something that I believe was extremely well executed, and definitely something that left a lasting impression.  Thus, although the Tube is seen to many as a hassle, it allows London advertisers to achieve those necessary touch points with consumers that is unmatched by any other outlet throughout the city. Further, Tube ads will only continue to push the envelope of content and innuendo in order to make that valuable first impression and to keep the sort of top-of-mind awareness achieved by the Windows Nokia Lumia and #ExcellingInBed.

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Mapping London: Traveling through Time, Space, and Cardiff @VictoriaCalderon The name “The London Review” is rather misleading when it comes to my week in the United Kingdom. Although most of my time was spent in London, the most beautiful city in the world (in my opinion), I also had the opportunity to take a day trip to Wales – Cardiff, to be more specific. I headed there with a couple “Whovians” on the trip so we could see the Doctor Who Experience. Based on stereotypes I’ve heard about Wales, all I wanted to do was walk to Porth Teigr where the Experience is located, stay there a few hours, then head back to London (because it didn’t seem like there would be anything else to do). Boy, were my preconceptions way off. The moment we could see the buildings from the train, I was intrigued. The city has this curious combination of stately modern architecture and the grungy looking graffiti covering the walls of these modern masterpieces. After some confusion about where we were and two more short train rides, we arrived at Cardiff Bay. Although we couldn’t see it yet, I could smell the salt water and see the graceful dives of seagulls in the clear blue sky. I spent every summer in California near the coast growing up, so the ocean is a second home to me. Once we reached the sea, I could have stayed there and marveled at the beauty of the Welsh coast forever. Unfortunately, we were running out of time for Doctor Who, so we continued on. And I’m so glad I didn’t spend all day ogling the ocean, because the Doctor Who Experience is definitely… well, an experience. An amazing one, at that. From costumes used by

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the cast of New Who (the episodes that started with Christopher Eccleston in 2005) to the set of the TARDIS used by Doctors 9 and 10, it was a fangirl’s dream come true. They even had a little adventure that took us through a studio-like set accompanied by videos of The Doctor leading us to safety from the dangerous Daleks and weeping angels, which made me feel like I was traveling the skies with him. Unfortunately, good things don’t last forever. We had to head back to London, but I can now say I have touched the coat that David Tennant

wore for three seasons (the sign said not to touch, but I didn’t hurt anything, so it’s okay. Right?). It’s a lot softer than it looks, too – it feels like happiness and dreams coming true. Okay, more like suede. But it was still glorious. #TheDoctor


Mapping London

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England by Rail @SarahTaylor At the beginning of January, due to a family emergency, I had the unfortunate experience of having to book and take a 6 hour one-way trip from Lawrence to Garden City. The only train ride day-of left in the middle of the night. When I boarded, I was rushed onto the train, and the train was in motion before I even had the chance to stow my bags or find my assigned seat. I had hoped to sleep on the train but because of the rough shaking of the cabin and the jerky movements at the stops along my journey, I got less than an hour of sleep before going into one of the longest days of my life.

When planning for the London Review, RJ and I discussed doing a day trip to the Morgan Motor Company in Malvern. I knew this would necessitate a six hour round-trip train ride, and I honestly expected to hate every single second of it. However, I knew it would be the chance of a lifetime to

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tour a factory where every luxury car is made by hand. Due to the fact that I overslept, we arrived at Paddington Station only 10 minutes before the train for Malvern was set to leave. By the time we were able to buy our tickets, we had missed the train. While this would have presented a major delay in plans had we been in the States, we were able to board a faster train just fifteen minutes later. That train was able to beat our original train to a midpoint station, and we were able to buy a quick breakfast before boarding our original train to Malvern. Our schedule was very flexible on the return trip since a train to London left every hour and fifteen minutes. The contrast between the American and English systems was astounding. Another benefit of the English train system is that with the UK being such a small island, one could take a train to almost anywhere in Great Britain. When we arrived in Malvern, we were

able to grab a free map of the town from the station and easily walk to the factory for our tour. In contrast, when I had to take a train to Garden City, I then had to get in a car and drive for an hour and a half back to my hometown. On the train to and from London, I was pleasantly surprised by the level of comfort. The seats seemed more spacious and the ride was much

smoother. Although I was engrossed in a book, RJ was even able to sleep soundly on both journeys. On the way back, RJ and I were also able to eat a late lunch in comfort at a set of seats with a table in between. Finally, the experience I never expected from our day trip was the absolute beauty of the English countryside. I was able to get a glimpse of British life outside of London and see the English equivalent of the farms and pastures that I am so familiar with at home. #ChooChoo #Railtrip


Mapping London

Look Right, Look Left @BreaCudney Slowly approaching the crosswalk I look left, and then I look right, Turning my gaze down to my feet And written clearly on the street, Are words helping me live tonight. “Look Right. Look Left,” the white letters read. ‘How hard is it to cross a street?’ Apparently a little if they needed to be said. I do as I’m told And look for a hole in the road. A car comes out of nowhere With a man and his glare, Shaking his head, Warning me I should be dead. I attempt to catch my breath, I was near close to death. Moral of this story you ask? Looking both ways is all but a simple task. If you come to a cross and become stuck, Close your eyes and I say ‘good luck.’

• Tasha Cerny @tlcerny  Mar 14 My stomach is talking to me. I think it’s excited about London, too.

• Tasha Cerny @tlcerny  Mar 15 Headed to a #rooftopbar near @stpaulscathedral. Think I’ve been up for almost 48 hours now. Oh well. #yoLondon

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The Tube @SaranDavaajargal

Book Sightings on the Tube: @SarahHornung Circle line to Tower Hill: woman in a skull scarf: Reinventing the Body, Resurrecting the Soul by Deepak Chopra

Rushing to get to the 3:17 Northern line, I heard a familiar tune that was pleasant to my ears. A guy with a guitar was playing Solsbury Hill by Peter Gabriel. If you use the tube as often as I did, you will encounter people like him in the Underground, singing and playing musical instruments all day long. The Underground has become a venue for artists to share their talents with Londoners. It is also interesting to think that films like the Harry Potter series and Love Actually used the underground in some of their scenes. I think using “the tube” has become more than just a means of transportation but rather an experience and activity that is uniquely English. On my first day, I was standing on the escalator, gazing at the captivating advertisements for musicals. “Sorry! Sorry!” A voice derailed my thoughts. A tall, suited man with a briefcase in his hand dashed hurriedly from behind me and I snatched my scarf just in time to keep it. I was standing on the left side of the escalator. I had not noticed the sign that said, “Stand to the right”. I looked around. Surely everyone else was standing on the right side. I must have missed the sign. This was a trivial incident but was also one that made me aware of the reality that I was in London. On my last day in London, I decided to go to Tate Modern and I just so happened to choose the longest route possible to get there. I accidentally spent 30 minutes on Tube, which is a really long time, considering how fast the Tube works. Even if I had spent a longer time on the tube than intended, it was a chance for me to 10

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reflect and simply observe people and my surroundings. Being on Tube also makes you feel like you are just one person among these hundreds of people rushing past you. It also reminds you what a small speck you are in this big metropolitan city. I heard the announcement at station that sounds, “Alight here for King’s Cross St. Pancras”. When I was thinking about all these, I looked at the two young men that sat across from me. I suddenly realized I understood what they were talking about and they were not speaking in English. They were speaking in Turkish! This revelation delighted me because I had not heard people speak Turkish since I graduated from high school, where I took 3 years of Turkish class. So I kept close attention to their conversation. They were talking about going to their friends’ place for dinner. I also found out that British people apparently do not like to make eye contacts with others. When I saw a girl looking at me, she quickly diverted her gaze and pretended she was looking at every single object and person around her. I was also looking at this man that was standing. He looked back at me and quickly got out his Metro and started reading it intently. I concluded from my experience that the Underground has a life of its own and offers a buzz found nowhere else. And small problems like not knowing where to stand on an escalator or not choosing the shortest route did not detract me from having a great experience. #DontLoseYourTubePass #AlrightHereForGloucesterRoad #Heard This Many Times

Circle line to Tower Hill: Woman with pigtail braids, pink coat: Death and the Sun, by Edward Lewine Picadilly to Leicester Square: Woman in high green heels: The Yips by Nichola Barker Picadilly to Leicester Square: tall, strong man, with a scar—line of freckles?—trailing from left eye: Frankenstein by Mary Shelley Picadilly to Gloucester Rd: handsome man in grey converse, black socks, messy hair: Fatal Vision by Joe McGinniss District line to Gloucester: man my age, feathery hair sticking out in front: The Bat by Jo Nesbo Northern Line to Tottenham Court: woman with a leopard/heart print scarf: Starter for Ten by David Nicholls Central line to Holborn: woman with purple tennis shoes: The Vision by Dean Koontz Central line to Chancery Lane: businessman in a lovely pink tie: South of Hell by P. J. Parrish Picadilly line to Gloucester: man with fluffy hair, scruffy face: The Affair by Lee Child Circle line to Monument: woman with red lips, parrot earrings: Uncle Fred in the Springtime by P. G. Wodehouse


Mapping London

• Tasha Cerny @tlcerny  Mar 15 We are waiting for this HP bus to take us back to the #Tube station. It’s drizzling, and we’re cold. We tried to get on the Direct-from-London coach, but ended up embarrassing ourselves as unknowing tourists. The @Warnerbros employees watching us just laughed. • Tasha Cerny @tlcerny  Mar 20 Just met a very nice couple who work for @WarnerBros. Helped them navigate the #Tube. When I told them I was interested in TV/Film development, they told me they worked in the finance department. #darn #ohwell #nicecouple • Tasha Cerny @tlcerny  Mar 20 After parting ways with the @WarnerBros couple, I struck up a convo w/a 76yr old woman from Australia. She’s still married, but hasn’t live w/her husband in 26yrs. She tells me, “I still go back and visit him, though.”

A Man in Hyde Park @TashaCerny and @DanPhalen On the morning of March 17, 2014, Dan Phalen and Tasha Cerny were taking a leisurely stroll through the expanse of greenery known as Hyde Park.  They were enjoying the fresh air and taking in the sights of runners, dog walkers, and Kensington Palace, when they happened to notice a certain amount of commotion coming from a bobby, a man, and a woman standing near a pond.  The three were struggling, arms linked, with a small beagle and his leash entwining them in even more confusion. The man was kicking at both the bobby and the woman, struggling to escape their grip.  He was yelling, and at one point, the three fell down.  That was when the bobby called for help.  Dan and Tasha stood in awe as they watched cop car after cop car speed through the trees and over the grass toward the three struggling individuals.  Within ten minutes, seven cop cars surrounded this man, his dog, and what Dan and Tasha came to understand as two bobbies (the woman seemed to be an officer of the law as well). The man was subdued, stuffed into the back of a van, and his dog was happily given attention by three or four bobbies who realized their assistance was not needed.  Dan and Tasha were not able to glean any more information from the immediate situation, but upon further introspection, both have come up with possible explanations for the man’s rough encounter with the law. These are his stories.

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Near Death Experience (Not My Own) @JessicaBittner The traffic in London pretty much scared the crap out of me. The drivers there do not care if anyone is in their way – they will run over whoever happens to be in the road. In London there are no jaywalking laws, so if you happen to get hit by a car while crossing the street, the driver is not responsible because cars have the right-of-way. The same applies to bicycles—they also speed toward pedestrians who are crossing the street without slowing down. When a car and a bicycle collide on the street, however, a different story ensues. *The following story is in fact true and no embellishments have been added.* I swear it was like a scene from a movie. I was walking to our local tube stop to meet up with people from our group when, out of the corner of my eye, I spotted a black car pulling a Uturn in the middle of the street during rush hour traffic. The crazy driver was fortunate enough not to hit another car, but they clipped the back tire of a bicyclist who was riding on the other side of the road. The bicyclist was thrown up into the air about five feet and landed on the road.

“3/20/2014: Today, I learned more curse words than I knew existed!” I thought I just watched someone die because it took the cyclist about thirty seconds to get up. The driver of the car stopped long enough to see 12

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the cyclist get off of the ground. Once he got up the driver tried to make his escape, but by this point a crowd had formed around the car and the bicyclist. After the crowd realized the cyclist was okay, the crowd turned into a mob. Since I was a tourist and wanted to keep a low profile, I stayed in my spot on the other side of the street, gawking. The cyclist did not appear to have any major injuries, although I have a feeling he had some sore muscles and bruises afterward. He was the first one to yell. Then the crowd-turned-mob started in on the yelling and screaming at the driver. The driver was trying to make his escape, but his car was completely surrounded by people who had witnessed the collision. Everyone was yelling profanity at the driver; more curse words than I knew existed were being shouted. Next thing I knew, people were banging on the windows of the car with their fists and umbrellas, trying to break the windows in. Other people were pulling on the door handles, trying to force the driver out of the vehicle to face the person he had hit, and a few brave souls were trying to climb on top of the car. Either the driver of the car had some anger issues to work out, or was

extremely late for a previous engagement. I thought the driver was going to kill someone. While the crowd was turning into a mob, the driver was apparently getting more and more agitated. People were banging on his car and trying to climb on top of it. He was hitting the gas on his car and then the brake to make the car lurch forward a few inches. He kept doing this until the crowd finally gave up for their own safety. Once the car was free, he sped off, running a red light, and almost hit two more cars trying to escape from the scene he had just created. Just after the car made his escape, police arrived on the scene to take statements from the cyclist and eyewitnesses. I moved on to the tube station to await the arrival of people from our group. I was trying to figure out what on earth had just happened on a quiet London street in South Kensington. I was literally in shock. I thought someone had died. Then there is a mob scene forming in the middle of a neighborhood. I probably should have stayed to talk to the police, but since I was a tourist I decided to stay out of the situation and write about it later. Thankfully the cyclist did not have life threatening injuries and has probably recovered by now.


Mapping London

A Tale of Two Cities: The Battle of Public Transit @AshleighLee The London Underground system can travel anywhere from 10 to 60 miles per hour, making it the easiest and fastest way to get around in London; depending on the line, trains run every couple minutes. The KU Bus system travels around 20 to 30 miles per hour and comes every 10, 20 to 30 minutes depending on the line. While one serves one of the most popular cities in the world and the other serves a college campus, they both share the same purpose: To get people from Point A to Point B. After coming back from London, I felt that the KU public transportation was mediocre. If I missed my bus I would have to wait somewhere around 20 minutes for the next one to come, making me wonder why I

just did not drive in the first place. Driving around in London is not as efficient as it is here in Kansas. There are more pedestrians and fewer parking spots. I experienced reverse-culture shock. In just nine days I was able to accustom myself to the English lifestyle by becoming an expert Tube navigator. Thanks to my trusty Google Maps, I was able to plan out when each train was coming and how long it would take to get me to my destination. But coming home I found myself annoyed with how long it took for my bus to come and how slow it took me to where I needed to go. As I was riding home on the KU bus I realized another thing: people are not as polite on buses as they are on the Tube. Here people talk loud,

play their music even louder through their headphones and don’t even bother to say “sorry� as they are moving around the bus. In London people sit far away from each other to minimize personal contact, if they have to sit next to you they keep to themselves and you never hear their music playing. The Tube is such a simple, easy mode of transportation. It serves a city of 8.2 million people, plus thousands of tourists, every day from 5 a.m. to midnight. The KU buses serve a student population of 23,000 and run Monday through Friday, 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. The only thing that it really shares with the KU bus system is the ability to pack passengers like sardines in can. #mindthegap

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#donewithdelta

@LaurenJohnson

Delta’s slogan used to be “good goes around,” it became obvious throughout this trip why it changed. I’m going to break it down. First, the beginning of the slogan: “good.” Ha, I would like to think it was added ironically. That’s really all I have to say about that. On to the second, “goes around” to me this implies that a-round trip flight will get you where you need to be and back, when it’s supposed to. We weren’t even checked in to our first flight to Atlanta before we realized this might not be the case. About half of us were unable to check in for some undisclosed reason. But, never fear the staff was incredibly helpful. They offered assistance by saying, “We have no idea what’s going on” or, “Nothing you can do will get you checked in faster,” and, my personal favorite, “ I don’t think we can fix this in time for your flight.” Thanks Delta. By some miracle they were able to get us checked in and on our flight. I know what you’re thinking, “Sure you had a little scare but no harm done and if that’s the only problem you had, oh well.” I too made the mistake of thinking that way. Our flight to and from London went by without a hitch except for a few people’s in-flight movies not working. Then, fast-forward nine days later: Detroit happened. Delta conveniently overbooked our 45-person flight from Detroit to Kansas City by 22 people. Yes, they over booked the flight by 50 percent. I guess it was our fault since we waited till December to book our mid-March flight. How silly of us to expect seats. A “lucky” five of us had privilege of spending one more night together, in Detroit. Taylor, Brea, Sarah T., Lily and I learned several important life lessons. One, Detroit apparently hustles harder and two, it is always a good idea to pack an extra pair of underwear in your carry-on. The next day, Detroit Delta employees who were admittedly “geographically challenged,” shipped the four of who couldn’t get on a direct flight to LaGuardia. When we landed in New York, surprise, surprise, they didn’t have us on a plane. Eventually, Taylor, Lily and I talked our way on to the next flight, with the promise that Brea would be on the next one. She was forced to stay behind, alone. To summarize, Delta is a terrible airline where absolutely no good goes around. They recently changed their slogan to “Keep Climbing.” Which is perfect, because dealing with Delta is an uphill battle. #deltadelays #YONO #detroithustlesharder

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Mapping London

Tweets

@TashaCerny

YOLOndonReview @TashaCerny This tea tastes funny. I think it’s a latitude problem. Take me back to London. #yolondon YOLOndonReview @TashaCerny

Just spent two days basically out of London-First I went to Hogwarts, and then I took a trip on the TARDIS-- I legitimately did these things.

YOLOndonReview @TashaCerny

Abbey Road...

YOLOndonReview @TashaCerny

Saw Arthur Darvill from Doctor Who in Once yesterday. Man has he got a voice on him. So good!

YOLOndonReview @TashaCerny

Our room is awesome with a walk out balcony in a Kensington neighborhood, and everywhere I look I am in awe with the city before my eyes. YOLOndonReview @TashaCerny Here!!! It felt like I was coming home when we touched down. so excited for the upcoming week!

YOLOndonReview @TashaCerny In 8 hours I’ll be across the pond for the second time in my life. I’ve been waiting for this for three years now, and I know it’ll fly by too fast.

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Friending London

#friendingLondon

From pub crawls to unplanned detours with the locals, London Reviewers give a tell-all account of these adventures. Read commentary on people watching and how a group of Jayhawkers dominated a London pub to watch the KU game.

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Friending London

The OXO Tower Experience @SamKovzan Looming high over the River Thames, the OXO Tower Bar offers a breathtaking view of London. Located on the building’s eighth floor, the ultra-modern bar features contemporary furniture, dim lighting, live music and retains the feel of a swanky cruise liner. On one side of the long, narrow room, bartenders prepare drinks at a cocktail bar that must stretch at least 30 feet. On the other side, socialites loaf in chic lounge chairs that offer magnificent glimpses of the city. The posh set-up, jazzy music, well-dressed clientele and shockingly priced drink menu – more on that in a second – create a vibrant atmosphere of intimacy and opulence. In order to fully enjoy the OXO Tower experience, patrons must ensure each of the following. First, dress to impress. The bar has its share of middle-aged married couples in work attire, but young, ready-to-mingle adults are just as common. There is no dress code, although the tower’s website encourages visitors to look nice. Second, arrive with deep pockets. Cocktails on the menu start at £12.50. In other words, the cheapest cocktail you can get at the OXO Tower is more than $20. Red and white 175 ml wine glasses range anywhere from £6-16. If you really want to splurge, the menu offers Havana Club Maximo, a Cuban rum, for £180 per 50 ml shot. Yes, £180 for one single shot of alcohol. Three hundred dollars! Hey, at least the OXO Tower has no cover charge. Third, come with friends of both sexes – unless, of course, you’re on a date with a significant other. This will simply make the experience more enjoyable. What’s better than taking in one of the greatest views of London with a cocktail in hand? Doing it with your friends. Bringing a co-ed group also makes you look better in the judgmental eyes of the native English at the bar. They have no clue that the girl (or boy) you’re talking to is a merely an American classmate. For all they know, you’re having a lovely time with a romantic interest.

Fourth, be extra wary of your surroundings. Reservations are strongly recommended when going to the OXO Tower with a group. If not, parties are forced to find a place to stand. Given the dim lighting, sporadic seating arrangement and constant motion of the bar’s servers, it’s hard to stay out of the way. If possible, break up into groups of no more than four people. Fifth, swallow your frugal pride and order a cocktail. After all, this is the OXO Tower Bar’s specialty, and the experience would not be complete without one. Need a few suggestions? Let’s start with Vesper, the original James Bond classic martini that was supposedly quoted in “Casino Royale” – Beefeater London Dry gin mixed with Absolut Elyx vodka, “Lilletaromatized wine” and a lemon twist. Then there’s Mojito Especial, currently the world’s favorite cocktail according to the menu – Havana Club Especial gold rum “muddled” with fresh limes, fresh mint, sugar and soda, served on the rocks. And lastly, the notorious Mad Hatter is made with marmalade vodka, ginseng spirit “built with cassis,” fresh lemon juice, honey and a dash of absinthe. The effects of ab-

sinthe are so disorienting that, until 2007, it was a banned substance in the United States. Side note: I am no cocktail expert, nor did I consume any of the abovementioned martinis during my time at the OXO Tower. These recommendations are based solely on how elaborate and boastful the menu descriptions were. Well, I actually had a sip of someone else’s Mad Hatter. Pretty dang good. Sixth, don’t worry about feeling out of place. Either that, or sip cocktails until you no longer feel out of place. Will the bartenders, waitresses and other patrons judge you when they hear your American accents? Probably, yes. But who cares? This is the posh OXO Tower, situated along the banks of the mighty Thames. Spend money on overpriced beverages. Laugh out loud. Relax and behold the stunning views of London. Enjoy every minute of this special occasion with your friends. Don’t let hubristic Brits spoil the moment. Finally, don’t leave without going into tourist mode and snapping several pictures on the balcony outside. Seriously, the view isn’t bad. Quite lovely, actually. #BottomsUp

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Scenario Number One: I said I liked Her Jacket! @TashaCerny It was a beautiful March Morning, and I thought it would be a lovely day to take Benny, my recently acquired Beagle pup, for a brisk walk around the park. It was gorgeous weather: the type of sunny day that fills you with joy and makes you confident that nothing bad could happen. Oh, how deceiving was that weather. As Benny and I strolled through the park, I caught a vision of beauty in the corner of my eye – a stunningly classic leather jacket perfectly framing the figure of a slim woman. You see, I am an aspiring designer; I study clothing and trends for a living, and when I saw this jacket, I had never seen anything like it – I knew it was going to be the next big thing. I approached the woman for a closer look; she was standing, arms folded, surveying the greenery beyond one of the many ponds that exist throughout the park. “Er, excuse me, but I was just admiring your jacket,” I began, “and I was wondering if I might have a closer look at it?” She barely acknowledged my existence, glancing at me with a frown, and then turning back to continue her surveillance. I was so enamored by her jacket that I didn’t even stop to inquire upon what she was doing. I did, however, take her acknowledged silence as a nonverbal consent for my examination of her jacket – big mistake. As I reached my hand out to touch her shoulder, I found myself asking, “Is that pleather?” at the same time that a heavy blow hit me from behind. I was being arrested! “What for?” I asked, dumbfounded. “Solicitation!” The burly bobby said. The woman had her hands around one of my arms and shoulder, as did the bobby on the other side. They were attempting to put my hands behind my back. I resisted. What had I done wrong? Solicitation? I simply wanted to investigate the material make-up of the woman’s jacket! Was she an undercover bobby? She must have been. I began to kick. She kicked back. “Police brutality! POLICE BRUTALITY! Somebody help me!” I yelled. No one came to my assistance. Poor Benny stood there, confused as to the commotion, and getting in the way. I tried to shoo him off so that he wouldn’t get kicked. Next thing I knew, we were falling, and then cop cars, everywhere – I was stuffed, handcuffed, into the back of a vehicle with two officers. I only wanted to touch her jacket.

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Friending London

Oxford night out: Pubcrawling in the heart of English academia @VickyDiaz-Camacho OXFORD – Weaving through a tiny alleyway, we arrive to The Turf Tavern, a pub and alehouse noted for the well-hidden yet charming ambiance, pub food and drinks. The evening began at The Turf, first with pub grub, which consisted of mash and bangers, gnocchi with mushrooms (my choice), or the classic – fish and chips. The once freshfaced group of 29 was a bit disheveled by 5 p.m., having arrived to Oxford at 9 that morning. It seemed the group of London Reviewers were all contented with time spend wandering the streets of the Oxford academics, but it was time to relax in old Oxford style. The reunited group of 29 updated each other on the day’s adventures, happy to finally eat. I sipped my wine and conversed with London Review alums. The Turf was the port from which a group of ten, starry eyed London Reviewers would begin the Oxford Pub Crawl. The goal: make it to as many of the top-rated pubs in town as possible, soak in Oxford pub culture and inject each pub with American ruckus. We wandered through the cobblestone streets, some stumbling on the uneven pavement, as Taylor Bettles, English major at KU said, “The most thrilling part of crawling pub to pub in Oxford was the quaint feeling of tripping over cobblestone that you just don’t get in modern cities when you’re drunk these days.” It was only 8 p.m. Excitedly, we approached the next pub: The Lamb and the Flag. The pub sign jutted out from a white-colored building that was situated between, what appeared in

evening light, brick buildings. A dim light shone from a small gap between the buildings. We only had until around 11 p.m. or so to catch the tube. The pub-crawl went into overdrive. The timely and organized freshman, Ally Jones, designated herself to timing and ushering us out the door. Back to The Lamb and the Flag. We walked toward the gap and entered the paned doors, bee lining our way to a wooden booth. Sipping on my gin and the rest their beers, I watch as Taylor approached a suited man at the bar. Injection of America? Check! She had more guts than most of the men in that pub. Her intentions to flirt in England were put to action:

“Of course meeting all the educated and handsomely dressed Oxford men was a plus!” The time came to drink up and move along. Next stop: White Horse. It too was sandwiched between buildings, but this time we stepped down into an 18th century-looking pub. It is apparently quite famous but this evening, the ambiance was studious. Lauren Johnson, journalism major, who dubbed herself “Loud Lauren” for the course, filled the room. Her jovial attitude was infectious. We packed the small pub with loud conversations and laughter. It was particularly small for the group of 10 but we enjoyed our drinks and chatted with the bartender. London Review 2014

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He wasn’t too keen on the request for tequila shots. In fact, he said, “We aren’t that type of pub.” While I didn’t drink that nectar, it was clear we’d be moving along promptly. The ambiance was not conducive to a Wednesday night pub-crawl, but definitely a great place to drink ale and write a novel. It seems several others were doing so in the back corners of this quiet pub. The bartender was courteous and when we asked for him to snap a picture of us all, he kindly did so. We posed, Dan Phalen raised his glass. The clock struck 9 so we drank up and headed to The King’s Arms, the finalist of four pubs. The King’s Arms charmed us with the lively atmosphere. Lugging around our day’s shopping we were finally glad to settle, drink and be merry. Looking back: Ally Jones: “The Turf was my favorite of the 4! Not only was the food delicious, but the outdoor patio had a great atmosphere, especially with the whole London Review crew there! Plus, it was there that Bill Clinton “did not inhale whilst savoring illegal substances”...that counts for something, right?”

I search mercilessly for in liquor stores. Plus it was fun to find it by going through the various alleyways of Oxford, and following the sign of ‘An Education in Intoxication.’ The outdoor atmosphere was unbeatable and the service was top-notch. Definitely my favorite place in Oxford, and a place I want to go back to someday.” Lily Delphine: “The Kings Arm was my favorite. Despite being in one of the oldest and most famous watering holes in Oxford, there was a really down-to-earth vibe that I loved.”

Lydia Young: “I have to agree with Ally on this one - The Turf was by far my favorite. I had the BEST fish and chips of my life, followed by my first pint of cloudy cider, now something 22

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Katie Stites: “For me, the greatest part of the pub-crawl came at the end of the night, just as we were about to leave. I'm walking out the door and a man stops me and asks, ‘Are you American?’ I say yes, is it that obvious? To which he replies ‘Well yes but I'm also from the states. I'm from Wichita, Kansas.’”


Friending London

An Interesting Pub Conversation @DanPhalen When you go to a bar, sometimes you end up getting drawn into a weird conversation with a group of strangers. Even if this has never happened to you, you’ve probably heard a story or two about this happening. Yet, how often have you heard of someone having to defend all of American sport to a group of drunken British-Indian businessmen? Once? Twice? You’re lying, you’ve never heard of that happening before. Well, it happened to me at the Jetlag Sports Bar, and it was quite an amusing experience. A large group of us went to Jetlag to watch the KU-Eastern Kentucky game. This bar was showing the NCAA tournament on all of its many TV screens. The crowd seemed to be mostly basketball fans, with the exception of the group of Indian businessmen standing near the bar. They were having conversations of their own, completely disregarding the games. This was totally fine, except for one small problem. They were fully surrounding the bar. Confrontation was inevitable. A few of us approached the bar and ordered drinks. We each placed separate orders, which is a very un-English thing to do. The Indian guys took notice, and immediately began giving me a hard time. The drunkest-seeming guy spoke first, letting me know that only one of us was supposed to buy the drinks, and that what we were doing it the Yank way. Now, up until this point, I had no idea how awesome it was to be called a Yank by a British person, and I found myself briefly enjoying the company of those gentlemen. I chatted with them for a bit, but unfortunately I had let my guard down for two long, and I found myself completely surrounded by their group. My friends had left me to fend for myself. “What do you call that

game up there on the screen?” asked one of the businessman. “That’s basketball,” I replied. It was time to be an ambassador for my country. They began to drill me with questions about basketball, the first ones were simple, but they got progressively more difficult. Once they had deduced that I was a KU student, they asked me why I was in London. My answer of spring break trip was met with uproarious laughter. “Aren’t you supposed to go to Cancun or the Bahamas for spring break?” bellowed the drunkest one. “Why in the world did you come here?” I proceeded to tell the gentlemen how fun their city was, which they found to be quite entertaining. They were all grinning from ear to ear at my answers. Finally, the oldest-looking of the bunch walked up and started defending basketball to his friends. It turns out that this guy had attended The University of Boston back in the early 90’s, and had some understanding of how the NCAA tournament worked. He and I set about explaining to the others how the tournament was a big deal back in America, and how exciting it was for the fans. Unsurprisingly, the other guys weren’t having any of it. One guy leaned in to me and told me about how the night before, thousands of people in the UK had gathered in a stadium to watch a major darts game. “Does that happen often in America?” he asked me. “No, I can’t say that it does.” I answered. Once again, this caused uproarious laughter from the Indian guys. They switched topics, and asked me if I watched soccer at all. I replied that I didn’t watch much football, which was greeted with words of approval from all of them, as they had not expected me to call it football. They asked me

if I had been to any matches, and I told them that I planned on going to one on Saturday. This was a bad move on my part, as I did not know which teams were going to be playing. They instantly asked me which team I was going to see, and returned to a state of uproarious laughter when I answered them. After the laughter had died down, the older guy told me that the only American sport that he didn’t like was baseball. He said that it was too boring for him. I replied that I felt the same way about cricket, which caused one of the gentlemen who had not been talking to me to turn around. He revealed that he had played professional cricket for 13 years, and he did not look happy with me at all. Now at this point, I was ready to stop talking to these guys, and I got the sense that they were ready to be done as well. However, the drunkest guy was still having too good of a time. “He really likes this stuff,” he said, indicating toward the older guy and the basketball game. “And he’s pissed about it!” He exclaimed, pointing to the cricket player. Now, I feel like he meant to say this rather softly, but every one of his friends heard him, and they all laughed, except the cricket player. The awkwardness of the conversation had reached its peak. At this point, I felt as though I had gotten my cultural experience for the day, and decided that the time was right to walk away. I let them know that the KU game was starting, and said goodbye. As I was walking off, the older guy laughed and asked, “Did you expect to meet a drunk British-Indian guy who knows about basketball?” “I can’t say that I did,” I replied laughing, ending the most unique bar conversation I’ll probably ever have. #pub #conversation

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Tweets

@AnnieLandis

YOLOndonReview @AnnieLandis The only downfall from my fantastic trip to London was the terrible case of jet lag I’ve been experiencing all day...

YOLOndonReview @AnnieLandis Peace out, London. It’s been real, but it’s time for this girl to go home... For now... #yolondon #goodtimes #bye4now

YOLOndonReview @AnnieLandis

Representing @ManUtd #mufc #whatssoccer

YOLOndonReview @AnnieLandis Literally just wept throughout all of Les Mis. Seriously the best production I’ve seen since I’ve been here… #24601 #WhoAmI #OnMyOwn YOLOndonReview @AnnieLandis While in Oxford... “You’re a long way from London if that’s where you want to be…” #youdontevengohere #americangirlsarecompletelymental YOLOndonReview @AnnieLandis Celebrating St. Patrick’s Day London Style. #TrafalgarSquare

YOLOndonReview @AnnieLandis Off the grid for awhile! Hope every1 has a fun and safe sb! I’ll be seeing you soon! #LondonReview2014 #SpringBreak #what

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Friending London

The British Can Be Loud and Vulgar, Too @VictoriaCalderon A common characterization of British people is that they are refined, proper, and polite. Most of them fit into these categories. If you bump into someone on a crowded street, they never hesitate to say “sorry!” If you look tired enough or are bogged down by shopping bags on the Tube, several kind strangers will probably offer you their seat. A lot of people, if they notice your accent, will even ask you where you’re from and have a nice chat with you about good places to visit in the city. One thing I learned from speaking with a few Brits about living in Kansas is that everyone knows the Wizard of Oz. Everyone. And they will ask you where Toto is. This is a perfect example of English humor; they slip witticisms and subtle quips into everyday conversation. I overheard one woman, at a bathroom that cost 40 pence to go into, say, “That was the most expensive wee I’ve ever taken!” Most people I talked to had this tame humor about them, but I had the privilege of also seeing the wilder side of British comedy. On the first full day of our trip, I saw several people advertising the London Comedy Club in Leicester Square, which is an area filled with the great theatres of London. After speaking with a random couple at Ben & Jerry’s who were going to the comedy club, I decided to go out on a limb and attend as well. It was super cheap for a comedy club, or any show – only £8 – and it was definitely worth the price. From the minute I sat down, I met several people from around the world – Scottish, Norwegian, Swedish, Malaysian, the list goes on. And we were all “targeted” by the comedian. The setting for comedy clubs is very intimate; about 20 people seated in a little hotel conference room around a tiny stage about one foot off the ground, making it easier for the co-

median to engage with and make fun of the audience. Several jokes about Malaysian Airlines were cracked (“Too soon?” he would ask every time it was mentioned); the Welsh were made fun of for their obsession with sheep; one of the men in a gay couple was somehow made out to be homophobic (not totally sure how that happened); and despite the fact that I was the only American in the group, a LOT of comments about oil, bombing, and U.S. foreign policy were aimed my way. I loved every second of it. Comedians in Great Britain are surprisingly similar to U.S. comedians. They are lewd, loud, very offensive, and very, very hilarious. During the show, he would focus on a few people who would exchange clever banter with him. He kept going back to one

woman in particular, offering to “shag” her (if you don’t know the meaning of this British slang term, I would suggest looking it up on Urban Dictionary, for the definition is slightly inappropriate for this classy publication). Their favorite issues to discuss, aside from individuals, are ethnicity, politics, relationships, and sex. Due to my familiarity with American stand-up comedy, the comedy club setting was really easy for me to enjoy, even though there were a few references I didn’t understand because of my “American ignorance” (which was also mentioned several times, by the way). I highly recommend looking up examples of British comedy on the Internet, because whether it’s subtle and polite or incredibly crass, it’s sure to give you a good laugh. #lol

How to Not Be In the Way @Dan Phalen It is nearly impossible to not be in the way while walking around London. The city is home to over 8 million people, and they all know exactly where they are going, unlike you, the confused tourist. Need to take a quick look at the tube map? BAM! You’re in someone’s way. Need to find a street sign? BAM! You just stepped right in front of someone. Let’s say you just want to look up and marvel at the cityscape, so you stroll over to an area that’s free of people. KAPOW! Someone just appeared out of the blue and you walked into them. So how do you avoid being in everyone’s way in London? I’m afraid that is a question that nobody can answer. However, I found that profusely apologizing after every incident is a completely reasonable solution. Saying, “Sorry,” instead of, “Excuse me,” is the preferred way of apologizing for being in the way in England. So, by the end of the trip, I was a pro at saying, “Sorry” for almost all of my interactions with the English people. If you have an aversion to saying sorry, or refuse to adapt to other cultures, then I would recommend wearing a helmet, or sightseeing exclusively at night.

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Englamericand @BreaCudney Since the dawn of my youth, I have been a major geography geek. With this geekiness comes an unhealthy obsession with maps, atlases, guidebooks, and last but not least, finding out where people are from. Venturing to another country, let alone, a different continent, gave me goose bumps. For one, this was my first time traveling out of the United States, and two, I love a brilliant English accent. So why on earth did I hear so many American accents?! Because it’s a small world. The first full day in London, we ran into two young men in a casino. Since it was pretty late, and since we had Loud Lauren in our group, they happened to overhear us talking. “Are you guys from America?” asked one of the men. “Uhh…yeah!” we replied in unison. “Awesome! We’re from Atlanta!” said the other. For some reason hearing this cre-

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ated a burst of excitement among us. I mean, they were from America—we were practically neighbors! Little did we know, Atlanta wouldn’t be the closest ‘neighbors’ we’d find. Onto Oxford we go. After a day of shopping and breathing in the intellectual air, we decided to head on down to ‘The Eagle and Child’ pub. There, we had a Kopparberg cider (naturally) and sat down to chat about all things England. Upon discussing The Award Winning KU Gay Bar with great enthusiasm, two men seated behind us asked us a very familiar question, but slightly more specific. “Are you guys from KU?” asked one of the men. “Uhh…yeah!” we replied in unison. “Awesome! I actually went to KState.” said the other. Our excitement waned. After apologizing for something so unfortunate, we began to converse about our close proximities. I, being from

Marysville, Kansas, was delighted to hear that both men grew up in Wamego, Kansas; a rival school in my league. I couldn’t believe how far away from home we were and still managed to run into people from Northeast Kansas. Throughout the week, we had seen our share of Americans repping schools such as Kansas, Iowa State, Oklahoma State and…Missouri. With every familiar mascot I saw, I felt more and more at home. Just when I thought we had run out of surprising coincidences, a group of us were walking across the Millennium Bridge to the Tate Modern museum and we ran into Lauren’s high school classmates. In London. In England. In Europe. Regardless of how many miles away from home we were, it’s safe to say that it is definitely a small world. Now, if only we could get more British accents in America….#murica


Friending London

Camden Town: The hub of legendary music, merchants and eateries @VickyDiaz-Camacho The streets of Camden Town are eclectic collages of old-meets-new. Merchants stood beside their tents at open-air markets, luring in clusters of passersby. Ready for food, I was drawn into The Elephant’s Head, a pub dressed with wildflowers in Perrier bottles and cheery, tattooed bartenders. I sat at table two. Tunes reminiscent of English punk and classic rock set the tone that evening. Music creates ambiance. This is perfect. I placed my order for their veggie burger and chips with a side of Irish coffee, no cream. The bartender gave me a one-pound discount for requesting a black Irish coffee. Most customers were in their twenties to early thirties but old-school punk clientele dominated As the music would swell, so would conversations and laughter. Warm and delighted by the pub grub, particularly the Irish coffee, I threw on my coat and headed out.

I wandered toward more shops, none of which looked the same. Bright colors and bold signs invisibly divided the buildings from one another. Carousels of faux Doc Martens and combat boots lined the streets for 15 to pounds a pair. Three hours after weaving through psychedelic shops bursting with neon lights and music and low-key vintage shops, I see The World’s End, aka Mother Red Cap. The pub’s red exterior and pulsing music enticed me. Walking up, the pub appeared to be small but once inside, the rooms were vast, with a capacity of nearly 1,000 people. Metal and hardcore songs played as attendees, jovial with inebriation, yelled out conversations. I did the same, yelling at the bartender for a gin and tonic single. He asked me, “You

want a double, don’t ya?” He pointed to the top shelf gin. For me, it was quality versus quantity so I said, “Why not?” but opted for a single. He served with a smile and an “Ah, c’mon.”

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The Upside of Imperialism @JennyCuratola There is an unspoken understanding that a tourist in London will gawk in awe at certain basic attractions. Palaces, playhouses, teahouses, towers, museums, mundane pubs made pleasant by British wit over a pint. But if one spends enough time in post-colonial criticism or area studies, these sites begin to raise eyebrows for entirely different reasons. I was an English and theatre major who could never quite identify as an Anglophile but rather gravitated toward the American canon, and it has always irked me a little how American pop culture can busy itself with things so un-American. There is hubbub about a royal baby, hype over high tea, fascination for class markers like funny hats and accents, among other things. Maybe it’s just the mutinous American colonist in me, but it has always been hard to see the quaintness through the imperialism on which this wealth was built. This irritation only intensified when I began studying the Middle East, a region with many problems that can be traced back to Britain’s involvement in the region. And yet, London is the home to the world’s premier institution for Middle Eastern Studies, my chosen graduate

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field. What is a cynical scholar to do in these circumstances? First, shut up and observe. Remember that the United States also built its wealth on the backs of slave labor, trails of tears, and political faux pas. Then remember how you hope foreigners visiting your country won’t hold it against you that you benefit, perhaps indirectly, from the bad behavior of your forbearers, how you hope that they’ll appreciate what modern America has to offer instead.

Then go for a run in Kensington Gardens and try not to scoff at the palace. In fact, you should probably take some selfies there, too. Second, see SOAS and the British Museum. Meet people who are equally embarrassed by the “Oriental” in School of Oriental and African Studies, but encourage you to attend anyway. Marvel at the millions of objects from Egypt, Ancient Assyria, and pre-Islamic Persia that you would never have seen if they were not preserved in the British Museum. Take a walk around the corner to see Virginia Woolf ’s old stomping grounds, and rest assured that for all Britain’s global mishaps, much progress in social justice was made here, too. Third, and importantly, take the Tube to the other side of town – to East London, where the word halal marks every street corner, where the hijab proves fashion is political, where your friends are uncomfortable because this is so not the polite, awkward, witty London you are supposed to be patronizingly adoring right now. Then buy a CD about Shakespeare and Islam and be invited to tour the largest mosque in Europe. Meet Jasmina, who tells you that hers is the


Friending London

only mosque allowed to make the call to prayer, who gratuitously defends her traditional views on marriage and child-rearing to your progressive Western ears, but who does not yell at you when your friend accidentally steps on the prayer carpet with her shoes. Watch afternoon prayer. Accept a copy of the Qur’an and countless pamphlets on Islam, including one on proper women’s dress. (Regret wearing leggings to the mosque.) Exchange emails with Jasmina. Aside from shopkeepers, she will be the only native Londoner you will actually meet all week. Stroll down Brick Lane. Get harassed by a shopkeeper but keep walking until you get to the Brick Lane Mosque. Mourn the broken windows of this holy place. Notice you take almost no pictures of this side of London, feeling it would be insensitive. Yet you feel entirely comfortable with a camera in ‘Western’ sites. Worry that you’ve supported a double standard by treating your own heritage as a tourist attraction and that of another as sacred. Learn that London, too, is having this debate with itself. London may have been the seat of imperial power, but now it is home

to millions from multicultural backgrounds. This may make it even more of a melting pot than the famous American one, for though the U.S. is made up of immigrants, over the years we have found a common commercial culture. In the U.K., secondgeneration immigrants still cling closely to their ancestors’ culture. And so the Brits must cling to theirs. They must make a fuss over the royal baby, make time for high tea, and wear silly hats to polo matches. They must remind you that the sun once never set on the British Empire because they can’t let the sun set on their story. The cynical scholar must remember that the U.K., like every state in the world, is a state in transition and a mash-up of millions of people, all with different stories as to how they got there. Remember that though your blood lineage may not lead directly back to Britain, your cultural heritage does. Though there may be many moments that history does not look fondly upon, there is much to be proud of, too. One of the perks of studying in the U.K. is getting to marinate in the memories of both. #lovehaterelationships #butmostlylove

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A Jayhawk Abroad @AshleighLee The Jayhawk is a universal symbol recognized all over the world. When someone outside the Lawrence community sees the mythical bird, the words “Rock Chalk” are chanted, followed by the response “Jayhawk.” It’s our own secret language. People may look at us weird, but only Jayhawk fans truly know the meaning behind it. KU basketball is a way of life. During March Madness, fans unite all over the world to cheer on the Hawks in hopes of winning a national championship. I knew being in London was not going to stop me from watching the game despite the six-hour time difference. As we all headed to the bar, anticipation began to set in. Everyone was a bundle of nerves to watch the Jayhawks take on Eastern Kentucky. We were thousands of miles away from home. We were each other’s support group. We walk downstairs to a room where a big screen was displaying the games. People from all over filled the tables and couches to watch the madness. The locals gave us weird looks.

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Here were twenty-some students decked out in crimson and blue, ready to watch the game. A few locals asked us questions as to where we were from and why we were in London. We settled down with our pints of beer and cider and watched the game. Soon, other KU student groups began to pile into the bar. It began to feel like home. We had other students to share the anxiety since KU was down most of the first half. The second half flew by as KU took the lead. All the anticipation was over, I had no more nerves making my hands shake; KU won 80-69. We all began to cheer and chant “Rock Chalk Jayhawk.” Something was missing, though. We had the fans and the game but we were missing the sense of victory that we get when we were back home. I began to shout “ALMA MATER” in my cracked voice. Someone from the other group pointed at me and began to shout it back at me. I got the people around me to join arms and we began singing.

I will never forget that moment: people joining together while we were thousands of miles from home, to celebrate a Jayhawk victory. The locals probably thought that were crazy, but it didn’t matter; we wanted to celebrate how we did back. The Jayhawk nation spreads all over the world, and no matter where you are, the Jayhawk will always be a recognized symbol. #rockchalkjayhawk

A Haiku for KU Basketball

@LydiaYoung

KU Basketball, You bring Jayhawks together At the Jetlag Bar


Friending London

The London Fire Brigade @BreaCudney March 16th. A night which will live in infamy. At least in the lives of Lauren, Brea, Taylor and Lydia. The evening began with the rumbling tummies of Brea and Lauren after the St. Patrick’s Day festivities. While wandering throughout SoHo, they stumbled upon a cute little pub called, ‘The Spice of Life.’ Thinking they were going to indulge in British cuisine they walked up to the bar to place their order. “You guys comin’ to The Cambridge with us?” said (for the sake of this story, this man will forever be known as Mr. Awesome.) “Umm….yeah, I guess so?” they replied with slight hesitation. Nixing their plans to eat, they followed this man across the street to a pub they would come to love. (Sorry mums, we were safe, don’t worry.) Mr. Awesome introduced them to several men in uniform, specifically known as, the London Fire Brigade. These men became their besties for the remainder of the evening. There was, ‘The Boss,’ Dan, Liam, Old Guy and Mr. Awesome. The firemen were

as fascinated with the Americans as much as the Americans were with the firemen. “Did you see me in the parade?” said Mr. Awesome. “For sure!” they replied, even though they didn’t recall this detail. When Lydia and Taylor joined in, the night continued with drinks and

laughter. They were introduced to Kopparberg Cider, and little did they know that coming back to a Kopparbergless country would be absolutely devastating. A few bottles later, and several pulls from “The Boss’s” flask of whiskey, intelligent conversation was exchanged. “Let’s take a selfie!” “Oh my g-o-s-h!” Then they practiced eachother’s accents. “I’ll have a number 1, 3, 7 and a supersize fries.” “How you doooiiinnnnnn?” “Ello, poppet!” Laughter continued and the cider flowed like the Thames. Fireman Dan and Liam suggested a tour of the SoHo Firehouse. This offer could not be denied and the group left The Cambridge. The Firehouse was everything one could imagine. Two large red trucks with Mercedes emblems adorning the noses sat nestled within the building. Fireman Dan ushered the girls into the truck and proceeded to take selfie after selfie, necessary for the memories that would remain. Nearing 11 p.m. Lauren and Brea’s stomachs experienced a familiar rum-

bling. They decided it was time to finally feed their hunger and grab some food. Fireman Dan and Liam strongly advised them to go to Chinatown, to a place called, ‘Wong Kei.’ There, they would split up from the British firemen and continue the night as solo Americans. What these girls experienced in London this night, would forever hold a special place in their hearts. Until the day Dan and Liam make their way back to the U.S., they will live on the memories and continue to crave that sweet, sweet cider. #kopparberg #LondonFireBrigade #Wonkey #selfie #awesome

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London Pigeon @yolondonpigeon Flying high in the sky, waving my wings like I just don’t care. Tweets

Following

1.5 K

3

Followers

2.5 K

Tweets London Pigeon @yolondonpigeon

Another day, another poo on a guardsman...

London Pigeon @yolondonpigeon

#nevermind would rather be run from than stepped on.

London Pigeon @yolondonpigeon Wish all these fine ladies wouldn’t run away. London Pigeon @yolondonpigeon

This tower looks like a supa fine local for muh nest.

London Pigeon @yolondonpigeon

Harrod’s Food #leftovers #fatweek #2014resolutions

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Friending London

Biggest Flirt in London @TaylorBettles Growing up in the Midwest, in my family, going to my schools, and having my friends has made me a unique individual. Everyone can attest to that. In the collecting of various characteristics that define me one of the most noteworthy is my outgoing personality. This has been an invaluable benefit that has assisted me in school, in social situations, and especially in romantic pursuits. An outgoing personality can smooth over awkward moments and allow for one of the most frequently used methods of communication between genders to take place: Flirting. At a very young age children learn about flirting, develop crushes, and begin flirting themselves. My own personal experiences started as early as 2nd grade. Everyone flirts differently but our culture is known for oftentimes being obnoxious, loud, and very straightforward. That all can be maximized when you throw an outgoing personality like mine into the mix. Unfortunately the methods I’ve learned in America don’t quite apply to flirting in the United Kingdom.  In London I was quick to discover my boisterous, often loud, but always hilarious traits were not nearly as appreciated as they were in the States. In fact I received several strange looks and what may or may not have been rolling of the eyes. I would never let that get me down though and as I slowly became overwhelmed by the multitude of attractive men I knew my inner flirt would soon erupt. The greatest exception to a cringeworthy gathering of attractive peers in London is the social lubrication of alcohol. While heavily intoxicated native Londoners become incredibly friendlier and allow themselves to feed off the personality of someone loud, fun, and gleeful – someone like myself. I noticed when I went out to pubs usually in a group of people that the more social, slightly more funny and certainly more drunk I became

those I was chatting with would slowly follow suit until we were actually having a real life conversation. At that point all I could do was wait for my opening and then let my inner flirt run the show. The first occurrence where this proved truthful was the first official night out in London. A group of us all met up at The Cambridge pub where drinks were flowing and cute men were gathering. It helped that the majority of the cute Brits there were firemen in the Soho Fire Brigade and had been drinking a long while before my friends and I made it there. The social lubrication made it easy to start talking to the firemen and friends. After working through the difficulties of understanding other accents we soon found many things to talk about, or more accurately make fun of about each other, mostly concerning culture differences. I then realized that my foreign status would be an excellent

topic of conversation as well as a great opener for talking to new people, especially the men of London. Of course if I’m from a different culture I might not understand how strange it is to talk to a random and incredibly cute stranger on the Tube… There is of course a category of British man that I think all would believe to be the least classy, the American equivalent is easily recognized in society. I will simply refer to him as The-Funny-Cocky-PretentiousGuy-Who-Wants-To-Kiss-A-GirlFrom-Another-Country. When this guy interrupted a meal with friends and pled his case I thought nothing of flirting with him because he was obviously the type mentioned above, I gave him his kiss and sent him on his way. Unfortunately that’s when the pretentious and cocky attitude comes in and he proceeded to bother us the rest of the meal. He provided me with a global example of bad flirting.

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The best flirting experience is one where you connect with a person and the flirtation is not only enjoyable but also reciprocated. During a pub crawl in Oxford the flirting level had been low but at the very last place we went several cute boys were in attendance. My American approach, which was to be more outgoing and an obvious flirt, was not working and I couldn’t make any good connections. But that night I learned the preferred method of flirting for the UK, it was much more quiet and subtle but a lot of fun because instead of establishing common characteristics right away time

was spent pointing out differences. I would think initially that the most commonly discussed topic would be my foreign status but all we talked of was literature. Finding something you are both passionate about and comparing interests was the best flirting method I used in London and I’m certainly going to continue to use it no matter was country I’m in. Something tells me though that I’ll never get that same feeling unless I’m flirting with a Brit. Flirting is a natural mode of socializing and it is my preferred way of

getting to know a person, especially when there is the common denominator of attraction. Flirting is globally acknowledged as a way of communicating interest in someone even if it’s not strictly romantic, but like I learned on my trip… languages and accents can be different, cultural cues can be different, and the right way to let someone know you’re interested is often different as well. But someone fascinates everyone; just maybe don’t let them know by staring at them on the Tube until he’s forced to talk to you…oops. #tindered

A Haiku For Luke, the Perfect British Man @LydiaYoung

Luke, you perfect Brit With surprisingly good teeth And love for ‘Mormons’

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Liking London

#likingLondon

West End British theatre, choir boys and St. Patrick’s Day celebrations. YELP Reviews rate the shows and some commentary gives an inside look to Americans liking London.

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Liking London

Royal Albert Hall and the Royal College of Music @NinaScheibe One would think that after four days of regularly finding myself completely alone and rather lost, I would have learned that arranging meeting points and times without a cellphone for back-up was basically pointless. NOPE! So it was that I trotted off on my own at 9:30am for a bit of selfindulgent music nerdy-ness, with every intention of regrouping at the Tube by 12:30, and wound up not seeing another familiar face for the next six hours.

Where was I going? To Royal Albert Hall and the Royal College of Music, conveniently located just five blocks from our hotel. I wasn’t expecting to be able to see much, but I would at least be able to say I had been and snap a few pictures. As luck would have it, there was a tour of the Royal Albert at 10. Even luckier, I was the only person taking it. Score! It turns out that the Royal Albert Hall is far more than just a concert hall, although it is perhaps most re-

nowned as the home of the annual BBC Proms. Everything from tennis and sumo wrestling to film premieres and the Cirque du Soleil have graced the stage at some point. Inspired by the Great Exhibition in Hyde Park in 1851, Prince Albert proposed the construction of a building to house similar displays for the enlightenment of the people on a more permanent basis. Unfortunately, he died before its completion, prompting Queen Victoria to dedicate the structure upon its completion to his memory, and have a memorial statue built nearby. Legend says that although Albert had been dead ten years by the time the Hall was finished, the Queen was still so overcome with grief that Albert’s statue had to be covered with a black cloth the day of the opening ceremony, just so she would be spared the sight of it. The far less romantic truth of the matter is that the statue was not yet complete, and the black shroud was there to hide the scaffolding. Part of the funding came from profits from the Exhibition. The hall, however, also helped pay for itself, as wealthy patrons were given the opportunity to purchase their own private box of seats, which they were then allowed to decorate however they saw fit. While the interior has since been standardized, one box retains its distinctive trim. The Queen still keeps a private box for herself and her guests, although she is rarely in attendance herself. Perhaps this is because her box even has its own special rules: no entrance without an invitation, no food or drink allowed, and one must be in fancy dress. So, no beer and hot dogs for the Queen, even at tennis matches. I guess being royalty isn’t always all it’s cracked up to be. Then again, she also has her own private entrance between doors 7 and 8 (Harry Potter puns, anyone?),

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and separate sitting rooms for the ladies and the gents. Sorry boys, but the girls get the nicer chairs and the royal portraits. Not that us commoners have it so bad. The halls are currently lined with photographs of performers moments after they come off stage, and the result is a fascinating mix of sweat, blood, and intense emotions. There are also a number of cafés, restaurants, and bars, some of which double as performance spaces. Below ground, the dressing rooms, storage space, utilities, and goodness-knows what else extend as deep as the hall itself is tall, and has room for a couple semitrucks to drive right in. The inside of the hall is, well, fit for a Queen. Sorry Carnegie Hall, but the Brits got you beat. The seating forms a giant circle around the stage, so there’s not a bad seat in the house, while the stage can be reconfigured to suit any sort of performance imaginable. While I was there, the crew was tearing down the Cirque du Soleil setup, and getting ready for that night’s “Classical Spectacular,” featuring Tchaikovsky’s 1812 Overture complete 38

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with cannons. Everything inside is richly colored in reds and blues and gold, while the “nosebleed” seats extend so far up, they almost appear to have their own shroud of mist, like a mountain-top. Suspended from the center of the domed ceiling is a cluster of large discs, like the hall’s own personal UFO colony, installed to absorb the echo that had plagued the space for a century and a half. The ceiling itself is made of glass and aluminum, and apparently it’s not even properly attached to the rest of the building. It’s heavy enough that it just kind of sits there like a cake topper. I’m no engineer, but…yikes! I made it back to the College in time to have a bit of a poke around, and made the not-so-thrilling discovery that school bathrooms are basically sketchy no matter where you go. One area where they definitely have us beat, however, is with their musical instrument museum. It’s basically one level entirely devoted to old harpsichords and pianos, plus another floor of original manuscripts of musical scores and every variety of string, wind, and percussion instrument

imaginable. Most importantly (at least in my opinion), they have a tenoroon. It’s basically a baby bassoon, and absolutely adorable. I was in heaven. After that, I found myself on another private tour, this time with one of the college’s young violists. Many things were startlingly similar to our own Murphy Hall – library packed with scores, computers hooked up to keyboards, practice rooms, recital halls, a courtyard, and a café. Also, not surprisingly, my guide mentioned that she really hasn’t seen much of the rest of London since moving here. Probably because she never leaves her practice room – I feel ya, girl. Not so similar were things like a legit recording studio, student lounge complete with bar and pool table, the opportunity to sign up for lessons with pretty much any professor any week, and the fact that the library was dead silent, just as a proper British reading room should be. My dream of studying at Oxford may be an impossibility, but I think I’ve found a more than adequate replacement! #teacomesintins #Imgettingone


Liking London

The North London Derby: A Rivalry Redefined @SamKovzan I exited – no, I found my way out of the London Underground at the Seven Sisters tube stop with 125 pounds in my pocket. This, I had decided that morning, was the maximum amount of money I’d spend to see my favorite football team duel its fiercest rival. I was feeling lucky. My beloved Arsenal was playing loathsome Tottenham – always one of the biggest English football matches of the year – and I was in London to witness the spectacle. The stars had aligned, enabling me to attend the notorious North London Derby, one of the wildest football rivalries in the world. A quick history lesson: Arsenal and Tottenham Hotspur are two of the most prominent football clubs not only in London, but in all of England. Arsenal owns 13 English league titles, while Tottenham has won eight FA Cups, the second most of any team. Their hot-blooded rivalry dates back to 1887 and divides North London like the Civil War divided Kansas and Missouri. Through most of the 20th Century, matches between the clubs were characterized by hooligan violence in the stands and physical, emotional battles on the field. While

the clubs’ relationship has improved during the past two decades, Arsenal and Tottenham still – and always will – share a simmering resentment for one another. With the match set to kickoff at 4 p.m., I had two hours to scalp a ticket. So I began walking north to White Hart Lane, Tottenham’s fabled home stadium. Despite my allegiance to Arsenal, I was unlikely to find a ticket in the Arsenal away section. This meant I’d be forced to sit among Tottenham supporters, which seemed nauseating at first, but who am I kidding? This is the freaking North London Derby. Put me in the nosebleeds, the loo, beside a pillar or behind a pituitary giant. Just get me into the stadium and I’ll be sound as a pound. Like I said, I was feeling lucky. I hadn’t taken 20 steps before a bald, five-foot-five English bloke approached me. “Buyin’ or sellin’ tickets, mate?” the man barked in a voice that was both gruff and friendly. “Uh, yeah, I’m buying,” I said, reluctantly revealing my nationality. The man introduced himself as Jack. After an amicable chinwag about

our affinity for football, Jack agreed to sell me a ticket for 125 pounds, despite his absurd claim moments earlier that he’d only sell for 200 pounds, “and not a pound less.” I could tell my extensive knowledge of English football had impressed him. Fortunately for me, he had no problem letting a young American lad experience a lifelong dream at a reduced price. Then Jack took me to a nearby alley and started texting on his mobile. Uh, wait a minute. Was this man mental? Was he an undercover cop? Was my time as a free man – hell, a living man – about to run out? “Just wait here, Sam,” Jack said casually. “We’ll have you there in no time.” Have me where, Jack? The clink? The bottom of the Thames? Just as my heart began to pound, an even smaller man buzzed through the alleyway on a moped. He stopped on a dime, and without saying a word or glancing at my face, took a ticket from his jacket pocket and handed it to me. To my relief, the ticket looked real. So I gave Jack all the cash I had and jetted north to White Hart Lane, giddy with excitement and relief. Yes, I was feeling lucky.

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Twenty minutes later, I passed through the White Hart Lane turnstiles and entered the stadium concourse. An hour remained until kickoff, but hoards of Tottenham supporters were in full voice, beers in hand. “If I had the wings of a sparrow, If I had the wings of a crow, I’d fly over Arsenal tomorrow, and s**t on the b**tards below!” How cheeky! A proper introduction to the North London Derby, I thought. By pure chance, my seat was located smack in the middle of the Tottenham Members Stand, similar to the student section at Allen Fieldhouse. This is where the crazies chant until their voices croak. This is where the levels of profanity make American football stadiums feel like family restaurants. This is where a bloody football match seemingly transcends into something so much more than a bloody football match – a battle of history; a spiritual congregation of brotherly love and hate; a cultural foundation that is deep-lying, tradition-rich, and utterly irreplaceable to a nation’s identity. The game kicked off under a cloudless sky, Arsenal sporting their traditional red shirts and white shorts, Spurs clad in white tops and navy shorts. The upper deck overhang under which I stood amplified the deafening noise as Tottenham supporters wasted no time igniting a rapturous chant. “Oh how I’d love to be in that number, oh when the Spurs go marching in!” Just two minutes into the action, however, they were interrupted by a moment of brilliance from my Arsenal Gunners. An Arsenal midfielder gathered the ball at midfield and dashed down the right sideline. With plenty of open space in front of him, he had two options: cross the ball to the far post, or fire a shot on goal. He chose the latter, and what a sublime strike it was. Tomas Rosicky’s thunderbolt fizzed into the top left corner, sending the Arsenal supporters section into delirium. Naturally, I wanted to celebrate Arsenal’s 1-0 lead myself. But doing so would have been completely mental, if not suicidal. A dozen Tottenham fans would’ve torn me limb from limb, or

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at the very least cursed my mother in the most vulgar way possible. Seriously, though, I would have been physically harmed. I didn’t want to be physically harmed, not when I was four thousand miles from home. So I suppressed my urge to revel in Arsenal’s stunning goal and laughed hard on the inside. As the match wore on, Tottenham gained strength but was unable to create legitimate goal-scoring opportunities. Arsenal spent long phases defending, but its 1-0 lead never seemed in doubt. Much to my amusement, Tottenham fans began boiling with frustration, blaming their own manager and players rather than commending Arsenal’s. “The manager’s gone mad! He’s lost the plot!” one man howled. “We have no width! So easy to defend!” another lamented. “We’re playing like (expletive) donkeys,” a drunk lad slurred. Oh, those expletives. I tell you, four-letter words were bellowed with a reckless abandon – words that, if uttered in Fraser Hall, would lead to expulsion from KU. The match provided a frantic finale, during which Tottenham applied great pressure around Arsenal’s goal, drawing several moans and groans from the crowd. But I was feeling lucky on this special day, and sure enough, the Gunners withstood Tottenham’s late onslaught to preserve a precious one-nil victory. Arsenal leapt to third place in the 20-team English Premier League; Spurs slumped to sixth. The postgame atmosphere was morbid. Spurs fans left the stadium and streamed onto the surrounding streets, some silent with their heads down, others fuming with anger. They cursed their “clueless” manager and his “completely mental tactics.” They bemoaned the team’s inability to break through Arsenal’s stubborn defense and questioned the captain’s ability to lead the team. I couldn’t help but smile for the entire walk back to the Underground. Not surprisingly, my North London Derby experience was one that I will never forget. Yes, I had traveled to White Hart Lane for a sporting event.

But it felt bigger than that, if only because of what I observed from fans in the stadium and at nearby pubs before and after the match. There may be no better way to witness human emotion, excitement, passion and dedication than attending an English football rivalry match. While one side experiences pure joy and exhilaration, the other feels utter despair. I left with the impression that, for better or worse, the mental psyche of these fiery supporters hinged weekly on the outcomes of Saturday and Sunday football matches. A win was cause for a celebratory pint. A loss, of course, also warranted a pint. But at the end of the day, regardless of the game’s result, steadfast loyalty characterizes these zealous fan bases. After days like this, Tottenham supporters want to pull their hair out. But they’ll go to the grave wearing the Spurs crest on their sleeve. It became clear that at a British football match, it’s not just about being a spectator – it’s about being a participant. Match attendance isn’t enough. Supporters are obliged to engage emotionally and vocally to impact their club’s performance. As I stood for two hours in the Tottenham Members Stand, I overheard several discussions that reflected fans’ detailed knowledge of team statistics, player tendencies and club history. Fathers told their sons short anecdotes, suggesting that true fandom is a process. It takes years of learning, dedication and demonstrating loyalty before being accepted as a true supporter. The social bonds between fans are unmistakably strong, as certain rituals – the tribe-like chanting, clapping and hand motions, the color coordination, and the pre- and post-game festivities – felt as meaningful and important to them as going to church. Such was the intensity of the North London Derby that, by the end of it all, my whole body ached. Yet it could not have gone better. I found a ticket within my budget, saw Arsenal beat their hated rivals, and experienced first-hand why the British are so batty about football. #ComeOnArsenal


Liking London

Little Girl, Big Dreams: Roald Dahl’s Matilda, Page to Stage @BlaireGinsburg

As I settled into my seat at the Cambridge Theatre, I reflected upon a few facts: one, I was literally sitting in the nosebleed section of the upper circle; two, I was attending a show alone; and three, I was solidly bracketed by two six-year-old girls, each seated with her parents. None of this, however, could detract from my budding excitement. If anything, these factors in particular added to the experience. At such a high vantage point, nothing could obstruct my view of the stage; just because I came to the show alone didn’t mean I was going to experience it by myself; and it was so touching to see the story of Matilda being passed on to another generation. Half the audience must have been under the age of ten, making the parent-half of the audience – by reasonable mathematics – most likely amongst the first generation of children to read the 1988 publication. Speaking honestly, people these days are more likely to recognize the story of Matilda from its 1996 film adaptation. [With a cast like Mara Wilson, Danny DeVito and Rhea Perlman

amongst others, how wouldn’t you?] I know I do, but Dahl’s name is never far behind in association. If anything, half the thrill of a story is seeing how it comes off the page, whether in the mind, on the screen, or onstage. As a writer myself, I’m always intrigued to see how adaptations of literature pan out, but as a long-time fan of Matilda, I had a lot more invested in this musical. The script of the show follows Dahl’s plot excellently, if not with a couple added emphases. For one thing, Matilda’s moral compass has its very own refrain that pops up whenever she assesses that something isn’t right:

“Just because you find that life’s not fair, it doesn’t mean that you just have to grin and bear it. If you only take it on the chin and wear it, nothing will change!”

These incidents often involve Matilda taking the initiative, like in the song “Naughty,” when she says, “If it’s not right, you have to put it right. But nobody else is gonna put it right for me, nobody but me is going to change my story.” It’s wonderful how something like a simple lyric can bring such an emphatic theme to the forefront of a show – the idea that change comes with action, and that initiative will get you from point A to point B. In addition, Matilda is just as enamored with stories as ever, though the love goes beyond simply reading them – she’s quite the storyteller herself. A fresh subplot has been woven into the narrative: each time Matilda visits the library to check out new books, she tells a bit of an ongoing story to the enthusiastic librarian, Mrs. Phelps. I was just as captivated by Matilda’s tale as I was with the musical, especially as secondary actors played out the action in the background of the library. Each time the subplot broke into the narrative, though, I also found myself resounding with this new side of Matilda: a little girl, a lover of literature with a rampant imagination, spinning her own story. It took me straight back to my childhood when I first discovered my love for writing, and I could write a whole stage play to that alone, but I digress. Many of the musical numbers throughout the show were highly entertaining and choreographed to flaunt the youthful cast, but there was one in particular that really stood out, and that was “When I Grow Up” in the second act. Throughout the song, the children muse about all the things they’ll be able to do once they’re

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Movie Theatres @Kayle Sale

grown up – eat sweets everyday, be tall enough to climb trees, and watch cartoons for however long they want. As the number progressed, though, the lyrics started to take a turn. The kids wanted to be smart enough to answer all the questions grown-ups know the answers to, brave enough to fight the monsters under the bed, and strong enough to carry all the heavy things grown-ups carry. I was surprised to find myself getting rather emotional, the words hitting home for an undergrad in the middle ground. As a junior, I still have a year left in the “bubble” of college, and yet I’ve already started adopting a more independent lifestyle: apartment hunting, taking on a job, holding myself accountable for my academics and balances and general wellbeing.

Sitting there in that theatre, watching such a young cast singing about the fantasy and the reality of adulthood, it made me realize just how little time there is to live in that innocent stage. What it leads to, though – learning, growth, a sense of independence – is what most of life is about, and just because we grow up doesn’t mean we have to let go of what’s fun. We can dream and travel and have adventures on our way to finding where we walk in this crazy world, and sometimes, we get to relive those little moments from our youth along the way. #pagetostage #throwback

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You think movie theatres are expensive here? I spontaneously dashed into Vue Cinemas at Piccadilly to the see The Grand Budapest Hotel one night, and was shocked to realize I had just purchased a £14 ticket—that’s over $23 with no obvious amenities! Reeling, I headed downstairs and then more stairs and more stairs toward my theatre. As I descended further below London, I realized I was paying for atmosphere: enclosed by posh black walls, polished mirrors, and various bar accouterments, the blue-lit crystal floors were the only light along the staircases and small theatre lobbies. Dim, red-lit hallways with luxurious, deep-colored carpets branched from each of the lobbies, their destinations obscured by darkness and heavy curtains. I vetoed a martini and sadly turned down specialty ice cream offered by an attractive bartender (I couldn’t afford any snacks after the price of the ticket!) and headed into a small theatre, curling up into a large, comfy seat that leaned back as I did, so I didn’t have to strain my neck looking up at the screen. There were only a few other patrons, and most of them were also alone, but I couldn’t tell what they looked like through the soft darkness. Though I still can’t believe the cost of the ticket, the London cinemas are unquestionably much closer to being worth the price than the chain theatres in the U.S.


Liking London

Ramblings on Concerts at Royal Festival Hall @NinaScheibe Royal Festival Hall. Royal Philharmonic Orchestra. Royal Albert Hall. Royal College of Music. Is anything not royal here?

intermission, and the introduction of ice cream…and then second half, and the ice cream is still here. Is that even legal?

Wait, you have to pay for programs? Not cool…

Dvorak Symphony No. 8, second movement. Blistering trumpet fanfare…a moment of silence…impossibly soft violins, clarinets, cellos…I might be crying.

The elevator sings. No kidding. La la la la la la la level three! Starting with the men’s bass voices at the bottom, and rising up the scale to a soprano shriek at level six. Even the Brits are giggling. Suddenly I’m glad I bought the cheap tickets in the upper balcony and am too lazy to take the stairs. Rachmaninov Piano Concerto No. 3. John Lill performing, just a week after his 70th birthday. I’m 22 and my fingers can’t even move that fast… Chatting with the elderly British chap next to me. He’s definitely hard of hearing and the words come slowly, but it hasn’t stopped him from regaling me with his knowledge of famous piano recordings. Van Cliburn and Evgeny Kissin are his favorites. No shocker there. He’s directed me to his favorite record store. I love how well Brits know their history, even if it’s just the precise former address of a store from thirty years ago… Checked the place out after the concert, and I hate to break it to the guy, but whatever it used to be, this place has definitely gone over to the pop/rock/ hip-hop side of things now.

Another night, another concert, and once again I’ve magically picked a seat smack dab in the middle of a bunch of old men. Go me. Lorin Maazel: 84 years old and still rocking the conductor’s podium. Definitely the most stately and dignified stage entrance I’ve ever seen. Four Wagner tubas, a heckelphone, twenty-something horns, and a truly massive organ. I think I can actually feel the wind on my face. Or maybe those are just the goose bumps. Either way, hot damn, this is cool. Best compliment I’ve received all week: “Where are you from? Ahh, Kansas, yes, I was trying to place the accent.” Not sounding like a total American redneck for the win!

The British claim to be reserved and socially awkward. Not true. I’ve been talking to yet another old guy for just a few minutes, and he’s already told me where he lives, all the perks of being in the Southbank Centre’s membership society, and given an informed opinion on various interpretations of the offstage brass part to Strauss’s Eine Alpensinfonie. Second half starts. Opening chords of Also Sprach Zarathustra – better known as the fanfare from 2001: A Space Odyssey. We turn to look at each other, and his jaw has dropped just as far as mine. Too cute. Post-concert stroll in the rain, because going straight home and to bed after an experience like that would be a travesty. Crossing Embankment Bride, with a perfect view of the Eye and city lights. Street musicians – a whole different sort of performance, but it still puts a smile on my face. Wandering down alleyways is actually a good idea, at least between Trafalgar Square and Piccadilly Circus: fewer crowds, more cute restaurants with twinkly lights strung overhead. Late night hunt for food in Kensington, not so easy. Cheese and crackers is totally a meal, right? #totalmusicnerd #noshame

Why yes, I am taking pictures from the back of the hall at intermission. And yes, I can see you judging me, but I refuse to contain my nerdy exuberance. Tsk tsk, typical American, I know. At first, I was incredibly impressed by the manners of British concert-goers. Dead silence from the audience while the orchestra played, then a plague of coughing erupts between movements. Bravo for holding it in. Then came

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The West End vs. the Great White Way @ElainaSmith I’m a musical theatre girl. Give me the songs, the lights, the dance numbers and I’m a happy camper. What I found on a jaunt through West End, though, is that American musical theatre is quite different from UK musical theatre. On Broadway, a show is boom boom boom, spectacle, huge budget, spectacle. On the West End, it is very different – much calmer and more stationary, with the focus being more on the language than the impressiveness of the visual. Even the large budget shows (Dirty Rotten Scoundrels at the Savoy, which is noted for being a huge budget production) had the focus on the language. The show numbers were large with a big cast and great lighting, but the overall production itself focused much more on the story being told than the effect of how it was told. This difference was really called to my attention while seeing Monty Python’s Spamalot. I saw the show in New York years ago and immediately fell in love with it. I am a sucker

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for a huge production, flashy lights and costumes, large dance numbers, and just an overall exciting and daring show. When I saw that Spamalot was also running on the West End, I couldn’t wait to get my ticket. I was surprised, however, to find that this was a different Spamalot – same concept, but very different delivery. For one, it was shown a small theatre. There was no way that the huge numbers were going to happen on that stage. Then I realized that the cast was much smaller. There were only two chorus females and many of the knights were double cast as other characters throughout the show. This show was much more in the style of Monty Python – very silly, obviously lower budget, and full of people just having a good time onstage. It was a very fun way to see Spamalot. There were many references to popular culture that were very obviously adlibbed, as well as improv onstage with the sole purpose of trying to get the other actors to laugh. Many

times, they succeeded and the entire cast would break down into giggles. Many songs were changed for Broadway, dance breaks were added, etc. For example, a song in the Broadway version was titled “You Won’t Succeed on Broadway if You Don’t Have a Jew.” The West End version was “You Won’t Succeed on the West End if You Don’t Have a Star.” Instead of a giant show number, it was a tongue in cheek song because a big star apparently always plays King Arthur. While I do think I prefer the Broadway version of Spamalot, I would not have traded my experience seeing the West End performance. The show originally opened in the UK, so seeing it in its original form was very informative. I also realized, what would be the point of having the exact same show on two sides of the pond? You’re in a new place with a different culture. Why shouldn’t the theatre district reflect that? #Whereisthegrail #Surpriseending


Liking London

St. Patrick’s Day, London @Lauren Johnson Celebrating St Patrick’s Day is a fairly new tradition to London, but it’s catching on rather quickly. Brea and I had been warned to not expect much, but we were determined to celebrate regardless. We donned our green and headed to watch the parade. It was lead by a giant inflatable caterpillar followed by a series of parade standards that you would expect in any St Patrick’s Day Parade. Classic cars, fire engines, funny costumes, and live performances on the backs of trailers were some of the highlights. The parade also featured a giant metal chicken. I may not be an expert in St Patrick’s Day traditions, but I’ve yet to hear the part about the chicken. There was one distinct difference between this parade and one you might see in America: alcohol. Both participants and viewers of the parade were indulging in London’s lack of open container laws. It was incredibly weird seeing people just walking down the street double fisting beer cans. The parade concluded and we followed the crowd towards Trafalgar Square. On the way we took a pit stop into a cute and crowded pub so we too could carry some open containers. That’s when it once again became very clear we were in different country. We were in a bar and we didn’t recognize a single beer. That is a terrifying environment for picky drinkers. How do ask which beer tastes most like Coors Light without sounding like a stupid American? (HINT: You don’t). A friendly looking man next to me ordered some beers that looked light enough to stomach. I asked him what he had ordered and he informed it was called an Alpine and it was quite good – for a light beer. Success. We had managed to find a beer we could drink without making total idiots out of ourselves. The bartender came, took our order, and immediately informed us that the keg

had just run out. Just as panic began to creep back up my neck, the nice man said we could have his and he would just order something else. In that moment, that man was our hero. We ventured back out on to the street, (with our pint glasses!) and continued towards the celebration. Trafalgar Square was flooded with green. There was a large stage, several tents set up and what appeared to be a giant statue of St Patrick. Navigating the crowd in order to get to the stage was nearly impossible. Once we found what we thought to be an entrance to the concert ground, we slowly began to weave our way towards the gate. Pint glasses empty, Brea and I tried to scope out where we could find a refill. An Irish woman in line next to us overheard and delivered the quote of the day: “Got a little too much blood in the alcohol stream, do yah lass?” She informed us that there was a stand within the concert grounds to get drinks. This heightened our drive to get inside and we charged forward. Finally, we made it to front of the line, only to be told that they were no longer letting people inside. Defeated, we turned around to leave. Only to realize that the crowd behind us had us completely pinned in. No one was budging, and everyone was determined to get inside. After arguing with

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the security guards, a girl next to me decided to completely disregard the rules and simply walked by them. Brea and I watched, waited for something to happen, and nothing did. The guards looked temporarily frustrated and then just brushed it off like nothing happened. I took that as my cue. I waited for the right moment, and then made my move. There was a gap between where a guard was standing and the railing. I went for it. The guard stuck his hand out but I kept walking. I hit his hand and he pulled it back and let me walk on through. I turned around thinking Brea had followed. She was still stuck on the other side. I signaled for her to follow which prompted the guard to “mind the gap” between him and the railing.

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Luckily at that moment a bunch of people behind us started to jump the fence. The guards were distracted and Brea made her move. We were thrilled to get in, but the lack of proper security was a bit unnerving. The Hawk has better security than this concert did. We headed towards the stage and along the way indulged in some free samples of crisps, garlic bread, and cheeses. We watched a group of Irish dancers and then a band began to set up. The crowd was both intoxicated and impatient. They began to create their own entertainment. Several young fans began to climb the fountains. Once again the severe lack of security became clear. A lady on a microphone began to urge them to stop and explained how dangerous it was.

This just encouraged them. They just became even wilder. Several fell, and it looked quite painful, but the crowd booing the lady on the microphone was their battle cry. They finally got down when the woman explained that the band would not be able to start until they got down. The band finally took the stage. We jammed for a little while. Then we decided to move on. The lady was right, we had far too much blood in our alcohol stream for this crowd. It was by far my most memorable St Patrick’s Day I’ve ever had. #theyrealwaysaftermeluckycharms #magicallydelicious #heartsstarsandhorseshoes


Liking London

A Candlelight Concert at St. Martin-in-the-Field’s @NinaScheibe Gilded filigree glimmers on whitewashed walls, contrasting starkly with the dark chocolate wood of the pews. Candles flicker from every window sill and round the base of every column. The reflection in the clear, slightly wavy glass gives the impression that it could quite possibly be raining outside – not the sort of rain that makes one dread having to walk outside well in advance, but rather the kind that makes being safe and warm inside feel even more cozy. A polished marble path leads up the aisle, drawing the eye to the large front window. It bears no holy image in stained glass as one would usually expect, but rather is made of the same watery glass as all the others. The bars between its panes, however, bend and wave, stretching to make room for the large, milky white oval at its center. As the sky outside fades to a deep navy blue, it looks as if the moon itself has come to peek in on the events of the evening. If one can bear to pull one’s eyes away and turn around, a massive organ takes up the majority of the back wall. The ban on photography was both a blessing and a tragedy, for while capturing the light and warmth of the space is far beyond my skill with a camera, I would have very much liked to try. The performers, when they appear, match their surroundings perfectly. Men in white tuxedo jackets, women in black dresses, the violin soloist a striking contrast in vivid red. It is a small ensemble, two violins, a viola, cello, and bass each, plus harpsichord. In terms of sound production in that space however, they may as well have been a full-sized orchestra. Baroque works such as the Bach and Vivaldi programmed this evening are always full of little figurations meant to make even just a solo line sound like a duet, and it works incredibly in the right

hall! Suddenly, all the things we had learned about church music in history class began to make much more sense – the arches and decorated ceiling draw the eye towards heaven, whilst the music floating through one’s ears inspires devotion. It was easy to imagine just such a performance taking place centuries ago, the beauty of it all only amplified by the grime and clamor of the city on the other side of the walls. Stepping outside to bright lights and noisy traffic afterward was quite the shock. My pew-mate for the evening was once again a middle-aged, grayhaired gentleman. This is what I get for being a classical music nerd, I suppose. Pro tip: wherever the eligible bachelors are hiding on Friday nights, it’s not in a church listening to Bach. In any case, our interaction followed the pattern I’d seen established over the last several evenings: ignore each other as much as possible through the first half, hesitantly start up a conversation at intermission, enjoy the second half in more companionable silence, then bid an exceptionally awkward adieu at the close. This

time however, I found myself next to a mathematics professor from the University of Michigan, in town for a fluid dynamics conference (they have those?!). We had an enjoyable chat about Bernoulli’s principle, acoustics, and of course, the weather; yet I think we were each disappointed by the non-British-ness of the other. Big city, small world I suppose. Following the theme of “repurposed” churches, the crypt of St. Martin’s does many duties. It is home to a café, a gift shop selling everything from CDs to teacups to scented bath soap, the box office, and – presumably – the earthly remains of departed souls. My tickets for the evening’s concert wound up being the most expensive of all the concerts I attended, at about twenty pounds with the student discount. They certainly get bonus points for the variety of seating options though – good view, bad view, no view, acoustical sweet spots, upstairs, downstairs, standing room only – you name it, they’ve got it, and the prices do match. All in all, the evening was worth every shilling. #basicallyonedaysweatherinkansas

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“Once” Upon a Time, I Met Arthur Darvill @VictoriaCalderon “Once” is one of the most heartwrenching, enchanting musicals that kept my tired mind riveted throughout the entire thing. It’s like the perfect romantic comedy; it’s funny, it’s sweet, and it has great plot and character development, which are important to an English major. And as a music lover, the sounds and voices were phenomenal. That stage was filled to the brim with pure talent. I was devastated when it ended. But at the same time, I’m glad it did, because by a sheer twist of fate I met the star of the show (and of my heart), Arthur Darvill! Very few people are patient enough to wait for the actors to show up at the stage door after the show, but I managed to get there just in time to get a couple of great photos and exchange a few words with him. Despite his exhaustion from performing and the swarm of giddy girls asking him for pictures, he was very polite (in a show of British courtesy, everyone kept saying “sorry” to him, to which he would reply “It’s quite all right!”) and funny. When I asked him if we could take a goofy picture, he said “Whatever you want to do,” and when I asked him if I could kiss him on the cheek, he chuckled and let me. Everything about him, from his stubbly cheek to his intoxicating scent, was magical. #swoon

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Billy Elliot

@SaranDavaajargal

“I am just there, flyin’ Like a bird Like electricity Yeah Like electricity.” This is how Billy Elliot answers when he is asked how he feels when he is dancing. Billy Elliot is a musical I watched in Victoria Palace Theatre with three fellow London Reviewers. It is about a boy named Billy Elliot who discovers his passion for ballet and becomes a ballet dancer despite vehement disapproval from other people. I love musicals because they are very personal and a palpable kind of entertainment. For me, it is more interesting than watching movies. The actors are right there in front of you, and you watch them the whole time, but it also gives you an opportunity to simply observe and analyze real-life interactions. I thought Billy Elliot was

brilliant and marvelous (two adjectives British use a lot). I am always fascinated by the idea of a person following their passions. I think passion is something you do that you just love, and when you do it, “your body and spirit are in balance”. For Billy Elliot, dancing is his passion. He feels most like himself when he is dancing; he “disappears”. It gives him a sense of being, and he never gets tired of it. I believe that a person should do what they are passionate about and that the idea that a young person pursuing his passion despite others’ disapproval and criticism is really inspiring. Billy Elliot’s father beat his head against the wall, his brothers yelled at him, insulted him, and people degraded him for it. At the end of it all, Billy sticks with ballet and he gets accepted to the dance school of his dreams. The musical, while dealing with subject as exciting as that, complemented it with all the spectacular singing and dancing.

It also reminded me lines from a movie called Serendipity: “You know the Greeks didn’t write obituaries. They only asked one question after a man died: ‘Did he have passion?’” As a college student with homework to do and deadlines to meet, I sometimes forget that I am at KU to find what I love and pursue my dreams. Watching this musical reminded me that I should do what I love in life. After all, our passion is what matters most. #PassionatePeopleMakeWorldABetterPlace #FollowYourPassion #EverythingElseSecondary

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Once Tasha Cerny I was vaguely aware of Once the musical, before I saw it. I was aware of its existence, and I had a small notion that it was a romance – but I’d also heard it was very sad. I assumed this was because of a death. My exact thoughts were, “Oh, another story about a guy and girl falling in love and one of them dying? No thank you.” However, I am an avid Whovian (fan of Doctor Who) and when I saw an ad in the Tube announcing Arthur Darvill’s addition to the cast, my fan girl desires trumped any doubts I had about the show. And can I say thank God I decided to go. Once is possibly the most fantastic show I have ever seen; the music, the story, the dancing – all brilliant! The set is also great, set-up with a working bar that audience members are welcome to order from before the show and during intermission. Before the show, the actors have a ‘jam’ session of Irish folk songs and music, which then bleeds into the actual start of the show. During the show, all the actors and actresses sit on the sides of the stage. They also play their own instruments, subsequently working as their own orchestra to accompany their musical numbers. Everything about this show is beautifully mastered and well thought out: the interpretive dancing and staging perfectly match the emotion and quirkiness of the show. The acting was phenomenal with Zrinka Cvitešić evoking tears at nearly every turn of her character’s journey. Not to mention Arthur Darvill’s voice! Lord have mercy, Arthur Darvill has the perfect voice for this role and this music – who knew he could sing so well? Blown away. The actual story of the musical is wonderfully fresh and unexpected, even with its bittersweet and open ending. The premise is about an Irish busker (Guy) and a Czech woman (Girl) who meet and bond over their shared love of music. However, the bond that develops between them is something neither expected, and now they are both left with some life-changing choices. Overall, this show is a MUST SEE, and definitely worth every pound. If you have a chance, you should go sometime soon; Arthur Darvill is only performing for eight weeks! Annie Landis Having watched the movie version of Once, I had high expectations upon going to see the musical. From the minute Arthur Darvill opened up with “Leave,” to the reprise of the ever-popular “Falling Slowly,” I was on the edge of my seat, incredibly overwhelmed with mixed emotions. The stage adaptation of the popular film did not disappoint. Zrinka Cvitešić did a fantastic job playing the female lead. She and Darvill had wonderful chemistry onstage. This amazed me, considering it was Arthur Darvill’s opening night as the male lead on the West End. I left the venue completely satisfied. Victoria Kirk On March 17, I was lucky enough to witness Arthur Darvill’s opening night in Once the Musical for just 26 pounds. Red carpets and flashing cameras surrounded me, and Rod Stewart was even in the audience; the night was spectacular. The musical features lovely songs that pull on your heartstrings; however, it was not quite what I expected. Although the show featured a very talented cast, Once was not a musical that I am used to seeing. Being a person who loves musicals that have a lot of costume changes, dramatic sets and songs that contain belting performances, Once was somewhat boring in my eyes. I will admit that I downloaded the hit song “Falling Slowly” when I got home from the show because it is beautiful, but Once is not a show that I would see again.

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Lydia Young Pulling your heartstrings from the very first note, ‘Once’ tells the love story of a Dublin musician who decides to return to music after an unlikely relationship develops with a young Czech woman. The cast’s talent shines before the show even begins, with each member playing instruments and belting Irish folk songs from the top of their lungs as the audience settles into their seats. ‘Once’ is the sort of musical that can only be experienced in person, and one that had me on the edge of my seat, completely engulfed in the haunting love songs and endearing characters. The names of the characters are also never revealed, with the leads listed as “Guy” and Girl” in the program, which I think allows this story to pertain to any relationship and allowing audiences to further connect with the story. I was fortunate enough to see the opening night of Arthur Darvill, and it was anything but disappointing. With heartfelt songs like “Falling Slowly,” “Gold,” and “Leave,” I couldn’t get enough of the cast, and beautiful lyrics that brought me to tears. Taylor Bettles You might have thought the temperature in the theatre was freezing because of the constant chills I had watching this show. But no sir those chills were caused by the amazing performances of Arthur Darvill and Zrinka Cvitešić. They had great chemistry on stage and the music was incredible. Live performances like Arthur Darvill is what makes theatre. His passion on stage translates in a powerful way that leaves the audience trembling. I was incredibly moved by both leads performances but it was the cast as a whole that left me most impressed. The choreographed set changes, the way the set was arranged and the manner that each cast member was involved in the performances took Once to the next level. It was a treat seeing the non-performing cast sitting on the side of the stage but when they interacted with the leads, the set, and each other I knew those chills were there to stay. Laurel Michel I went into Once never even hearing its name before and therefore having no idea what to expect. While there were girls who went because Arthur Darvill was starring in it, I didn’t even know who this person was. All I was told by some of the girls who were going to the show was that it was a love story. So, obviously, I was interested and I’m glad I went. As someone who does not typically go to a lot of plays or musicals, Once was a little different from the ones that I have seen. This show did not focus a lot on flashy costumes and costume changes, set changes, or exquisite lighting techniques. Instead, it focused more on the singing and the instruments involved in the show. The strongest aspect of this show, in my opinion, was the on-stage orchestra. These people each played their own instrument but also participated in the acting of the show, making an interesting and unique setup. The cheerful character of the Czech women and the attitude change of the Irish man made this show hard to not get emotionally attached to. For people who enjoy upbeat orchestra music and love stories, this is a must see! Lauren Johnson Once was a fantastic show from beginning to end. I cannot believe how talented all the actors were, especially the leads Arthur Darvill and Zrinka Cvitesic. To quote the movie Stepbrothers, “their voices were like a combination of Fergie and Jesus.” I knew instantly that I was going to love the show when we walked in and the actors were already on the stage jamming with their instruments and singing Irish folk songs. Although I had fantastic seats (the first row of the balcony), I did feel a bit cheated because I wasn’t able to use the bar up on the stage that the audience in the stalls had access to. That looked like a treat. I can’t imagine how much concentration it takes to not only sing and dance but also play all of those different instruments. If that wasn’t impressive enough, the actors all had to be on 100 percent of the time because they never actually left the stage. They just sat on the sides and lent their voices and instruments to the current scene. All of that takes incredible talent. The story was beautifully sad. I laughed, I cried, I drank, and I would see it again in a heartbeat.

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Dirty Rotten Scoundrels Elaina Smith A fun musical about con artists! This show at the Savoy was certainly a large-scale production. The plot centered around an established con artist joining forces with another con artist in order to get money out of an attractive female who they both end up having feelings for. It’s a wacky story with great acting, exciting numbers, and a star-studded cast.

Jeeves and Wooster Sarah Hornung On a bit of a whim, I found myself in the ticket line at Duke of York's Theatre. I had heard of P. G. Wodehouse, knew who Jeeves and Wooster are, and figured "what the heck, I'm in London!" and purchased my £20 ticket for a "severely restricted view" of a matinee showing of Jeeves and Wooster. A few hours after my whimsy-inspired ticked purchase, I was sitting in D23, taking in a splendid view of the left half of the empty stage. As it turns out, the show was fantastic, surprisingly well orchestrated by the three actors who put it on. Metatheatre can be cliché, but even from my unfortunately limited vantage point it was a lovely spectacle.

Billy Elliot Elaina Smith What a great show! I went to Billy Elliot not quite knowing what to expect, but I was certainly not disappointed. It was a great story about a boy growing up in a family where the men are miners participating in the UK Miner’s Strike of 1984-1985. Billy takes boxing until he discovers ballet, where he finds himself naturally gifted. With songs by Elton John, the story is full of heart, fantastic dancing, and a hilarious grandma that you won’t want to miss!

Les Miserables Annie Landis I read Les Mis before the film adaptation came out, but had never seen it in full-scale production. On yet another occasion, I took advantage of my opportunity to see a West End stage adaptation. Not only did the cast fulfill every single expectation I had walking into the venue, but the overall aesthetics and visuals were very pleasing, too. There was a rotating stage that added to the movement, and the way the stage was constructed worked to cover the many scenes that occur throughout Les Mis. It was a great representation of the French Revolution. Fantine’s ever-popular “I Dreamed A Dream” was absolutely bone chilling. Eponine’s “On My Own” was sure to bring anyone to tears. From the opening act to the reprise at the end, the cast took me on a ride through a rollercoaster of emotions. It was incredibly thrilling.

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King Lear Jenny Curatola Sam Mendes must have an obsession with midlife crises, but I’m not complaining. I loved American Beauty and Revolutionary Road, and there’s nothing I love more than Shakespeare, so seeing Mendes’s production of King Lear at the National Theatre was a dream come true for me. …Until I got lost in the labyrinth of a lobby. Word to the wise, if you are meeting someone AT the National, get there WAYYYYYY ahead of time. Or meet outside. Because, actually, there really is no lobby. Just a bunch of stairs leading nowhere, so you’re lucky if you run into your friend while running up and down the stairs. Besides that, the show was fantastic. Mendes modernized the production to echo themes of authoritarianism in the modern Middle East. This angle seemed to minimize traditional interpretations that focus on family relationships, but was all the more powerful for the fresh perspective. As Lear loses his mind and the family falls apart, we see one powerful family can send an entire nation into turmoil. Simon Russell Beale as Lear was disappointingly one-note for the first half – mostly shouting – but still strong enough for me to stick it out through an extended intermission (there was a 45-minute hold for a medical emergency in the audience) to see the second half. True standouts were Olivia Vinall as Cordelia and Tom Brooke as Edgar, both playing the loyal, though disowned children of the story. Vinall’s voice stole the show, surprisingly dark for a character with which we associate goodness, but as resonant as her character is constant. Brooke’s body movement and vocal work was absolutely superior as his status changes from heir to the Earl of Gloucester to having to hide his identity as a crazed vagabond. I definitely recommend this play, but be prepared for violence! They don’t skimp on the eye gouging, water boarding, or your run-of-the-mill murder in this production! Elaina Smith Shakespeare. In Britain. What can be more exciting than that? It was a fantastic production directed by Sam Mendez. Lear himself was a bit one sided throughout the first half, but he got much better after that. The women were very clear and the goriness of the play was certainly not played down. The show was set in present day. In addition, the concept of having a large chorus of army men surrounding many scenes was very effective in ensuring that this was not just a family drama – many people were involved and affected by the decisions made by the intense emotions of those in power. A medical emergency in the audience postponed the beginning of the second act forty-five minutes, but it felt as if that time crunch helped the actors be even more active in the second half. Overall, it was a really great production at the National Theatre!

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MAMMA MIA! Laurel Michel I absolutely fell in love with the production of Mamma Mia. I have seen the Mamma Mia movie, but this was the first time I had ever seen it done on stage. Everything about this show was perfect- the costumes, the set, the acting, and of course the singing. As someone who loves ABBA, this production couldn’t have presented their music better. Some of the songs were done solo or as a duo, and the singers did very well. Other songs were presented as a group and incorporated synchronized dancing and exquisite costumes. For anyone who likes ABBA music, Mamma Mia, or high-energy musicals, this show is a must see. Mamma Mia left me dancing in my seat and I had all the songs stuck in my head for days after seeing it. Victoria Kirk MAMMA MIA!, which features music by ABBA, has recently become the 9th longest running show in Broadway History and is celebrating its 15th year in London. The musical plays at the beautiful Novello Theatre and is sure to leave you wanting more when the show is over. The show is about a girl who is trying to find her father in time for her wedding – however; there are three possible options. The show makes your stomach hurt from laughing so hard and makes you want to get up and dance. In fact, people were standing up and dancing with the cast at the end of the show. After snagging a great deal of just twenty pounds for a ticket, MAMMA MIA! quickly became one of the best musicals I have ever seen.

Wicked Victoria Kirk Despite the fact that I had already seen Wicked in New York City in high school, I felt obligated to see it again at the Apollo Victoria Theatre while in London. Wicked has won countless awards for how amazing it is, and I am definitely glad that I spent the money to see it. Wicked tells the story of The Wizard of Oz through the eyes of the wicked witch of the west, and features what is in my opinion the best soundtrack of all musicals. The theatre was empty during the 3:00 matinee showing, which gave us amazing seats for only 16 pounds. I cried at the end of the show, and proceeded to download the entire Wicked soundtrack after leaving the theatre. I could honestly see this show every week and never get sick of it, because it’s just that good. Annie Landis Coming from Kansas, I have always wanted to see Wicked. I’ve never been to New York, so I’ve never had the chance to see it performed on Broadway. Whilst in London, however, I took advantage of my opportunity to see the show in full production, and was not disappointed. The cast did a fantastic job portraying the Land of Oz in a new light. There were countless times both the lyrics and the plot pulled on my heartstrings. I left the theater incredibly satisfied; but I was also a little disappointed it had to end.

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Book of Mormon Lauren Johnson “I believe” that this show was without a doubt one of the funniest things I have ever sat through. It was quite offensive at times, but it was honestly a bit mild compared to what I was expecting. I have seen a lot of Stone and Parker’s work and this was probably the smartest and most hilarious thing they’ve done. The audience is taken on adventure from Utah to Africa with pit stops in Orlando and even a short trip to hell. Which, after laughing at the show for so long and so hard, is where you start to feel like you're going to end up. The songs were both hilarious and catchy. I cannot wait until I can go see it again. Hopefully next time I’ll again avoid being struck by lightening. Taylor Bettles If you want to have a great time and get a work out in see this show. My abs were killing me after I left the theatre due to laughing so much and so hard. The cast worked well as a group of people leading the audience through a serious journey, albeit a seriously funny journey but they were so on point and included several impressive vocals that you can’t help but be impressed. Matt Stone and Trey Parker and satirical comedy geniuses that are able to teach a lesson about important historical events in a way that reflect modern values and outlooks on life. They are truly writers of this generation. Robert Lopez brought incredible music into the mix and together with the cast and amazing stage design and lighting a really magical thing was created. All I can do is thank God that I got to see it. Lydia Young Knowing the hype of this hysterical musical, I was both excited and skeptical that London’s West End production of the Book of Mormon would be all I was expecting. And truthfully, it was so much more. The plot follows two young Mormon recruits who have been assigned to spread the word of Mormonism throughout a small village in Uganda. At first, you may feel bad at the jokes that bring tears to your eyes, but you soon realize the entire Prince of Whales theater is erupting with giggles, knee slaps and snorting at the exact same joke. The songs were not only beautifully sung, but the hysterical lyrics added an element that I have never before seen in a live performance of any kind. It is truly a one-of-a-kind musical full of adventure, love, Mormonism and delightfully politically incorrect cracks at race, religion and relationships. Besides the writing, the stage production was an amazing spectacle and experience, with perfectly choreographed songs such as “Hasa Diga Eebowai,” the catchy “Man Up” and the tears-coming-down-your-face-because-you’re-laughing-so-hard “Spooky Mormon Hell Dream.” It is a musical that I could see over and over again, as well as the most fun I have ever had while watching a musical.

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Blithe Spirit Lydia Young Because Blithe Spirit was a group outing for all of us London Reviewers, I went into the production with no idea of what to expect; in fact, the only thing I knew about the production was that the delightful Angela Lansbury was one of the major characters. I was both excited to experience a play in London, as well as thrilled to share it with our entire group. It was a nice change of pace from the musicals I had already seen throughout the West End, and surprisingly just as entertaining. Lansbury provides an uplifting energy to the atmosphere of Gielgud Theatre, with her comedic representation of an eccentric medium, who ends up channeling the spirit of the protagonist’s first wife. The ironic and subtle British humor pushed the audience to keep up with the witty banter, and to stay completely engrossed with the plot from beginning to end. The show was a thrill to experience, and the perfect play to see in London in order to fully experience British culture. Victoria Kirk The title ‘Blithe Spirit’ didn’t give me any idea as to what it was about. I wasn’t sure what to expect. I knew nothing about the show. I tried to find information on the plot on Google, but I stopped before clicking on Wikipedia. I decided to take a different approach and go into the show completely clueless. Fortunately, I think not knowing anything about the show is what made it so excellent. I completely loved it. Blithe Spirit is a hilarious show that currently plays at the Gielgud theatre, and leaves you with sore abs from laughing so hard throughout the show. On the way to the show, you can stop in London’s Chinatown that is a block away for excellent Chinese food, and you can order a drink to sip on at the theatre while watching the show. Taylor Bettles Angela Lansbury. Although her role is minor compared to others yet as you watch she still manages to steal your attention. She does an excellent job playing Madame Arcati and the energy she exudes excites the entire audience. The cast and show is an excellent well-told story that includes murder, mystery, and romance. Every person was playing close attention to what would happen next. If what happened next was the entrance of Angela Lansbury the audience as a group would rise a little higher up in their seats, lean a little closer to the stage. It is unfortunate for the other actors in Blithe Spirit because although they all gave compellingperformances not one person left that night thinking of anyone except that theatrical angel Angela. Elaina Smith I love Angela Lansbury. I’ve always admired the variety and span of her career, and it was a real honor to see her in person in this completely British play! The play itself is a comedic analysis of commitment and the male lead (a familiar face from Downton Abbey!) was masterful at holding it together. This play has the potential of getting monotonous, but the actors kept it lively and playful. I will never forget Angela Lansbury dancing across the stage calling the spirits…it’s one for the books!

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Liking London

Vicky Diaz-Camacho Five stars, bravo and a standing ovation for Angela Lansbury and A Blithe Spirit cast, love yours truly. In the case of the mystically funny play, A Blithe Spirit far exceeded my expectations in terms of showmanship and staging. The play was a harmony between new technology and old style. The rendering of the two was carefully and skillfully done. The curtain call begins with the sound of a lovely voice accompanied by cheerful piano. A screen flickers like those of early cinema and lends the audience cues to the story that’s about to happen. Each transition from act to act was cued by a musical diddle. Then comes the humor. British Theatre truly is all it is cracked up to be. With Angela Lansbury’s adorable and quirky rendition of Madame Arcati, her return to the stage after 40 years was brilliant. Charles Edwards, better known for his role in Downtown Abbey, nearly stole the show with his performance as the nucleus and hero, novelist Charles Condomine. The novelist is researching for his thriller novel when he sporadically holds a séance, which ushers in the fabulous and spooky series of events. The hilarious yet moody interplay between living wife versus dead wife showcased the cast’s flexibility and spunk, without being too over-the-top. The story’s undertones hinted to marital survival and commitment. Leading lady, Janie Dee, lends the role as (living) wife Ruth a sassy and nagging, yet relatable side to her while gracing the stage with splendor, be it rearranging flowers on the table or lounging on the couch. Actress Jemima Rooper, who flounced around the stage with lovely mischievousness, plays Elvira, the dead wife brought back by the novelist meddling with an séance. Serena Evans and Simon Jones’ portrayal as the eager and intrigued couple, Mrs. and Dr. Bradman, was fresh and witty. The easily spooked housemaid, Edith is played Patsy Farran whose delightful and ab-crunching comedic minutes drew the audience in. “A Blithe Spirit” encompassed the charm of old England while still being able to relate to 21 century audience members. The mega star of the show must be the dialogue. It is quick-witted and the chosen actors slipped into their roles seamlessly. The play was written by English playwright Noël Coward, whose noted wit and charm oozed out of this 2014 performance, with just as much gusto as I’ve seen in movies of the Forties.

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Tagging London

#taggingLondon

Articles cover sight-seeing and soaking in the history behind monuments. Highlights include Picasso paintings at the Tate Modern, The London Eye, historical churches and the British Library.

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Tagging London

Ministry of Sound @AnnieLandis Near the Elephant and Castle Station of the tube, resides one of the best nightclubs in the world. If you’re looking for a place to enjoy electronic-style music, integrate with some of the locals, and dance the night away, the Ministry of Sound is the place to be. It has the number one ranked sound system in the world. Throughout the venue, there are four dance floors, four DJ booths, and five rooms. After waiting in line to get in, you can check your coat. Once you’ve either checked your coat or gone right in, you’ll find yourself at the heart of the club, what the venue refers to as “The 103.” This room lies at the center of the venue, and it’s the first part of the nightclub you encounter. There is a dance floor, should you choose to spend your time there for the night; however, after taking a look around the vast surroundings, you’ll find it far more beneficial to spend time exploring the rest of the rooms the club has to offer. One option is to take the stairs up to “The Loft.” This is the place where upcoming DJs spend their time promoting their labels. It’s a great opportunity to listen to the sounds of the newest upcoming DJs around the world. The Loft has a dance floor, for those looking for another place to dance. The Loft is also one of the only seating areas in the club, where you’ll find furniture to lounge on and rest tired dancing feet. There is never a dull moment in the Ministry of Sound. Even if you need to take a moment to rest, you can be entertained by the electronic dance music by the DJs, or even the unique style of dancing by the locals. “The Baby Box” is another room you’ll find inside. Here, another set of DJs, larger named than those in The Loft, spend time promoting their labels as well. This room is more inti-

mate than the others, because it’s one of the smaller rooms and contains no furniture. It’s located beside The 103, and a good place to take part in dancing. Probably the best room the venue has to offer is “The Box.” Before walking inside are signs that warn you how loud it is. The Box has also been known as “The Legendary Box.” There are two different entrances to the room, both of which are sound proofed. It’s the biggest room in the Ministry of Sound and where the nightclub lives up to its title. The club has the number one ranked sound system in the world. It takes no time at all to be convinced once you’ve stepped into the box. Unlike the other rooms throughout the nightclub, some of the world’s most famous DJs play in The Box. Various types of lights and lasers are used within the room that adds to the overall effect of the electronic dance music. By the middle of the evening, the room is packed wall to wall. You may

even find some locals standing on the speakers laid throughout the room to catch a better view. If you don’t want to brave the crowd, or stand on a speaker to catch a great view of the headliner for the evening, the Ministry of Sound provides a VIP lounge to assure you a great view. It’s the most exclusive room throughout the venue, and is usually only filled with the DJs and their guests. If you were looking to mingle with the talent, then perhaps the VIP lounge would be your scene. The downside is you might not get to enjoy the overall experience of the nightclub, especially The Box. The sound is more muffled, and sure, you might not have to worry about working your way through a crowd to get a view; but, spending at least a little time in The Box will have you leaving the venue with an overall great impression and experience for a night out. You don’t even have to worry about finding a safe way home, if you end up staying out past midnight when the tubes close. The venue provides an all-night taxi service all throughout London. You get the privilege of a great night, without the added worry of getting home.

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Tagging London

Wimbledon: More than Just Tennis @RJZeiler Allow me to preface this article by pointing out that I am not a tennis fan. In fact, I’m quite the novice when it comes to the sport; were it not for my friends teaching me a few months ago the difference between a match, set, and game, I wouldn’t even know how to keep track of score in a tennis match. But my lack of background knowledge didn’t stop me from visiting the home of the world’s oldest and most prestigious tennis tournament, nestled snugly in the cozy London suburb of Wimbledon. The All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club was a private tennis club founded in 1868, and in 1876, the game of lawn tennis as we know today was established. In 1877, the club changed its name to the All England Croquet and Lawn Tennis Club, and to commemorate the shift in name, they held the first-ever Lawn Tennis Championship. This inaugural Championship had only one event: the Gentlemen’s Singles, and drew a crowd of over two-hundred spectators. Today, the Wimbledon Championships host the Gentlemen’s and Ladies’ Singles, the Gentlemen’s and Ladies’ Doubles, and the Mixed Doubles; the winners of the annual events are some of the greatest names in tennis history. Among the three other Grand Slam tennis tournaments across the globe (Australian Open, French Open, and US Open), Wimbledon, apart from being the oldest tournament, is known for their unique grass courts. Aptly referred to as lawn tennis, this court surface differs from the more common clay or synthetic hard surfaces found at the other Grand Slam events. After a casual day strolling the town of Wimbledon and touring the tennis facilities and museum, I have one profound sentiment to reflect on the experience of my day: you sure don’t have to be a tennis fan to enjoy a visit

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to the All England Lawn Tennis Club in Wimbledon. My visit to the town started at the Wimbledon Underground station, a quick jaunt out into Zone 3 of London’s Tube maze. Without Google Maps to guide me to the front door of the tennis courts, it was up to me to find and interpret maps and signs. Fortunately, the path to the tennis club was well-marked, if a bit long. It took roughly a twenty-minute walk through the scenic and quiet suburban neighborhood of Wimbledon before I reached the modest outward appearance of the world’s premier tennis tournament. Upon arrival at the quaint but beautifully appointed tennis club, I signed up for the next facility tour, which was a great experience. The tour guide brought us first to Court Number One, the secondlargest court in the facility. Now, the Wimbledon Championships take place in late June and early July every year, and although the tennis club is open year-round to its lucky roster of civilian members, the club’s primary source of revenue is the annual Championships. As such, the biggest courts in the facility are not open for public use, but instead are cared for meticulously in the off-season. For my visit, a farm-like irrigation and light-

ing system was slowly travelling above the grass Court Number One, ensuring that the grass receives the necessary nutrients to grow thick and full in time for the tournament. Meanwhile, other workers were spreading a special fertilizer mix in other areas of the lawn. We moved on to Murray’s Mound, a hill adjacent to Court Number One named after Andy Murray, a Scottish professional tennis player who in 2013 became the first British man to win the Championships at Wimbledon since 1936. Next, we moved on to see Courts 18 and 19, much smaller than the huge stadium-surrounded Court One and Centre Court (which would be the finale of our tour). Court 18 is significant in that it held the longest tennis match in history. In 2010, Nicholas Mahut of France and John Isner of the United States played 183 games on Court 18 over the course of three days. The match consisted of over eleven hours of play, with John Isner finally winning several hours into day three. We continued on into the interview and press rooms, which aren’t used outside of the Championships, but were stunning nonetheless. The incredible interview room had a large desk that made for great photo opportunities, and then the journalist’s


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room was filled with rows of desks for writing stories about the Championships for the world’s biggest news and sports publications. Finally, the tour brought us to the renowned Centre Court, the most famous tennis court at the facility. The arena surrounding the court can seat over 15,000 fans, and like Court Number One, its lawn was being treated to the utmost care in preparation for the Championships event in June and July. Centre Court is often used for the most important tennis matches of the tournament, so in 2009, it was fitted with an innovative retracting roof to protect the court from the elements. With the unpredictable weather typical of London and its surrounding area, matches are often cut short or postponed due to rain, so Wimbledon’s most important court uses this roof to reduce such delays. Several matches have been played under the canvas roof, which is nothing short of an engineering masterpiece. After my educational tour, I took a few hours to browse the Wimbledon tennis museum, which started by outlining tennis and racquet sports history from centuries ago. The museum had a wide and interesting array of artifacts and exhibits, everything from the history of the sport, the history of the Wimbledon facility, the

logistics and difficulties of a modern tennis tournament, equipment used in the sport, and professional tennis players who’ve played and won at Wimbledon. One exhibit showcased the evolution of the ubiquitous tennis racquet through the decades, while another highlighted the strict white apparel expected of competitors in the tournament. An exhibit I found particularly interesting displayed the uniforms and racquets of past Wimbledon winners, like Venus and Serena Williams, Roger Federer, and Rafael Nadal. Of course, British pride in 2013 champion Andy Murray is immensely high, so many exhibits featured his successes in the sport. On my way back to the hotel in Kensington, I strolled casually back through the quiet streets of the suburbs. The houses lining the street were so quintessentially English, with their privacy gates and well-kept gardens. Passersby included uniformed kids on their way home from school, mothers walking with babies in strollers, and folks walking their dogs. I really enjoyed my walk back home on this temperate afternoon, taking my time to breathe the fresh air. In one neighborhood, I found a footpath connecting two adjacent subdivisions, and decided to explore it; I found more scenic and cozy neighbor-

hoods, and saw residents washing their cars, tending their front gardens, and working on do-it-yourself home projects (apparently a favorite English pastime), while kids played in the streets and lawns. This was a perfect day to spend by myself on the London Review, as it allowed me time to reflect on my London experiences thus far, as well as stroll unrushed through the neighborhood. The tennis was interesting and immensely educational to my amateur knowledge, but there was so much more to be gained from this little town that being a fan of the sport simply wasn’t necessary to have a great day.

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Bletchley Park @KaylaSale Take trains to increasingly isolated platforms. Shiver in the blustery weather. Find no rubbish bins (just in case of the IRA). Notice everyone looks purposeful, or perhaps lost. Unintentionally, recall the last Hitchcock movie you watched. No sidewalks – prepare for quite a hike. But then, just around the corner from the train platform, behind a hedge, down a winding gravel drive, surrounded by numerous barracks style outbuildings, looms a hideous mansion (17 different architecture styles). You are now in the center of Bletchley Park – the Allied headquarters for Nazi code breaking during World War II, and also an intellectual mecca. National urgency was driving research that led to possibly the greatest intellectual boon of our time – the modern computer. Take the tour.

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Learn that Nazi communications had to be broadcast by shortwave radio; enciphered messages were easily intercepted and contained vital tactical intelligence. The contents of the messages literally determined the success of invasions and defenses, who lived and who died. But they were enciphered, and the Enigma code was almost impossible to break – the cipher schema changed with every usage. Learn that the brightest minds at Cambridge and Oxford were recruited. In fact, Bletchley Park had been picked in part due to its central location between the two colleges. Complicated codes were embedded in the puzzle sections of the newspapers, which, when broken, would direct you to a riddle-filled interview for a position as a Codebreaker at Bletchley Park. And women, thousands of

civilian volunteers and WAAF/Wren agents, were employed at Bletchley Park as translators, wireless operators, and “computers,” physically operating the machines and doing the calculations necessary to break the Enigma code. Learn that to deal with the quantity and complexity of intercepted intelligence, the Codebreakers began to mechanize the process of deciphering, leading to the invention and use of the first semi-programmable computer, the Colossus. See a working reconstruction of the Colossus at The National Computing Museum. Feel like the best way to describe the mass of ticker tape and wires that are the Colossus is super cool. Peruse stacks of old computers. Giggle at the guest book with penciled comment, “The tour guides are older than the computers!” Ponder how little physical stuff there is to repre-


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sent the sixty-year development of the modern computer. Consider the inadequacy of museums in general. Wandering back through the bleak maze of outbuildings stenciled with “HUT 6” or “BLOCK 12” etc., think about how the Enigma code was broken, leading almost directly to victory for the Allies. Consider how impressive it is that the whole operation was successfully kept secret, and actually was only recently declassified. Certainly the locals must have had their suspicions, what with the flood of intelligent young women looking for rooms to rent, and the thousands of commuters heading up to the ugly mansion at all times of day and night. And really, what “shooting party” lasts for years, and through a whole world war at that? But the locals kept

quiet. And so did the Codebreakers, returning to their lives as professors and MI6 agents, or as mothers and secretaries, according to their gender. And Churchill destroyed the Colossus and the other automated machines, fearing their power. Walking the campus, peering into the half-underground, dusty old Huts and Blocks, you feel strange. The greatest minds of the 20th century walked these grounds with urgency. Urgency for their country. Urgency for the safety of their family, friends, fellow citizens. Urgency to solve the supreme cipher, the greatest intellectual problem they had ever encountered. The exhibits at Bletchley Park tell the story of the code breaking, and they try to offer snippets of humanity too, with collections of tobacco

and bedspreads and hairpins the Codebreakers might have owned. But ultimately Bletchley Park is now just a collection of buildings and rusty wartime paraphernalia. The stories of the Codebreakers are no longer with those buildings – the Codebreakers had to take their stories with them, never enjoying public honor or even the fun of revealing their role to husbands, children, grandchildren. Despite the bustling reconstruction and tourist activity, Bletchley Park feels strange, almost empty in a way. The day is dreary with a strong wind, and the grass is dewy. Sitting on the bare platform waiting for the train back to London, it begins to rain. #shivers

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Hunterian Museum @BrookeGunter It is amazing to think about the dynamic strides that medical science has made over the past centuries. Almost even more amazing than recent advancements is thinking about medicine’s humble beginnings in the early days of scientific questioning and methodological diagnosis. Within the walls of the Hunterian Museum lies an extensive medical and surgical collection that details the evolution of medical discoveries and diagnoses, as well as early surgical advancements and preservation of anatomical specimens. The Hunterian Museum is located within The Royal College of Surgeons of England near Lincoln’s Inn Fields in London. The majority of the museum is comprised of the surgeon and anatomist John Hunter’s medical collection, which was purchased by the government in 1799 and then presented to the College shortly thereafter. John Hunter (1728-1793) was a well-known surgeon of his day and contributed to medical science in unparalleled ways as marked by his extensive studies of fetal development, venereal diseases, digestion, the lymphatic system, and progressive surgical techniques. Hunter owned a large home in Leicester Square, which was actually two homes combined, that housed his collection of approximately 14,000 preparations and 500 plant and animal species. He turned his home into a teaching museum and frequently held lectures for students there. Once I stepped into the museum, I was astounded by the large collection of impeccably preserved specimens, and a little unsure of where to even begin my tour. Interestingly, the expansive set of specimens was not even 66

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the complete original collection! The collection was partially destroyed by bombing during World War II and unfortunately minimized by this disaster. As a result, two rooms of the Hunterian Museum, and all of their contents, were completely destroyed. Parts of the basement suffered severe

fire damage, which contributed to a total loss of approximately half of the specimens. Fortunately, not all of the specimens were destroyed as a result of the bombing, and salvage teams worked to rescue some of the damaged specimens. Today, the walls of the museum hold centuries of anatomical dissections, pathology specimens, wax teaching models and surgical tools. Some of the most interesting preservations in the collection include various animal and human organs, tumors, intact human fetuses at many

points in the developmental process, skulls, skeletons and anatomical anomalies of the time. In addition, there are collections of sixteenth and seventeenth century surgical instruments, as well as detailed accounts of early surgical techniques and procedures. A small section of the museum is dedicated to a collection of various paintings and sculptures that accurately document different medical rarities of the time. A particularly intriguing specimen on display was the skeleton of Charles Byrne (1761-1783), known as the “Irish Giant.” Accounts of Byrne’s height had long been speculated to be eight feet two inches to roughly eight feet four inches; however, skeletal evidence accurately determined his height to be seven foot seven inches. In search of fame and fortune, he left his home in Ireland and traveled to London. While there, he joined an establishment similar to circus attractions at state fairs promoting their oddities, such as the world’s tiniest woman. Sadly, all of the hype made life very difficult for Byrne and he became unamused by the excitement surrounding his physical stature. Therefore, Byrne made it known that upon his death he did not want his body to be sold to doctors simply for dissection and inspection of his unique condition. However, after his death in 1783, his body was sold to John Hunter and now contributes to the Hunterian Collection. The sight of the “Irish Giant” not only proved to be interesting because it is rare that you get to stand directly in front of a 7’7” human being, but also because it provokes the question of how far is too far in terms of the


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scientific pursuit of knowledge. He did not want his body to be used for scientific purposes after his death, but nevertheless, that is exactly what happened. It furthers the contemplation of how many people have knowingly, or perhaps unknowingly as in the case of Charles Byrne, contributed to the progressive advancement of science and medicine. Although his body

specific cause of the tumor was a rare mutation in an aryl-hydrocarbon receptor-interacting protein (AIP) gene. This mutation and subsequent tumor resulted in Byrne’s gigantism. Analysis of the past greatly impacts the present and, without a doubt, the work of the

Hunterian collection has furthered our present medical understanding. Standing in the middle of the Hunterian Museum, looking up and around at all of the specimens surrounding me, I realized just how detailed the history of medicine has been. It was humbling to consider the numerous specimens that had been collected from numerous patients, leading to numerous advancements in understanding, diagnosis and treatment of complex human diseases. It is amazing that one curious and determined surgeon solely preserved over 14,000 anatomical specimens. It is hard to hypothesize specifically how current scientific medicine would be different, or lacking, without Hunter’s detailed work and dedication to the science, but it can be surely noted that he was an invaluable contributor to the exploration and understanding of physiological life. #sciencerocks

Natural History Museum @KaylaSale Though frequently overrun with school children, the exhibits are beautiful and an accessible presentation of modern ecological topics. My favorite part (besides the architecture!) was how aesthetically the specimen collections were presented – I’d never really believed museums could be both informative and attractive from my experiences in the States. But regardless in your interest in science or collections, go for the dodos. Where else are you going to see a dodo? #dodos #theonlyreasontogo

was unwillingly donated to scientific understanding, great knowledge came from the study of his body. In 1909, an American surgeon named Harvey Cushing studied Byrne’s bones and determined that he had suffered from a pituitary tumor. In later studies of his teeth, analysis showed that the

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Parliamentary, My Dear @VictoriaCalderon In the past year or so, I have become wholeheartedly interested in politics, and my academic career has taken a turn towards that as well. This semester, I’m in a comparative politics class, and the very first political system we learned about was Great Britain’s. So naturally, I was very excited to have the chance to see a debate in the House of Commons. If you don’t know much about British government, I’ll give you a quick rundown of the lingo. The House of Commons is the lower house in a bicameral legislative system; the upper is the House of Lords. However, the House of Commons holds more power to tax and pass laws, and they usually work more directly with the prime minister and the bureaucracy on shaping policy. They also tend to have much livelier debates, or so I’ve heard. And the Commons did not disappoint. They also have a two-party system, where the current majority is the Tory and Liberal Democrat coalition, and the opposition is the Labour party. During the debate, both sides had an MP (member of Parliament) speak about an issue, and time was allowed for others to respond. The day I attended the debate was the same day the Chancellor of the Exchequer (similar to the Secretary of the Treasury) released the budget for 2014. Although I only got to see about an hour of the debate, a lot of issues with the budget and the economy were covered. When I entered the viewing area, an MP from the Labour side was discussing the plight of lower income women in the United Kingdom. She was talking about how many of the taxes and other problems with the employment system target these women, and she

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provided statistics and evidence about how they are being forced to work part time jobs for low wages. Another issue is the bedroom tax in the UK and its targeting of the lower income classes, which is the category where many single mothers and working women fall.

Other MPs from the Labour side talked about issues with unequal income distribution, how their constituents are suffering from unemployment, and other general disagreements with various taxes and social spending cuts in the budget. From the Tory side, they sang praises about the Chancellor’s budget, saying that unemployment has gone down, and savings, consumption, and GDP have all gone up under their government. They talked about how the Labour government used differ-

ent statistics to prove the economy is bad. They claimed that, when all the aforementioned areas of the economy were improving, Labour would find narrower, more specific numbers to base their criticism of the economy on, such as unemployment in particular sectors or districts, or income distribution within the people of a certain race or gender. This is when the debate began to heat up. At one point, when the Labour party talked about getting more representation back for their constituents, a member of the majority coalition responded defensively, comparing a car to the economy: “Why would we give the keys back to the party that crashed the car? They will just get behind the wheel drunk and crash it again.” Note, this isn’t a word for word quote, but it’s very close. Labour wasn’t staying out of the conflict, though. One comment that stuck out was that the coalition is a “two faced government,” and the people suffer from it. Even though the debate became lively after insults like these, with several people murmuring and laughing at once, the House was fairly tame. Many barbs aimed at the opposing parties were subtle and very… well, political. MPs responded very gracefully to negative feedback, and dished out some witty asides in their own responses. Having the opportunity to see UK politics in action was probably the best part of the trip for me. Okay, well, not the best, because everything was too amazing for me to have a favorite. But it was a great way to combine my education and what I’m passionate about with the vacation of a lifetime. #houseofcommons


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Through an Engineer’s (London) Eye @SarahTaylor On the fourth day of the trip, I was thrilled to take a ride on the most popular paid attraction in the U.K., the London Eye. The London Eye is the highest observation wheel in the world, and it is the only place in the city where one can get a full view of London. While I was able to enjoy the views of London provided by the height, as a mechanical engineering student, I was absolutely fascinated by the mechanics of the attraction. Upon entering our capsule, I immediately began analyzing the glass used. I began running through the environmental and structural conditions that the capsules would endure. Just the selection of the glass was an engineering problem that someone had to consider. As we made our upward journey, I noticed that the wheel was being driven by two motors, one on each side. The motors transmitted the power by rotating tires against the frame of the wheel. I started thinking about all of the engineering classes that I have taken up to this point in my education, and I was excited to see how they all came together in this structure. As we ascended further, I began to inspect how our capsule rotated in the opposite direction of the wheel’s rotation. This allowed the capsule to always remain upright, and gave the guests the opportunity to have the maximum viewing angles on all sides of the wheel. The capsule was held to the wheel using two mounts that

wrapped around the entire capsule. The week before spring break, in my Mechanical Design class, we had discussed bearings and gears. I was impressed and curious about what kind of bearing is between the mounts and the capsules. As we neared the top, I realized that there were no supports on the river side of the attraction. It was absolutely incredible to me that this huge structure was held up by a simple A-frame and two cables on one side. Additionally, the outer ring of the wheel is actually held to the spindle using cables. This was amazing to me since cables are only able to carry tensile loads and not compressive loads. As we made our descent back to the loading dock, I noticed two more motors, also driving the wheel. The point of application was different, however. The tires applying torque to the wheel on the descending side applied the torque to the side of the wheel frame. In contrast, the tires on the ascending side applied torque to the outside of the frame. Finally, as we

disembarked, I took the time to notice that the wheel never stops moving. It moved slowly enough for safe loading and unloading, but fast enough to keep the flow of traffic in and out of the attraction timely. All in all, I think that the London Eye is an amazing engineering feat. I think part of the beauty of the engineering of the Eye, is that the engineering goes mostly unnoticed. Unless one is actively looking for design features, there is no need to think of the engineering of the attraction because everything runs smoothly. One can simply enjoy the view. #Enginerd #MagicalMoments #LondonEye

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An Automotive Engineer’s Dream: Morgan Motor Company Factory Tour @RJZeiler If you saw a Morgan automobile driving down the road, the vehicle’s curvaceous bodywork would send you straight back to the 1930s. But if you were lucky enough to find yourself behind the steering wheel of a Morgan automobile, the vehicle’s modern technology and superb driving dynamics would have you believe you were driving one of today’s best high-end sports cars. Morgan Motor Company was founded in 1909 by Henry Morgan, and it was owned by the Morgan family until 2003. Morgan started the company by building three-wheeled vehicles known as the “Runabout”. Powered by motorcycle 2-cylinder engines, the Runabout was produced in various iterations until 1952. Meanwhile, Morgan’s first fourwheeled vehicle went on sale in 1936, and powered by a four-cylinder engine, it was aptly (if a bit unoriginally) named the 4-4. The 4-4 put Morgan

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on the map in the English sports car industry, a simple, lightweight, tossable car, it competed with the likes of Jaguar and MG. To this day, all Morgan automobiles are built in the same meticulous, hand-assembled manner that was started on day one. Today, however, you can get any of four Morgan models: the 4+ series, which come with four-cylinder engines, the Roadster, which has a V-6 engine, the Aero line, which are equipped with V-8 engines, or the unique and immensely fun-to-drive three-wheeler. The company factory, built in 1914, is located in the city of Great Malvern in Worcestershire, United Kingdom. On Friday, March 21, I took a three-hour train ride from London with Sarah Taylor to see and tour their facilities. We strolled casually from the Great Malvern train station to the Morgan factory, roughly a half-hour long walk, and were surprised to find upon

our arrival a factory tour starting in the next ten minutes (usually you must call ahead to schedule a tour, but we did not). Touring the Morgan manufacturing facility is unlike any other modern automotive factory. They do not use a single robot, and no processes are automated for the sake of time and cost. The company produces nearly one-thousand cars per year, and each one is built by hand over a period of a couple weeks. Every Morgan built is customized to the owner’s exact specification, but be prepared to wait two or three months from your order date before you have a Morgan in your driveway. The factory tour was absolutely stunning, as visitors are welcome to get right up in the action of nearly every part of building a Morgan from the ground up. We started off in what was more or less a showroom of classic Morgans,


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with a long row of beautiful automobiles. Some were regular production vehicles while others were heavily modified for serious racing circuits. From there, we moved on into the chassis production area, where the all-aluminum chassis were welded together, and vital mechanical components were assembled with them. After welding together, a chassis is set atop tall stands so that a worker can assemble components to it. From a pile of engines and transmissions in the corner, a lift is used to carry one to the chassis, then it is slowly lowered onto its mounts. A differential is retrieved from another corner of the room, and then suspension and brake systems are fitted. Wheels and tires are installed, and the now-rolling chassis is lowered onto its wheels for the first time. Next, it moves on to the body shop, where aluminum body components are mated with wood components and assembled onto the rolling chassis. Morgan is a very distinctive company in that they use genuine ash in the final assembly of the car. Of course, wood does not provide the structural rigidity necessary for a sports car, so it’s important to note that aluminum comprises the entire chassis, while wood is only used as support for the body components. In using wood, Morgan is able to significantly decrease the vehicle’s weight, improving its driving dynamics and road manners. After the mechanicals of the car are complete, it is rolled into the next building for paint. The body is disas-

sembled again for this process so as to completely coat its every panel with a shiny gloss of color. Those who order a Morgan have no fewer than fortythousand paint hues to choose from, so best of luck picking just one. After paint, the car is rolled into another building, where the final assembly and trimming is complete. Here, leather is fitted to the interior, the dashboard is installed, and exterior trim and ac-

cessories are secured accordingly. The car is nearly complete, but before it can roll out the door, its body is fully waxed and polished, and the engine, transmission, and differential are all topped off with fresh fluids. My visit to the Morgan Motor Company production factory and showroom was unforgettable. As I will work in the automotive engineering industry upon my graduation from KU, experiencing the vehicle production process at Morgan was of great interest to me, and I soaked up every minute of the tour like a sponge. At one point, I thought I would have the chance to hire a Morgan sports car for the day after the tour, but with a daily rental busting the wallet at £190, I decided it would be best to pass on that opportunity. Regardless, the factory tour gave me a newfound respect for the intricacy and complexity of the automotive manufacturing process, and (as if I didn’t already have enough evidence to support the fact) solidified my assertion that the automotive engineering industry is where I belong.

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Scratching a Sinister Itch: My Visit to the Clink @CatieGronniger I spent most of my last day in London on the south side of the Thames, seeing what that region had to offer. I had been through the area briefly before and liked the hip vibe it emanated, but I never really stopped to savor, so I ventured back late Saturday morning after I had checked everything else off of my London-see, London-do list. I meandered slowly through Borough Market, past the beautiful Southwark Cathedral, and made my way down Clink Street toward the Tate Modern. I had passed the sign advertising the Clink Prison Museum (a.k.a. “The prison that gave its name to all others”) on Wednesday when I did my cursory survey of the area and was tempted to give the place a look, but I was still a nervous tourist that day and did not want to take the time to stop, find the entrance, and venture in. But Saturday, when I found myself wandering down the same narrow street and peering at the same sign, I could not shake the

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impulse to give the historical venue a try. After all, I still had about thirty pounds to spend before my return, so I figured it would be worth it to splurge a little for the sake of satisfying my curiosity. I have been fascinated with the macabre, titillated by tales of murder and torture, since the sixth grade, when I started watching CSI: Crime Scene Investigation like it was my job. The scientific side of me was enamored with the gory details, with the biology and psychology behind horrible things. (It is worth noting, however, that I am not a sadist. I do not relish the suffering of others, but I am drawn to it, trying to comprehend, understand, and share it, if possible. I grew up with the stories of Catholic martyrs, amazed by their sacrifice and courage and the gruesome deaths they endured. And I think a small dose of suffering every now and then is good for the soul, though I would never condone the acts of violence

and hatred people have inflicted and continue to inflict on each other. I just wanted to explain my psyche.) So the opportunity to explore the history of “one of England’s oldest and most notorious prisons” was too good to pass up. I found the entrance, which was in a nook facing the opposite side from which I initially approached, paid my dues (and even shelled out extra for the printed guide – why not?) and started my marvelous journey. I am not sure what I was expecting, but what I got was better than I could have imagined. It was not extravagant, not even well done, but it was great. Completely, wonderfully kitsch. After pushing through the entrance – a thick wooden door guarded by a lifesize, dirty, bald, executioner dummy holding a silver ax – I was greeted with a stale smell combining the auras of dirt, old machinery, and dankness (if dankness can smell) and a looped recording of faint female whimpering noises. These stimuli, along with the


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lighting, which was relatively dim, of course – this was a prison museum, for goodness’ sake – set the mood: dark, dingy, sad, hopeless … and kitschy. Passing through the various chambers, which typically included dirty, frightened-looking dummy figures enacting typical prison scenarios (explained in greater detail on informational plaques mounted on an adjacent walls) or representing some key event in the dismal life of a notable prisoner who was detained there, I could never quite reconcile the fact that these displays I now found so amusing were set up in the actual place where hundreds of people experienced real hunger, fear, madness, misery, pain, and death. And I felt guilty about that, trying to balance my reverence for the suffering people of the past with my present enjoyment of the Clink experience. I am not sure I ever found the balance I sought, but that did not stop me from fully considering the museum setups and the history they explained. My favorite room was the one describing all of the creative ways people devised to torture each other (though the Renaissance Festival I attended the previous October boasted the

most ingenious and mind-boggling methods I have ever seen – just Google “Medieval Rat Torture” and you will see what I mean). Can you imagine being stretched on the rack, feeling your muscle fibers pulled and snapped while remaining conscious, sensing your stomach skin thinning as your torso was ripped in half? Or maybe you would have been treated with the infamous Scavenger’s Daughter, the anti-rack in which your body is folded up and compressed until your insides start popping out of whatever orifices they can eas-

ily reach. It sounds so surreal, like a piece of fiction some contemporary television writer would conceive for an ultraviolent crime series, but people actually endured these things, and that was not lost on me, though the presentation of this reality in the Clink Museum was moderately comical. I read every plaque in the torture room with awe and left the museum with my curiosity more than satisfied. It may not have been a highbrow London experience, but it was indubitably one of my best, a hearty meal for my dark fascinations. #Clinkety-Clank

Scenario Number Two: They Made it Happen! @TashaCerny On an early morning in March, they came for me and my dog, Benny. I was sleeping, and then there was a bright light – I don’t remember much of anything after that, until I found myself in Hyde park later that same morning, leash in my hand, Benny attached to its end. I only caught a glimpse of the UFO as it flew away, spinning into the distance like something out of a Spielberg movie. There was a woman yelling at me when I finally tuned back into the reality around me. Something about “physical assault” – I must have somehow landed on her when they dropped me off in the park. She was dusting herself off as if she had fallen over. I felt a hand at my back – her yells had called the attention of a bobby, who was attempting to put me under arrest. That was when I fought back. “No!” I said. “You don’t understand! I’ve been abducted! It’s not my fault!” I kicked at the man, but hit the woman instead. She kicked back. I jerked and we all fell to the ground. I heard the bobby radio for back up as we struggled back to our feet. I tried to escape the grip of the two of them, but I could not break their grasp. “Police brutality! POLICE BRUTALITY!” I cried. No one came to my rescue. Soon, we were surrounded by cop cars. Poor Benny didn’t know what to do—he seemed a bit dazed; maybe he remembered more about the traumatic experience we had just faced than I did. I was being stuffed into the back of a car. But it wasn’t my fault – I was abducted by aliens.

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Crawling Across London: Bookstore Style! @BlaireGinsburg To me, there is nothing in this world so inherently good as a book. There’s little else than a well-written story that can so wholly capture my interest, and when those stories have the ability to pull you into a completely new world, introduce you to a kindred spirit in the form of a character, and drag you along for whatever crazy ride the author has planned, well… nothing beats that. That being said, it probably won’t surprise you to know that on a day when most of our group ventured off from the Tower of London to see St Paul’s Cathedral, the London Eye, and a smattering of other largely-known attractions, I decided to go on a book crawl about London. Now, if you got a good look at my bookshelves, you’d probably question why I need any more books, but to me, there’s no such thing as too much literature. I am astounded every time I go into the Watson stacks, let alone when I’m in a bookstore – there are just so many books, so many stories just waiting to be read, and I’d read them all if there was time enough in the world. I’ll admit, I was a little apprehensive about going off on this venture, mostly because it would be the first time I traversed London without anyone else. I had to plan it all out the night before – looking up several stores on Google maps and cross-referencing the Tube map to find out where I’d need to make stops. That was the most I could really do in advance, though, and so I went to bed with the thought of just how many books I’d allow myself to buy tittering around my brain. Fast-forward to the next day, around two or so in the afternoon. Our group at the London Tower had split off in various directions, some people heading toward St. Paul’s

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Cathedral, one toward Parliament, and one wandering off in search of a concert. I pulled up my note of book crawl info on my phone and went off in pursuit of the Piccadilly Line to Russell Square. It took a little bit of Wi-Fi-leeching at a Starbucks and a careful eye, but after getting off the Tube at the proper stop, I found myself at Skoob Books on Bury Place. It was one of

those underground second-hand bookstores, fairly reminiscent of HalfPrice Books, but a lot more snug. Shelves ran along the entire length of the walls and were packed together in the freestanding space in a near maze-like fashion, made navigable by genre signs tacked to the rafters at appropriate intervals. Most of the books were shelved properly, spines facing out, but some others were crammed in atop those, and others stacked horizontally on what seemed to be any smooth surface. There were hardbacks and paperbacks, leatherbound and canvas-bound, special editions and secondhand, some books looking well loved and others like brand-new. There was even an entire

shelf specifically dedicated to classic Penguin publications, orange-spines and all. I snagged an aged-looking copy of Faulkner’s The Wild Palms, pages browned around the edges like a toasted marshmallow and a note on the back beneath the colophon and summary saying, “For copyright reasons this edition is not for sale in the USA or Canada.” That sold it for me – I was on a mission to find books that I wouldn’t be able to get in the US anyway. From Skoob, I was on my way to the London Review Bookshop – only fitting, right? I opted to walk instead of taking the Tube, just one stop south to Holborn, and enjoyed the fresh air and the feeling of my new book tucked away in its paper wrapping under my arm. The London Review Bookshop reminded me of The Dusty Bookshelf on Mass, with good space to walk around and a shelf at every turn to peruse. Reminiscent of a Barnes & Noble, though, there was a table featuring staff-recommended favorites, the notecards before each novel filled with the scrawls of book lovers who were especially enthusiastic about one in particular. It was from this table that I lifted a copy of Nathan Filer’s The Shock of the Fall. The text excerpt on the back was a quick read of,


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“I’ll tell you what happened because it will be a good way to introduce my brother. His name’s Simon. I think you’re going to like him. I really do. But in a couple of pages he’ll be dead. And he was never the same after that.” My inner reader was already hooked while my inner writer lauded Filer for the quality of his attention-getter. It was an immediate must-have in my opinion, so I headed for the cashier, feeling immensely satisfied once the pounds were exchanged and the book was mine. Once bagged and handed over, I tucked my Skoob package in alongside The Shock of the Fall and went in pursuit of the Holborn underground. Two stops south on the Piccadilly line, I walked out of the Leicester Square underground and straight onto Charing Cross Road. My Google searches had yielded a string of bookstores along this walk, and I fully intended to get my scope. The first shop I happened across was Any Amount of Books, with a brightly striped awning boasting the name and a hand-

ful of bins advertising £1 per book. I couldn’t pass up a deal like that, so I shifted from bin to bin, keeping an eye out for any finds. After a few moments, I picked up The Heavens Rise by Christopher Rice, the summary promising a New Orleans-based paranormal thriller. I’m not usually one for horror stories, but I was on this crawl to indulge my inner reader, and I figured a bit of genre variation never hurt anyone, so I plucked a single pound coin from my purse and made my way inside to make my purchase. Upon stepping inside the door, though, I was greeted with towering wooden bookshelves and a sign at the far side of the room simply reading “MORE” pointing down a tiny staircase. Who was I to pass up an invitation like that? A stroll through the narrow, shelf-lined halls of the basement yielded a fair amount of old travel texts, nonfiction, an entire case of weathered leather bound medical references, and a small corner of more fiction. I was perfectly happy with my singular find, though, so I made my way back upstairs and handed over my coin before heading on my way.

Meandering further along Charing Cross brought me to Quinto’s, a secondhand and vintage bookshop. It wasn’t really my main area of interest, but I decided to walk in anyhow. One step inside the door revealed glass display cases featuring various aged texts, clothbound and leather bound alike, with ribbon bookmarks and gilded print along the spines. The whole place smelled like yellowed paper and ink, leather and canvas. I wanted to bottle it up and take it with me when I left. Finally, to cap off my crawl, I

ducked into the Blackwell’s at the end of the street. Blackwell’s bookshops in London are pretty comparable to Barnes & Noble in America: clean layouts, polished shelving units, generic carpet, multi-level, usually with a café tucked away somewhere. While I’d found rarer novels at my other stops, I was excited to see some familiar covers – and some changed, depending on the publication, though the titles stayed the same. One such book that I immediately grabbed off the shelf was the Bloomsbury publication of Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone. It’s a smaller paperback with a dark background and the bright red philosopher’s stone ornamenting the cover. This publication in particular is lesser known, especially in the States, because it was specifically published to cater to the adult portion of Potter fans that didn’t wish to be seen about town with the brightly colored original editions. I’ve been on a mission to collect the entire series, though, ever since I found a copy of Deathly Hallows in decent condition in a Half-Price Books a couple years back. Next I stumbled upon a small section devoted to Salinger, and having

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not picked up a book of his since reading Catcher in the Rye [and greatly enjoying it] in my sophomore year of high school, I selected a thin volume titled Franny and Zooey. Further along, just past the main fiction shelves, was a case that I sadly rarely find in the States: historical fiction. I have a fascination with history, and I find that narratives portray various cultures and eras as richly in word as they were in the time of their existence. I took my time looking over the titles, pulling several books off the shelves to check their reviews and summaries, until I came across Brian Bates’ The Way of Wyrd. The header on the back cover read:

“The Compelling Cult Classic!” I couldn’t exactly put that down, now, could I? The synopsis hinted at the story of a Christian scribe meeting

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and befriending a Shamanic wizard in the forests of pagan Anglo-Saxon England, his journey to the spirit world, and his mission to determine the true nature of his own soul. I was hooked, practically entranced, and it didn’t hurt that the colophon noted Bates as a Tolkien-enthusiast, either! I was ready to head to the checkout counter and buy my books when a familiar cover caught my eye from across the room: a jagged-handled, serrated-blade dagger detailed in crimson across a stark white cover, and an overlay of scrawled black text reading The Knife of Never Letting Go. The book, by Patrick Ness, is one I had seen only in pictures online, always amiss in the bookstores in the States, but friends of mine from abroad had been recommending it to me for months. The best way to describe the story is a dystopian bildungsroman, following a boy called Todd Hewitt. Todd lives in a world where everyone can constantly hear everyone else’s thoughts, and he’s about to go through the rite of passage that will make him a man in his hometown. Just a month before that can happen, however, Todd finds a hole in the Noise, a singular spot of

complete silence. Without a way to conceal his discovery, Todd is forced to run from his home, family, and everything he’s ever known. I immediately grabbed the book off the shelf – the last copy, as chance would have it – and strode over to the cashier. With the success of a good a book crawl under my belt and two bags of books hanging from my arms, I made my way back to the Leicester Square underground to head back to the hotel. It was with nothing but the greatest satisfaction that, while seated on a Tube car to Gloucester Road, I selected one of my books at random, cracked the spine, and started reading, losing myself in the story. #bookhaul #goodreads


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The Boy Who Changed My Life @Annie Landis It was the beginning of my fourth grade year. I was disinterested in reading, regardless of the various books we were forced to read for class. One day, I walked into the library to find a good read. I figured I’d give reading another chance. There it was on display: Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone. I remember the book was rather large compared to what I’d been reading, so it was a little intimidating to think about finishing the book. I took it home and opened it to the first page. “Mr. and Mrs. Dursley, of number four, Privet Drive, we’re proud to say that they were perfectly normal, thank you very much” (Rowling 1.) And so the adventure began… The journey through the first book was short lived, but only because I found it incredibly difficult to put it down. I was up late reading, reading during class, during recess, lunch; before I knew it, I’d finished the longest book I’d ever attempted to read in my entire life. I was hooked. Where could I find more?

Sure enough, the book was part of a series. And, what? There are movies too? What was this fantastic world I’d opened myself up to? It was extraordinary. But the long wait for the next book of the series was excruciating. I come from a family where I absolutely don’t fit in. I’m completely different from everyone. Other family members took me in. For those who have read, or at least seen the movies, I’m sure you can see the parallels. For a child so young and confused by my surroundings, Harry Potter was my best coping mechanism. There’s something to be said about a book’s ability to attract all your attention, and make you forget about things going on around you. For me, Harry Potter did just that. Once I finished the series and watched the movies, I still couldn’t ignore H.P. I found myself rereading the series, watching the movies over and over again. It changed my life. Sometimes I just needed to reflect on how far I’d come in life.

It sparked something inside of me. Pretty soon, everything I’d ever dreamed of was becoming a reality. I was burning through other series, fast. My writing was improving. I found myself having new dreams and ambitions. Maybe I could become a writer? Impact people as much as this series did me… I’m well on my way to make these dreams come true. However, there was still one thing left to do… That was: make it to London. Sure enough, that dream became a reality too. During my time in London, I even got the satisfaction of travelling to Harry Potter Studios. Everything I learned to love about Harry Potter came to life, and all under one roof. Getting to experience everything that was Harry Potter, walking where the actors brought my favorite characters to life, seeing the world of Harry Potter unfold right be for my eyes, was one of the most fulfilling feelings I’d ever experienced. Everything I’d ever dreamt was coming true. Simply picking up a book in a library changed my life. “The Boy Who Lived” soon became “The Boy Who Changed My Life,” and I’m forever grateful.

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Impaled-Bird Skies and Second Tries: My Times at the Tate @CatieGronniger I first encountered the Tate Modern on Wednesday afternoon after visiting the Tower of London. Approaching the massive, minimalist building from the river, I am not sure exactly what I was anticipating. I like to consider myself an art enthusiast. Though I dabble primarily in pencil drawings and photography when generating my own creative products, I harbor a very deep, very comprehensive appreciation for these and other art forms, particularly life-like paintings and sculptures. I am most drawn to relatively recent classic works of art, pieces produced sometime between the 1600s and the mid-1800s or made to look so. (You can probably tell from the absence of precise terminology

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that I am poorly versed in the intricacies of art history and have no idea how this time period is officially categorized, though the words “neoclassical” and “romanticism” seem to be reemerging from the recesses of my brain to which I banished them after completing World History in high school.) But I like a good Pollock every now and then. There is something about a mess of splattered paint with appealing color schemes that really excites me and evokes whatever emotions abstract expressionism is supposed to evoke. (Fear, anger, sadness, frustration, consternation, smallness, contentment? I’ve felt them all while examining the delicate networks of colors and textures on these pieces.) So yes, I am an art enthusiast. I appreciate works spun from a wide range of art media and made using a variety of techniques and styles. I walked by a man with dreadlocks near the base of Millennium Bridge. He was singing a Bob Marley song as it blared from a loudspeaker on a rug he spread out on the ground. This is going to be great, I thought. I’ll get a real dose of fine London culture today. When I got inside, I was assaulted by the bleakness of the building’s interior.

The museum only takes up the front half of building, that long sliver closest to and parallel with the Thames. The rest is open space. Huge, cavernous emptiness, a giant metal-andbrick box of hostility. Not exactly what I expected, but the art is what matters, I told myself. I ventured upstairs to the first collection. The very first piece I saw was a series of thick black lines on the wall forming a very basic outline of what appeared to be a multi-building factory with smoke billowing from a chimney or two. Two taxidermy black birds with arrows passing through them that rooted them firmly against the wall brought dimension to the piece. I looked at it. This is art? I thought. Really? A stick figure drawing of a building with a couple of impaled birds? I could not see the beauty, could not appreciate the thought and effort that went into the work, especially when I compared it to more awe-inspiring and historic artistic feats I had seen in other museums. I walked quickly through a few more rooms of the exhibit, decided the Tate Modern was not for me, and left. Two days of looking through other museums – the Natural History Museum, the Science Museum, the National Gallery, and the National Portrait Gallery – followed. All (except for the Natural History Museum, which struck me as poorly equipped and juvenile) were fascinating and afforded satisfying experiences. Friday afternoon came around and I could not prevent myself from feeling as though I had not given the Tate Modern the full chance it deserved. I owed it to my brother, who recommended


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it to me, to give it a real faith effort, a thorough try. So I set off Saturday morning to rediscover the Tate Modern (passing by the same dreadlocked man by Millennium Bridge, who was singing the same Bob Marley song, this time with a fellow dreadlocked musician), to look square on at every single piece in the free collections and muster some appreciation for the thought processes and techniques required to create and the details and talents imbued into each. I returned to the impaled bird exhibit first. I looked at it. How clever! I thought. Who would think to contrast dimensions like that? It seems random, but that’s what I like about it. Impaled birds over a framed factory. Interesting. And so I began my real exploration of the Tate Modern, my enthusiastic foray into the realm of modern and contemporary art. (As I mentioned, I’m no art historian, but I am assuming the art of the twenty-first century is more properly deemed “contemporary,” not modern, no? I wonder what they’ll be calling art in another half a century – they have to be running low on good synonyms for “current.” May-

be “neocontemporary.” That sounds rather fresh.) The collections amazed me. I read many of the plaques to get a better understanding of the motivations behind the works; I stopped and really considered the textures, the colors, the planning, the precision. Everything struck me as creative and

expressive, and the Tate Modern soon became my favorite part of London, the most relatable, intellectual, and human experience I had in the city. I opened my mind, erased my expectations, and embraced the weird and wonderful. #TickleMeTate

The Oldest Thing I’ve Ever Seen @Kayle Sale The strangest thing I saw in London was a pair of red knit socks at the Victoria and Albert Museum. Dated between 300 and 500 C.E., the official description read, “The big toe of these vibrantly coloured socks is split from the rest, indicating that they were worn with sandals. They were excavated from the burial ground of Oxyrhynchus, a Greek colony and notable monastic centre on the Nile in Central Egypt.” I’d love to ask someone who knows how the wool and spectacular red color of the socks has been preserved for over 1500 years, but I’d also like to ask how it’s possible that feet would fit comfortably in these strangely-shaped, very stiff looking socks. #creepy

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A Towering Memory @LaurelMichel

While walking the paths of the Tower of London guided by a 15th century-dressed beefeater, I couldn’t help but imagine what it would be like to be royalty in England during the past several hundred years. While at times throughout my visit at the Tower of London, it seemed glamorous to be royalty and live within the Tower walls, at other times it seemed completely unappealing. From the solid gold dishware sets and jewelry holding thousands of precious stones in The Crown Jewels to the execution site and torture chamber, the Tower of London displays both the best and the worst of being royalty and living within the Tower walls. When we first arrived at the Tower of London, we immediately joined in on a tour group guided by a beefeater who took us around the Tower. At first, he shared fairly basic information, such as when the Tower was built, why it was built, and what it was made of. It wasn’t long, however, until he began to tell the stories of the many people who had been imprisoned, tortured, and executed at the Tower. He first took us to what was known as the torture tower, telling us

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about all the royalty and high-powered individuals that were held there for being “traitors.” I was shocked at some of the torturing devices they used, such as stretching people’s bodies out on pulleys, dragging them behind a horse, and wounding them and hanging them upside down to bleed to death. Even more shocking though

was the reasons that these people were tortured. Many of the people tortured at the Tower of London were tortured for not conforming to the “right” religion of the time, such as being Catholic instead of Protestant and vice versa. From the stories told, it seemed that royal people and individuals of high power were held to very high and restricted standards by the king so that he could keep his power. These individuals were expected to carry out very particular actions and beliefs, and if they didn’t, they were often imprisoned or beheaded by the king The next place we were taken to was an execution memorial where many queens, dukes, and other royal figures were beheaded. The tour guide told us about how these people would be kept in a chamber just overlooking the place of execution. So essentially, the prisoners could see and hear the building of their execution site and also the other executions that went on before theirs. As told by the tour guide, before her execution, Mary Boleyn for example was even kept within a house in the Tower that King


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Henry VIII had originally built as a wedding gift for her. Getting the chance to actually go inside those chambers and see the carvings on the walls from the people awaiting their execution and then looking out the window and seeing the execution memorial made the situation seem so surreal to me, and I can’t even begin to imagine what it would have been like to be one of those people. Just when the thought of being royal seemed nothing but unappealing, we were then led to The Crown Jewels. This place was absolutely spectacular, with crowns, necklaces, and rings containing thousands of different stones. Even more unbelievable than that, each king and queen owned multiple of these different ornaments for different celebrations and coronations. In The Crown Jewels, there were also displays of solid gold plate sets, cup sets, utensil sets, and my favorite- a solid gold punch bowl that measures over a metre wide, weighs 546 pounds, and is big enough to hold 144 bottles of wine. By the time I got through this display, being royalty sounded pretty appealing. Overall, I found the Tower of London to be one of the most interesting and one of my favorite places I visited. The Tower holds so much history and really makes it interactive for the audience. I also really liked that the Tower showed so many different sides to life in London during the time it was used. From both the unappealing parts of torture and beheadings to the display of riches that have been passed down from generation to generation for hundreds of years, the Tower of London gives people of this century a better idea of what being royalty and what life was like at this time. While I still haven’t decided if I would have wanted to be royalty and live within the Tower walls, my visit to The Tower of London will be something that I never forget. #beefeatersrule

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People Watching in Trafalgar Square @TashaCerny In Trafalgar square, a taste of the diversity of London becomes tangible. Trafalgar is basically the heart of London; it lives and breathes the art and history surrounding it; it is a local favorite, and a less-advertised tourist site. The stairs of Trafalgar are hot-ticket seats, and I choose to sit on the one stair that is not occupied by any other group of people.  At first I am a bit worried, wondering why no one has chosen to sit on this stair, and spend a good five minutes surveying the scene for signs that I should not sit here: bird poop, high-traffic steps, gum or debris.  I see nothing, and sit.  Immediately I take in my perspective change: all around me, groupings of two – mainly couples – or three sit and converse.  It is like I am in the midst of lunch hour in a teen movie: clumps of clique-ish groups riddle the steps and stone quad of the square.  Above me, near the entrance to the National Gallery, a group of

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street dancers draw a large audience in the hopes of tips, and to my left, a street vendor in a Yoda costume amazes a bystander as he mysteriously “floats” above the ground.  The bystander’s demands of explanation and exclamations of awe can be heard across the square. Squeals of, “Ohmigawd! How’re is this happenen?

No’er, tell meh! Tell meh how’re you doin thah!” echo across the stone quad.  The bystander draws looks, and her knowing companions, slightly amused, slightly embarrassed, shuffle her off in another direction.   In front of me is an expanse of stone and then the four lion monuments that protect the square. There


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are clusters of tourists interspersed in this area, conversing, reading maps, and discussing plans for the next sight-seeing excursion.  Most places across London I’ve been told not to pull my map out as I walk the streets; this makes me look like a tourist and subsequently a target for pickpockets.  I am told to walk between destinations with purpose, as if I know exactly where I am going; as if I am a local, even though locals refer to London: A-Zs also. Interspersed between the tourists are couples, mostly entwined as if Trafalgar is the essence of romance.  One couple in particular seems to have forgotten the world around them, and they stand there, kissing passionately and grabbing at each other. Public displays of affection seem to be more socially acceptable here. Ironic, considering how little the British seem to like conversing in public spaces. After observing some more groups and getting mistaken for a local (yes!), I decide that it’s time to head to dinner. As I leave, I watch floating Yoda get a citation from a bobby – a British police officer – for busking without a permit. Though his face expresses his disdain at his bad luck, he politely and quietly cooperates.  I wonder where his British fan-girl is now. I don’t take

the time to look around for her. I just keep walking, with purpose and as if I know exactly where I am going. #Jedimindtricksdontworkonbobbies

Leicester Square & Avoiding the Pickpockets @Kayle Sale I was wandering through Leicester Square, famous for its pickpockets, when I saw a fantastic street magician doing mind-boggling illusions. As people from all over the square crowded towards him to try to catch a glimpse, I realized the real trick was losing your wallet to one of the magicians’ pickpocket friends in the craziness of the crowd. So, though I walked away from the best magician I’d probably ever see feeling rather disappointed, I clutched my wallet triumphantly, pounds intact.

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Picture Perfect: Picasso @LilySanders The Tate Modern Museum in London. It’s the mecca of modern and contemporary art in the Western world and houses nearly 70,000 pieces of art. Around 4.7 million people visit this collection of modern art every single year since the Tate’s opening in 2000. Artists ranging from Salvador Dalì to Jackson Pollock have been featured on the walls of this prestigious gallery. One particular artist stole the show for me though. Pablo Picasso. Pablo Picasso is considered by many one of the pioneers of modern art. His unparalleled impact in painting, sculpture, and more made him a household name around the world, and rightfully so. Producing over 20,000 pieces of art during his career, Picasso often challenged intellectual, social, and political ideas through his work. He is most known for his cubism technique, which is one of the first abstract painting styles in modern art. At the Tate Modern, Picasso paintings are presented on the first floor

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in the wing dedicated to depicting images of poetry and dreams. The section of the museum focuses on the development of abstract and modern art since the 20th century. It encompasses cubism, geometric abstraction and minimalism. The three paintings of Picasso’s that impressed me the most on this wing were his cubist paintings interpreting women. The first painting of Picasso I saw is titled “The Three Dancers.” In his distinctive cubist style, Picasso uses jagged edges and lines to represent a fiery energy. This painting is reminiscent of a love triangle that transpired after Picasso took a trip to Monte Carlo with his wife and the dancer Olga Khokhlova. The trip resulted in Picasso’s friend Carlos Casagemas taking his own life after his heart was broken by the affair. In this painting of ecstatic dance, Picasso depicts love, sex, and death. Out of all the dancers, the left-hand dancer seems to be most possessed by the dancing, almost as if she was in an uncontrolled worship to Dionysos the Liberator. Her face and movement is an example of Picasso exploring primitive behavior and sexuality. What I liked most about this painting is the storm of dance the subjects are a part of; it reminded me of F. Scott Fitzgerald’s “The Great Gatsby” and the mood of the Jazz Age.

Another of Picasso’s painting, “The Weeping Woman” was another favorite of mine. This painting was in response to a travesty that took place during the Spanish Civil War. The German Force bombed the Basque town of Guernica. Instead of painting the effects of the war directly, Picasso painted the people suffering. The woman in this painting was a representation of his mistress, Dora Maar. Picasso explained, “For me she’s the weeping woman. For years I’ve painted her in tortured forms, not through sadism, and not with pleasure, either; just obeying a vision that forced itself on me. It was the deep reality, not the superficial one... Dora, for me, was always a weeping woman.... And it’s important, because women are suffering machines.” I spent a lot of time reviewing this painting. I got lost into the dark eyes of the woman and into the mind of Picasso. I liked that he made beauty out of his reaction to war, and the pain and suffering it in-


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flicts upon the world. The last painting of Picasso’s that was my personal favorite was “Head of a Woman.” It’s a small, cherished painting of a female head in a classical, thoughtful pose. The woman’s face is divided into two separate halves. The portrait illustrates two versions of the woman, as though observed from changed angles. The woman in this painting is thought to be another influential woman of Picasso’s life, Fernande Oliver. The women in Picasso’s life were the influence and driving force behind his artwork. Like every great artist, Picasso had many muses. His romantic relationships served as inspiration for countless paintings and sculptures. For whatever reasons, these paintings moved me and will be a permanent memory in my mind. Since Picasso didn’t paint skill renditions

of his subjects, he challenged his audience to view his paintings with their minds instead of their eyes. The more thought and observation you give to his paintings, the more you get in return. Looking at his art through a range of emotional depictions, you find yourself feeling feelings. That’s what I love about Modern Art and the role Pablo Picasso played in it. #PicassoGotSwag

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A Royal Residence @TashaCerny On my first night back, we are gathered in the hotel bar, which also serves as the lobby.  The four-star establishment in which we are staying is called the “Grange-Strathmore”; it is a Victorian-era Kensington mansion, formerly the residence of the Earl of Strathmore, or, rather, the late Queen Mother’s father, and the current queen’s (Queen Elizabeth II) grandfather. I am boggled by the immensity of what seems like such a small space and I am unsure how to react to it. I will spend the rest of the week ignoring the realities of the molding and paintings around me (which are stunning; there is a colorful portrait of Queen Elizabeth II behind the front desk that I absolutely love, the lounge-bar is filled with ceiling-high bookshelves – they are fake: the spines of books have been replicated and glued onto a wooden backing – and the grand staircase is grand, indeed) and instead dwell in my imagination, wondering how much has changed since royalty walked these floors. I am also enamored by the luck that I should be assigned to a room with a balcony. A renovated mansion, only two rooms have balconies that are visible from the outside of the hotel; ours is one of them.  Though I will only spend a few brief periods of my days in this hotel, and even less out on this balcony, I enjoy my time here immensely. #livingtheroyallife

• Tasha Cerny @tlcerny  Mar 15 Holy Crap! We have a #balcony! Guess who’s reenacting Romeo & Juliet tomorrow morning? #thisgirl #Shakespeare #london #hotelsurprises

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Egypt in London @ElainaSmith The British Museum: majestic, mysterious, and a place I have wanted to go ever since my obsession with The Mummy Returns began as a kid. The Mummy movie series began my interest in history that has only grown and I have wanted to visit the British Museum ever since. Ancient Egypt is just fascinating to me. It had such a developed culture and society with intricate religious beliefs and wonderful art. The language and writing was so different from anything else at that time. Also, have you seen those pyramids? I was so excited to go to the British Museum and see all of those artifacts for myself. The museum houses an enormous collection of Egyptian items, from tablets to art and actual mummies. It also hosts the Rosetta Stone. The Rosetta Stone. It is the artifact that unlocked the reading of ancient hieroglyphs, which until that time had been a complete mystery. I fangirled a bit and definitely took

some selfies. Seeing the Rosetta Stone and the enormous stone carvings and boxes brought the history to life. Then I entered the mummy room. It was a room completely dedicated to the Egyptian dead. The sarcophagi, the objects they were buried in, and the mummies themselves were all on display. You hear about these things, but actually seeing them in person is such a fantastic experience. Egypt is just a small portion of the museum. There are so many other cultures and exhibits to experience there. The British Museum is certainly one for the books.

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...and then King Henry VIII @SarahHornung As it turns out, being Catholic in London is a rather adventurous experience. King Henry VIII made things pretty complicated when he decided he wanted a divorce. Almost 500 years later, Catholic churches are still a bit difficult to find. Thanks to the reunion opportunities throughout the week, I was able to talk to Lauren, who traveled with Mary during her undergraduate career and is now living in London. She and her husband gave me a fantastic list of Catholic churches and related landmarks, and I prepared myself for a trek (well, with an immense amount of help from the Underground) across the city. Friday morning, I embarked on a quest to find some of the churches we talked about. I now present the (Almost) Six Catholic Churches of my Scavenger Hunt Spectacular: 1. St. Patrick’s, Soho This little church is tucked away behind Oxford Street, scrunched up next to a little green square (Soho Square, to be exact). The outside looks like any other old church, but the interior looks pretty brand spankin’ new. As I walked in, I was greeted by two life-size angel statues flanking the entrance to the sanctuary. Shiny, marble and surprisingly small, the interior shouts beauty in that polite, unassuming way that Brits are so good at. I spent some time in meditation before making the customary slow creep around to the little shrines on either side of the nave; it was about 10:00 on a Friday morning and the church was empty, so I didn’t feel quite so weird staring at – and taking pictures of – the altars and confessionals and statues. After spending a bit of time wandering, I decided that St. Patrick’s felt a bit too nice for my liking, too clean and shiny. Beauty is one of the transcendentals of faith, but I person-

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ally find that signs of wear and time are most comforting.

back to the tube and off to the next church…

2. Our Lady of the Assumption, Bethnal Green Once more, this one is tucked away from the main street and on the edge of a little square. Actually, it is right behind the Museum of Childhood, containing a small portion of the Victoria and Albert Collections. This little church is clearly older than St. Pat’s,

3. St. Thomas More, Swiss Cottage I got lost on my way here. Leaving the tube station, I walked in precisely the wrong direction for a good 10 blocks or so before deciding to turn around and look for a map. I still had to look at two or three different maps to figure out how exactly to get there. A tiny brick footpath called Trinity Walk led up a huge hill, through a quaint little neighborhood, and finally to the church. I was not expecting the church I discovered. I walked through the big wood-paneled doors, finding myself in a vast brick sanctuary. It’s clear that this building was crafted in the mid-1900s; from the geometric stained glass windows to the entire building’s round, sheer brick-ness, it all felt like I had traveled back in time (which is weird, because all the superancient stone churches somehow seem normal, despite being centuries older). With all due respect to Thomas More, I was rather surprised not to see shag carpet anywhere. It was super vast, and rather echo-y; it would have been amazing to see it filled with people. I must have been in a bit of a post-lunch lull at this point, because I unintentionally fell asleep during my meditation. I calmly came out of my more-than-reverie, and decided to proceed to the next church on my list.

“With all due respect to Thomas More, I was rather surprised not to see shag carpet anywhere.” and well used. Cheerful, child-produced artwork colorfully proclaimed Jesus’ love for me as I walked in; the pews are worn, the wood floor creaked when I walked, and the sanctuary was full of light. During my prayer here, I could hear kids playing outside, somewhere just beyond the view of the chapel windows. I meditated a bit on the beauty (and chaos) that children bring to the world, and I soon found a few moments of joyful peace in the middle of an already long day. I had a hard time leaving; it felt a bit more like a place I could call home. Lunchtime intermission from church visits: a quick wander around the insanity of Borough Market, then

4. St. Charles Borromeo, Ogle Street I found the church fine, but I had quite a bit of trouble locating the entrance. It was in line with all buildings to its right, but the buildings connected to the left side were set back a couple meters. In order to get inside the church, I had to walk past it, then around the corner that jutted out from the left-side buildings, and there I found a slightly ajar door. Once I got inside, I was confused and


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fascinated by the interior structure. A big rectangle in the middle containing the baptismal font (sunken into the floor; it was covered when I was there) and the altar (which is HUGE) is surrounded on three sides by chairs for the churchgoers. It couldn’t have seated more than maybe 150 people at a time, yet it seems big enough for many more. Any seat is a good seat, no more than five rows away from the altar. Beneath a smaller altar on the left side of the chapel is this gorgeous, startlingly lifelike, heart-wrenching painting of Jesus post-crucifixion. I spent some time meditating on how painful that must have been, and it quickly put my sore feet and hurried mind in perspective. 5(ish). St. Etheldreda, Ely Place I arrived right about 4:17 pm. There was a little piece of paper posted on the door saying that the church was to close at 4 that day. After recovering from my slight dismay, I made my way back to the tube station and set my course for the London church I knew best…

5. St. Anselm and Cæcilia, Lincoln›s Inn Fields This is where I spent most of my prayer time on my trip to London a year and a half ago, and coming back was like visiting an old friend. Not in perfect shape, the worn, not-too-decorated chapel was just what my overworked senses needed after a long day of wandering. A group of the faithful was beginning the rosary as I entered, and I was calmed and comforted by the steady rhythm of prayer. Here I ended my church hop with a long meditation and the 6:00 mass. The faint sounds of the busy Holborn neighborhood outside and the slight rumble of the Underground beneath our feet was a gentle reminder that I was still in the middle of the city, and for a couple hours I felt almost as if I were actually a London-dweller. I stepped out into the rain, crossed the street, and made my way back to the hotel, concluding a long day of tube rides, slight panic, and prayer. In retrospect, I wish I had spent more time at each place; I think my

compulsion to find as many places as possible partially obscured my enjoyment. This was a fantastic adventure, however. Pub crawls, museum marathons, and other series of similar locations are fantastic, and I would say that this opportunity to explore was my equivalent to either of those: it took me through the city and allowed me to experience my greatest joys in a vast array of different environments. #Holy

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Churchill War Rooms @SaranDavaajargal Churchill War Rooms was undoubtedly the most interactive museum I have been to. The museum, which opened to public in 1984, was renovated and organized to show how it was when the war rooms were the sanctums of British government from 1940-1945. At first glance it does not look like it has much to offer. The museum’s plain door and label on the outside carefully disguises the treasures possessed inside. Churchill War Rooms is comprised of the Cabinet War Rooms and the Churchill museum. I was wonderstruck from the moment I entered. Stepping into this important part of British History was a really educational and thrilling experience for me. I was given an audio guide with my ticket. Most of the important objects and documents were numbered and all I had to do was punch in the number of the object I wanted to learn about. There were a lot of interesting recordings in the audio guide. I got the chance to hear a telephone conversation that occurred between President Harry Truman and Winston Churchill. However the most inter-

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esting recording was that of Churchill’s secretary. She described how it was like working for him. She said she had to write down every event during important meetings. She explained how rewarding it was to work for him, but at the same time considered it quite challenging. Churchill and his work played significant roles in lives of many people. She said that stakes were high for her as his secretary. There were little difficulties in her job such as keeping up with what he said, which was made harder by the fact that he would never repeat things twice. She said it was an exhilarating yet demanding position to hold. There was also a timeline of Churchill’s life, listing turning points and major events. The museum had everything, from propaganda to the recorded opinions people had of him. The cabinet war rooms were really intriguing because there were the same beds and desks they used, chairs they sat on and, to add to the feel of authenticity, there were even mannequin figures representing important personnel who worked with him. I was amazed at how every little thing was very well thought out and detailed. What caught my particular attention were the few cubes of sugar perched on a few documents on Churchill’s assistant’s desk. The sugar was on a napkin and the lines of the folded napkin told me these sugars were handled carefully. The writing next to it read how sugar was a rare thing because of rationing and to get hold of it and

to use it would be a privilege. It was evident from his assistant’s expression that he was pleased to be in possession of this rarity to use for his tea. Beyond just clothes and documents used by Winston Churchill, the museum offered a glimpse to the personal side of Churchill. Recorded conversations between Churchill and his staff proved Churchill’s working day typically spanned from 8am to 3am. And he really liked a cat named “Smoky,” which belonged to the kitchen staff. Reading all the letters written by him and listening to the anecdotes of his youth and conversations about his work ethic, I could not help but feel amazed at the intelligence, creativity and wit of this person who played such a significant role in British history. All in all, I was able to learn great deal from this museum and I cannot imagine a more comprehensive way to learn about Winston Churchill than visiting this museum. #QuotesByChurchill #TolmprovelsToChangeToBePerfectIsToChangeOften


Sampling London

#samplingLondon

Encounters with British pub food, full of fish and chips, bangers and mash, and endless amounts of tea. Experiences with pub crawls, British ale, fancy overpriced drinks and food market shenanigans.

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Binging at the Borough Market @SamKovzan Over the course of one hour at the Borough Market, I became 30 pounds poorer and 30 pounds heavier. Indeed, my trip to London’s famed food market was perhaps the most delicious and indulgent experience of my life. And that’s saying something, because I really love food. Don’t let my physical stature – five-eight in shoes, 140 pounds on a full stomach – deceive you. I mange (gluten-free, of course) like it’s my day job. This is why, upon entering the Borough Market on that sunny Friday afternoon, I became a nom-nom

zombie. I was under a spell, awestruck by the dozens of venders, each selling dozens of mouthwatering items from around the world. Chicken curries to the left, German bratwursts to the right. Gluten-free carrot cakes here, dairy-free coconut macaroons there. Wild sea scallops in front, Asian stir-fries behind. Polish sausages on a skewer, Swiss cheese on a stick, corned beef on a bed of cabbage, venison bangers on a bed of mash. Bloody hell, this must have been Flavor Town, U.K.

I actually spent 20 minutes wandering the market before I took my first bite of food. The sheer size of the place, not to mention its endless variety of scrumptious offerings, had me feeling overwhelmed and indecisive. I learned later that day, as my stomach was digesting a week’s worth of chow, that the Borough Market is one of the largest and oldest food markets in the city. The Southwark establishment claims to have existed since around the year 1000, which makes me wish I had existed since then, too. Because I’m convinced you could visit the Borough Market every day for a thousand years, and revel in the deliciousness of something different every single time. So, where to begin? That was the lingering question as I planned my first purchase. I had 30 pounds in my wallet and, after weaving through the whole market to assess options and prices, planned to spend no more than half that. But as a wise man once said, best-laid plans often go astray. What didn’t go astray was my appetite. For 40 fleeting minutes, I lost touch with the world and became immersed in food. Looking back, I do feel bad. This was a Friday during Lent, and as a Catholic I cannot eat meat on the six Fridays before Easter. In truth, I must’ve downed the equivalent of six small farm animals. So while I pray for forgiveness, here’s a whirlwind tour of my gluttonous, seven-course meal. 1. Chicken sweet potato curry – Jeez, did the feast start with a bang, or did the feast start with a bang! Of the three curries available, I chose this one because of the sweet potatoes, the tastiest and most underrated, underused food on the planet. The tender, stewed chicken was bathed in a creamy sauce of ginger, garlic and

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chilies. Of course, what sent this dish over the top was the sweet potato. Small cubes of this special tuber gave the curry a kick of sweetness and a delightful, velvety mouth feel. 2. Scallops with bacon bits – Had I eaten seven orders of the scallops, I would have obeyed the Friday Lent rule and been pretty darn satisfied. One plate consisted of three panseared scallops on a bed of sizzling cabbage and topped with crispy bacon bits. The fresh scallops were just about perfect—naturally rich and buttery in taste, tender and moist in bite. The bacon bits were the X-factor, providing a crunchy hit of salt and fat to counter the tender, sweet leanness of the scallops. 3. Venison sausages – I had never consumed venison before, but as a foodie, I knew that its flavor profile was similar to beef. So when I saw a vender selling ready-to-eat venison sausages on sticks, I didn’t hesitate in buying two of them. The sausages were hot and spicy, if not a little too salty. Because venison is very lean, these sausages had less fat than the typical banger. Though this left them a little dry and short of flavor, the subtle gaminess was a new and satisfying experience for my pallet.

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4. German bratwurst – I’ve had many a bratwurst before, and nothing really set this one apart in the way of taste. But the fact that this freshly grilled, piping hot schnitzel was 16 inches long made it bomb dot com. The steaming sauerkraut and German mustard was a delectable topper. 5. Five-item salad – It was unconventional (or perhaps French) of me to purchase a salad after slamming down at least a kilogram of meat. In the midst of my ravenous raid, I recall thinking “Well, I’ve eaten a shocking amount of food, but I’m still hungry. And I have money to spend. Why not a healthy salad packed with nutritious veggies?” This, wonderfully enough, was the concept of a certain vendor at the market. Select five of an available 10 mixed veggie salads, and for a normal human being, you have the perfect meal. For me, it was only the beginning of the end. I settled on red apple cabbage, sautéed Brussels sprouts, Caesar salad, a caramelized onion and mushroom mix, and my beloved herb roasted sweet potatoes. A-plus. 6. Gluten-free Asian coconut pancakes – Without dessert, my Borough Market experience would have been incomplete. Without two desserts, my

Borough Market experience would have been too, well, ordinary. Go big or go home, right? I’d gone very, very big thus far, so a two-course dessert only seemed fitting. The Asian coconut pancakes were simply divine – light, airy discs of gluten-free pancake batter and coconut milk, paper-thin and no more than two inches in diameter. As for the heavenly, meltin-your-mouth taste, words fail me. I scarfed eight of them. 7. Gluten-free carrot cake – If my binge started with a bang, it ended with an apocalyptic explosion. Just a few short minutes before departing with the group, and already in a slovenly food coma, I stumbled upon The Free From Bakehouse. This magnificent place, bless its soul, offered a range of gluten-free, wheat-free and dairy-free products handmade daily in its “dedicated gluten and wheat free premises.” In all honesty, this vendor’s mere existence nearly brought me to tears. If only my mother, allergic to wheat and dairy, had been there with me! Gluten-free carrot cake. For. The. Win. #NomNom


Sampling London

No Service Charge @LaurelMichel

While there were various times and places throughout my week in London in which I noticed a difference between the culture of London and that of the United States, one place that particularly stuck out to me was the difference in the restaurant culture. First, I found it very interesting that customers in England typically do not tip their waiters. This is something that was especially weird, as in America, it is seen as so rude to not tip a waiter. The first restaurant that I went to in London, I remember searching for a couple pounds to leave on the table. It wasn’t until someone else at the table mentioned that we don’t need to tip that I remembered tipping wasn’t typically done in England. Another thing that was very different in the restaurant service was that most restaurants do not split bills up between all the people at the table. For example, one of the days I went to a restaurant with six or seven other people. We were all obviously separate, and in America the waiters would probably automatically split the ticket up for each individual person, or if not, at least ask if we were each on a different ticket. At this restaurant

however, when the waiter brought the check, it was just one ticket with all our orders on it. When we asked if we could split it up, he looked at us like that was a pretty abnormal question. So instead, we all just put all our money together and paid the one bill. This is something that I saw at every restaurant I went to, whether I was with one other person or ten. Finally, I also noticed a difference in the service from waiters received from restaurants in England compared to the United States. I don’t know if this is due to the fact that waiters in England do not have to work for a tip, but the waiters in London did not seem to be as active with the customers as

the waiters I’m used to in America. For example, there were several times at restaurants in London that I had to ask for refills. Not only that, but many of the waiters were very direct with their customers. I saw this several times, but especially one night when I went to dinner with one other girl. The two of us were taken to a fourseated table and I sat down at one seat and she sat down on the seat to my left. I’m not sure exactly what the reason was, but for some reason the waiter did not like that she sat in that seat. He immediately looked at her and pointed to the seat on my right and said, “No, you sit in that seat.” A little confused, she got up and moved to the seat that he had told her to sit in, and then he seemed to be content. I found this interaction extremely different from an interaction I would have with a waiter in America, as I feel like waiters in America are not that direct to their customers. I learned a lot about the culture of London simply by studying the norms in restaurants and the interactions between waiters and their customers. It showed me that there are many differences between different cultures, even small things like whether or not a culture tips or splits bills. I found the differences in restaurant mannerisms extremely interesting and enjoyed going to restaurants to see the patterns that arose between all the different ones. #goodbyetipcalculator

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Street Vendors of London: A Culinary Adventure @DanPhalen A few weeks before leaving Kansas, I admitted a long-kept secret of mine to the group. I actually really enjoy British pub-food. One of the activities that I was earnestly looking forward to in London was eating pub-food at any opportunity that I could get. I had planned on eating at pubs so often, that I could write an article in The London Review on the subject. Yet, here you are reading an article on London street vendors, instead of pub food. So, what happened to my original plan? What happened was that for three days in a row, I ate at some truly excellent street vendors. And when I say truly excellent, I mean truly excellent. Not only was the food amazing, but the circumstances surrounding my arrivals always made for a great experience. Eating at these vendors honestly ended up being some of my favorite parts of the trip. My street vendor experiences allowed me to see a side of London that I wouldn’t have seen otherwise. And the food was amazing, have I mentioned that yet? I ate at my first street vendor on Wednesday afternoon. My group and I emerged from the tube station, excited to tour nearby St. Paul’s Cathedral. As we walked through an ally, we passed a small tent were some gentlemen were selling what appeared to be massive burritos. I distinctly recall that these burritos smelled amazing, and I almost asked for a small detour so that I might try one. However, I’m a team player, and didn’t want to hold the group back, so we pressed on. Arriving at St. Paul’s, we were dismayed to learn that the cathedral had just closed for tours, and would not be opening again that day. Our group walked around the

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sidewalk for a moment, debating what to do next. Unexpectedly, someone suggested that we go back to the burrito tent that we had passed. I am not going to lie, I was incredibly psyched to hear this. I seconded that suggestion, and the rest of the group agreed. We returned to the burrito tent, and soon discovered that the burritos were only five pounds. This was good news to me, not only because it was cheap, but it was also a great opportunity to rid my pockets of the horde of coins that I had accumulated. Moving into the burrito queue, I started to examine my options. It was very similar to what you would find at Chipotle, but with a few more possible ingredients, such as jalapenos. I supposed that I would not be returning to this burrito tent anytime soon, so I ordered everything on mine, which was a great call. After we had all ordered, we milled about like tourists for a bit, unsure of where to sit. One of the burrito-men noticed us, and directed us to an old church behind the tent. He said that they let people eat lunch in there. Now, this seemed incredibly fishy at

the time, as none of us had ever eaten a church burrito before. However, once we entered, we discovered that the church contained a small café area that was full of people eating their lunches. It was a very eclectic mixture of people. Some looked like the hippie type, others were definitely businessmen, and they were all chowing down in a very old looking church. It was a great experience, definitely not one I’ll ever forget. Perhaps the best part about it was that I can now make the statement, “I ate a giant burrito in an old church in London,” and not be lying. The next day, a few of us headed to University College London in an attempt to find the preserved body of philosopher Jeremy Bentham. It was an amusing search to say the least, as classes were in session that day. We wondered around for a while, before finally one of us boldly asked where the body was. After snapping a few photos with a dead gentlemen, we walked outside and discovered a farmers market had been set up in a nearby square. Luck was on our


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side that day, as the farmers market was only there on Thursdays. We spread out in search of lunch, and again found ourselves mingling with a diverse crowd. Students, faculty, and office workers were all perusing the stands with us. The stands themselves were unique, and all of the food looked great. I knew that I had a very difficult decision to make, and tried my best to examine every stand before making a choice. The options ranged from more standard fare, such as sandwiches and pasta, to more distinctive options, such as curry and smoked meats. I ended up eating a wild boar burger, which was just fantastic. I expected it to taste like pork, but it honestly tasted like nothing I’ve ever had before. If you ever have the opportunity to eat a wild boar burger, you should. You will not be disappointed. After the farmers market, I thought that I’d reached the peak of culinary experiences in London. I was wrong. The following day, a large group of us went to the Borough Market, one of the largest food markets in London. I won’t be going into too much detail on this market, because it deserves an article of its own. However, I will

mention the conundrum I found myself in while I was there. After accepting many free samples, I resolved to pick a single stand to eat lunch at. As I was walking along, a very insistent cook demanded that I try a spoonful of his seafood stew. Now, this stew was questionable looking, as it was out in the open in a massive pot, but, the cook told me that I had to try it, and he seemed trustworthy. The stew was amazing, but I couldn’t commit just yet, there was much more to see. I pressed onward, much to the disappointment of my cook friend. I came to a stand that was selling exotic meats, such as kangaroo and ostrich. Now, I’m usually up for trying any food once, and I’d never had the opportunity to eat a kangaroo burger before, so I lingered by this stand for a very long time. Finally, my fear of dying from some horrible jungle para-

site outweighed my curiosity, so I carried on. I eventually came to a stand that claimed to sell the best chorizo sandwiches in town. I recalled hearing about this stand from somewhere and decided to give it a shot, if only to relieve myself of the responsibility of picking a stand. Unsurprisingly, the chorizo sandwich was amazing, and I learned what chorizo was. It was a win-win experience. So what should you take away from this article? I’ll tell you. If you’re ever in London, and are lamenting about British food, just go exploring for a while. Chances are, you’ll find something new and exciting to eat. There’s so much more to British cuisine than cheese and chutney sandwiches. #foodventure

The Umbrellas are just better. @LaurenJohnson “The umbrellas are just better.” That is what Mary told us, multiple times and I decided I needed one of these London umbrellas. It would be a fantastic souvenir, which I would not only actually use, but also it would last forever. One morning at breakfast, Brea, Taylor and I asked Mary where to find the best umbrellas in London. “James Smith and Sons,” she replied, “ It had been around forever, and so have the employees.” We hopped on the tube to purchase our amazing new umbrellas. When we arrived, the store was buzzing with various people. It was full of umbrellas and canes adorned with all kinds of unique handles that featured various animals such as ducks (which was thrilling for Brea) or elephant faces. An attractive man (who luckily had not been alive as long as the store) approached us and offered to help us with our umbrella selection. I think he just wanted to show off his incredible umbrella folding skills. We decided a regular collapsing umbrella wouldn’t cut it for our prized souvenir. We needed the real deal. It didn’t matter if it didn’t fit in our suitcase, we could carry it, this was our genuine London umbrella and it was going to be beautiful. An hour of browsing later, we found and purchased our dream umbrellas. About an hour after later, we regretted that decision. We did in fact mind carrying them around – a lot. Navigating the tube with an extra four-foot appendage is impractical and annoying. We chose to power through it because it was supposed to rain that day. Rain finally came at about seven that night, in the form of a slight drizzle. With glee I pulled out my umbrella. As I opened the “well-made” umbrella, the “well-made” handle broke off. I think a piece of me died at the moment. Defeated, I went and exchanged it the next day. Luckily, my umbrella had a twin and its handle was intact. I checked about 25 times before leaving the store. I still live in fear every time I open it. But boy am I glad I have my London umbrella. #ellaellaeheh

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Burritos and the Repurposing of Churches @SarahTaylor

When preparing for my trip to London, one thing that friends and alumni of the program kept telling me was to expect odd things and experiences to happen. I hadn’t understood this statement until I sat in the sanctuary of St. Mary Aldermary Church eating a large steak burrito. Around me were business people eating a quick lunch, grabbing a latte from the coffee bar in the back of the sanctuary, checking their emails, or discussing politics. Meanwhile, in an area roped off for worship about five rows up from the back, one elderly woman knelt praying. On the fourth full day of our trip, Brea, Dan, Brooke and I decided to go visit St. Paul’s Cathedral. When we were heading back to the tube station around lunchtime, we were walking through a business district and smelled some delicious burritos. Right off the walkway in a little churchyard was a tent with a Chipotle-esque burrito bar. We decided to be adventurous and try some street food. After sitting on a bench in the churchyard, 98

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a worker in the tent told us that there were tables inside that we could eat at. Assuming that there was a side room inside with tables, we went inside and were shocked to see pews turned around and a coffee bar set up in the back of this beautiful church built in 1682. It was rather jarring, but after a few minutes of uncomfortable silence with my companions, we began talking about how sacrilegious the whole experience felt. Growing up in the Bible Belt, churches and religion were always held in a very high regard. The idea that churches are used for something other than worship is a completely foreign concept to me. After some research, I found that while about 43% of U.S. citizens attend church weekly, only 12% of citizens of the U.K. attend. This causes many of the country’s historic churches to have to find alternative purposes and methods of serving their community. At St. Mary Aldermary, for example, Christian yoga and meditation classes, the coffee bar, and even a

Taize prayer chant hour accompany regular worship services. Even while on a day trip to the city of Malvern, I noticed that a local church also had a coffee house in order to better serve the community. Many of the churches also have associated schools, and several, including St. Paul’s and Westminster Abbey, charge for sightseeing. Although the approach was very different, I found the mission of the monastic community at St. Mary Aldermary to be refreshing in comparison to the mission of the church in the US. The monastic community, Moot, seeks to reach out to people who may not feel like the traditional church is for them, serve a practical need in their lives, and tend to their spiritual well-being. Although the experience was initially jarring, I appreciate that I was able to experience a different religious environment while in London. #NiotQuiteBurritogate #StillSacrilegious


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The Bland Side of England: Pub Food @BrookeGunter It was our first full day in London. There was so much to do and see! We had spent all morning enjoying a four-hour walking tour of the city and all afternoon at the markets (shopping is known to work up an appetite in weary travelers), so for our muchneeded dinner we decided to find a traditional English pub. I can’t think of a better way to feel like you are finally and officially in London than to end the day with dinner at an English pub. We rode the Tube and decided to get off on a random tube stop and see what it had to offer as far as pubs went. We stumbled across a perfectly quintessential English pub called the Barley Mow Pub. I eagerly skimmed the menu and immediately found their “fish and chips” and knew without a doubt that I had to order it. Everyone knows that while you’re in England you have to order fish and chips at least once, so this would be my chance to taste what all the hype was about. Being the starving, and slightly impatient, college student that I am, I waited for what felt like forever for my meal to make its way out of the kitchen. But eventually that glorious plate made its way to me, and to my pleasant surprise it was nearly double the size of my head!

My meal looked absolutely wonderful. However, my first bite, and each bite after, proved to be less than thrilling. It wasn’t that my meal was horrible, but it just wasn’t that good. Honestly, it was rather disappointing. After all, since “fish and chips” is regarded as the national dish of England, shouldn’t it have been slightly more spectacular than it was? What is most interesting is that the English happen to be fine with their international reputation of being caught in

an apathetic, or shall I say, loveless relationship with food. According to Kate Fox, in her wildly delightful book Watching the English, English people are generally ambivalent about food, or at least they would like to be perceived this way. Typically, the English try not to express any excessive emotion or zeal, as that would be considered embarrassing. Therefore, they especially try to avoid zeal if it is in reference to something as apparently menial as food, which results in their seemingly ambivalent attitude toward their food. This phenomenon is best captured in the classic English response of “it’s not bad” in reference to a restaurant that is actually quite excellent. Why is this so? Essentially, the English tend to downplay everything because they do not want to be mistaken as too earnest about anything because that would be embarrassing. In some way, this indifference toward expressing appreciation, satisfaction or passion in food might have

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possibly contributed to the absence of culinary excitement in English pubs. However, it is important to note that England as a whole isn’t lacking in great food and culinary wisdom. While in London, there were many noteworthy and delicious meals that I did enjoy. Even though the pub did not offer the same level of satisfaction that the other restaurants did, it did make for a fun atmosphere in which to eat. While I was disillusioned about my meal, the atmosphere of the little pub was everything I had pictured it to be, complete with dark leather booths, dim rustic lighting, and eclectic artwork lining the beautiful wooden walls. So although I was pleased to check “eat ‘fish and chips’ from a traditional English pub” off of my London Review checklist, I was undeniably disappointed in the lack of flavor and excitement of the classic English meal I had hoped for. However, after all, it was just one meal out of the many I ate while in London. I think it bears mentioning that although the meal I tried at the pub may have been slightly bland and boring, the city, people and culture of London are far from it. One slightly disappointing meal in London can be easily overlooked when considering that the city holds all the delicious excitement and tasty culture one could hope for just outside the doors of the pub. #fishnchipsfailure

An Ode to English Breakfast @LydiaYoung

Oh, English breakfast, you are so delicious, Never mind that you are in no way nutritious. How I miss the baked beans, mushrooms and toast, However it is the tea and sugar I miss the most. I’ve never eaten more without shame, And in only a few short days, truly English I became. How I miss the fruit, cereal, cheese, and jams And the memorable conversations next to Simple Sam. Oh, English breakfast, you are missed ever so much, However, not as much as a typical English lunch.

Afternoon Tea: A Real Delight @Dan Phalen 1.) The staff at the hotel were excellent at knowing when I wanted some tea. Sometimes I went to the lobby for the sole purpose of drinking afternoon tea, and they were always quick to respond. 2.) When you order tea, you will receive an ungodly amount of sugar cubes. If you were to use all of those sugar cubes in your cup of tea, I imagine there would be serious health consequences. 3.) Cream tea is not a type of tea, it is a light meal that consists of tea and scones with cream. Do not say cream tea when asked what type of tea you would like. 4.) Clotted cream is the best stuff on earth. No hyperbole, try it for yourself. 5.) Lady Grey is a very good type of tea, so is English Breakfast Tea. All tea in England is good. 6.) There is a café in London called Too a Tea. It is a very nice place to have cream tea and to learn about tea culture. They will deliver your tea in a very cool teapot filter. I admit that I let out an audible, “whoa!” when this happened. 7.) Looking back, afternoon tea was one of my favorite parts of the trip. It was a nice, relaxing way to take a break while planning out the evening’s activities. I also felt incredibly English, which was a lot of fun.

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Lucky Duck @BreaCudney I will be the first to admit that I have a less than adventurous taste for food. It’s not that I don’t like expanding my palate; I just really, really enjoy a juicy burger and fries.(or chips) When I received the news that I would be traveling ‘across the pond’ to England, I promised myself I would crawl out of my comfort zone and enter the world of the foodies. Little did I know I would be stuck…on duck. Duck ramen, Duck with pancakes and a duck sandwich. These were the dishes I would consume during my stay in London. All of which are making my mouth water just thinking about them. Our first full day in London, Lauren and I went on a St. Patrick’s Day adventure. Immersing ourselves in everything SoHo, we wondered past a restaurant with what looked like crispy, hanging squirrels in the window. Lauren, knowing my obsession with the fluffy creatures, grabbed my arm and told me to get a picture with them. Though saddened by the fate of my favorite, furry rodents, I thought, “When in London.” Upon closer examination, and with a sigh of relief, I realized the ‘squirrels’ were really ducks. Thank goodness. Mind you these ducks still had their heads attached. Unlike the victims of the ax at the Tower of London, these birds were saved a gruesome step. Though I think being roasted would also be a terrifying way to go. As the day went on, and with duck nowhere on my mind, Lauren and I enjoyed the various activities one would participate in during St. Patrick’s Day in London. (Mostly drinking beer and watching Irish dancing.) It wasn’t until a few local firemen pointed us in the direction of our late night dinner, that duck became the most important thing to me. Wong Kei, in Chinatown, will forever hold a special place in my heart. At this point Lauren and I had joined forces with Lydia and Taylor. We

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walked into this slightly sketchy (in a great way) Chinese restaurant with hopes of stuffing our faces with fine cuisine. But what to our wondering eyes did appear, but a large selection of duck options smiling from ear to ear. (Or not) “Split the half-duck?” asked Lauren. “Um….YES.” agreed the three of us. A worker brought the duck to the table beside us and started tearing the bird into little shreds. (Pardon the graphic details.) After she was finished, she set the plate on our table, along with little thin ‘pancakes.’ Needless to say, within a good two minutes, the entire duck was devoured. All that remained were the tiny bones that I unfortunately bit into once or twice during my feast. The rest of my duck discoveries weren’t as exciting as my first, though still quite wonderful in taste. I ordered ‘Duck Ramen’ at Wagamama’s. The only experience I had with ramen was the ‘high in salt and low in everything else’ Ramen Noodles from

the package. Just reading the word ‘Ramen’ made me skeptical. After looking at the menu, I figured if it had duck in it, it had to be good. And it was. Soooooooo good. My third taste of duck came from a slightly more organic background: The Borough Market. Wandering through stand after stand of appetizing dishes, I grew impatient for something to suppress my hunger. About to give in and order a hotdog or something seemingly American, I turned the corner to a sign that read, ‘Duck Sandwiches.’ Like a man in the desert searching for water, I rubbed my eyes to make out if this was real. It was. Five pounds poorer, but my stomach was ever so thankful. Here in the good ol’ U S of A, there seems to be a great lacking of duck. No duck at Jimmy Johns, no duck at Chipotle, no duck at Applebee’s. What is this madness? My search for a duck dish that will rival those I had in London will continue on. Until then, #quackquack.

Musings on Tea and Life @NinaScheibe

When I ordered “Jasmine Flowering Tea” at Wagamama’s, I really just wanted something to warm me up, nothing more. I was expecting the usual mug, saucer, and teapot setup. Instead, what arrived was a glass cup with a little bundle of green leaves floating in hot water. Um, I don’t think that’s how this is supposed to work? Not that I’m a tea snob or anything, but shouldn’t there at least be a diffuser in there? Five minutes later, we all looked back at my cup, and this had happened: Woah. There’s a garden in my teacup – a completely unexpected yet beautiful surprise, not to mention delicious. Later that night, wandering through London’s busy nightlife after an amazing concert, I pondered all the weird and wonderful ways my life and plans have changed in the past few years. From picking up the bassoon to studying at KU to this very week in London, it’s been a wild ride. Sometimes, when everything’s a stress-fest, it seems like my path has disappeared from beneath my feet and the light at the end of the tunnel has been turned off. In moments like these, it is comforting to find a reminder that with time, patience, and a little hot water, even the most unconventional of flowers may blossom…even me. At least, that’s what I hope the metaphor in my teacup is trying to tell me.


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“We’re Not That Kind of Pub” @LydiaYoung It’s one of the most definable attributes of London, as well as one of the most entertaining chapters in Kate Fox’s Watching the English – the pubs and pub culture of England. From learning the ins and outs of ordering, tipping, and interacting with the locals, Fox’s hints helped to better prepare myself, as well as the rest of the London Reviewers for our unforgettable pub experiences in London and Oxford. Shortly after arriving in London, one of the first things I noticed was the memorable and bizarre names of the pubs. In the States, bars tend to have one to two words in the title at most, showing ownership of the bar or even the expected atmosphere before entering; for instance, Henry’s Upstairs, Louise’s, and Tonic. In England however, the pubs have longer and unique titles, many with a nod to royalty or seemingly unrelated ob-

jects; for example, Earl of Lonsdale, The Eagle and Child, The King’s Arm, and even The Lamb and Flag. The atmosphere in English pubs also distinguishes their culture versus the culture of the States, focusing on genuine conversation rather than loud music and incomprehensible yelling across the bar. Although, keep in mind that the pubs I went to were indeed English pubs; I’m sure there are plenty of clubs and bars in Piccadilly Circus and other touristy areas that feature loud music, and the culture that Americans are used to experiencing. I specifically noticed these differences on our impromptu Oxford pub crawl. I remember our group having to settle down on numerous occasions after realizing that we were the only people screaming at each other, while everyone else was quietly chatting in corners of the pubs. In addition, later that night we arrived at a quiet pub along the road, and after trying to order a shot for a quick pit stop, he politely remarked, “We’re not that kind of pub.” We quickly apologized, remembered that we can order all the shots we want back in Lawrence, and ordered pints and glasses of red wine to genuinely enjoy each other’s company. Although Oxford was fantastic, my most memorable pub experience was on our first full day in London at a quaint pub called the Cambridge along Charing Cross Road. After successfully find-

ing it like the true Londoner I now claim to be, Taylor and I met up with Lauren and Brea who happened to be enjoying a few rounds with the London Fire Brigade. Once at the pub, I got the chance to patiently await my turn at the bar, not waving money or obnoxiously getting the bartender’s attention. I bought the first round of Kopparberg mixed berry cider in a full pint glass with ice, and my American instincts cringed as I handed the bartender exact change with no tip. His friendly remark of “Cheers,” accompanied by a delightfully English wink set my mind at ease. Later that evening while enjoying the company and London atmosphere, the lights suddenly flipped on, the music was cut off and the pub was engulfed by an extremely uncomfortable and awkward silence. We all assumed it was closing time, so we began gathering our belongings before realizing it was only 9:00. Then an ear-splitting “Oi!” erupted from behind the bar and all eyes fell on the fiery bartender with vengeance in her eyes. She continued to yell every curse word imaginable at the entire pub, saying that she won’t serve anyone until the man who insulted her “warm Guinness” from the tap apologized. Our group from the London Review sat quiet and still in the sudden madness while the locals continuously apologized under their breath, reassuring us that “this never happens.” After the awkward and forced apology from the man in question, the bartender screamed back, “And one for me then?!” to which he replied, “Of course, make it a cocktail.” We all smiled with glee at the direct reference from Fox and this bizarre experience that can only be summed up with #YoLondonReview.

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Scenario Number Three: Don’t Meddle in the Affairs of Wizards @DanPhalen It was an overcast March morning in Hyde Park. The area was fairly uncrowded, but there were still people milling about. I would never understand why the wizard always insisted on meeting in such public locations. I was always nervous before meeting with the wizard, but this time it was especially bad. I had failed to perform his task, and I was unsure what my fate would be. Suddenly, an old man in a long purple cloak appeared beside me. “Have you the amulet?” he asked, as he stroked his long white beard. “I failed to retrieve it,” I said, eyeing my feet nervously. “It was too well guarded, I’m sorry.” “That is quite disappointing,” he said with a malicious gleam in his eyes, “Do you recall the terms of our deal? I’m afraid that I’m going to have to teach you a stern lesson!” Before I could respond, he turned into a young women before my eyes. “Help! Help! This man tried to steal my purse!” She shouted. Two bobbies heard her cry, and immediately ran towards me. I looked to the girl, but found myself looking at a small dog instead. The dog barked, and then winked at me, as the two bobbies began trying to place handcuffs on me. “Police brutality! Police brutality!” I cried in vain. This only served to anger the male bobby, who gave me a solid thwack across the shoulder. As they loaded me into their van, I looked over to see the dog receiving pats and treats from the bobbies. “Turn back!” I pleaded. “Turn back and explain to them that I’m the victim of a bad deal with a vengeful wizard!” No one came to my rescue. Soon, we were surrounded by cop cars. Poor Benny didn’t know what to do—he seemed a bit dazed; maybe he remembered more about the traumatic experience we had just faced than I did. I was being stuffed into the back of a car. But it wasn’t my fault – I was abducted by aliens.

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Sharing London

#sharingLondon

Experiences that contributed to learning about English customs, what it’s like to be a visitor abroad and how to adjust without access to technology. Reflections on politics, city ordinances and lessons learned with the currency exchange rate.

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Casual Automotive Observations @RJZeiler I’m an avid car enthusiast. Anything that uses at least two wheels to move around is alright in my book, and I’m always looking for ways to learn more about the industry and its technical details. Naturally, a visit to the United Kingdom would be a perfect opportunity to get an all-new perspective on automobiles. Cars and transportation are far different in Europe than what we know in the United States. Roads are smaller, fuel is more expensive, and emissions aren’t as heavily regulated, to name just a few major differences. But spending a week in London and its surrounding communities really opened my eyes to some pleasant surprises, namely the respect that Europeans have for America and our cars. England is known for a small handful of worldwide automobiles. Most are quite stately vehicles, the likes of Aston Martin, Bentley, Jaguar, Land Rover, and Rolls-Royce. Others are high-performance sports cars, such as Ariel, Caterham, Lotus, and McLaren. Similar to America, many cars on British roads were these domestic marques, but countless others were imports from foreign countries. Especially around the wealthy London area, many German and Italian luxury and sports cars took to the streets; BMWs, Mercedes’, Audis, Maseratis, Lamborghinis, and, my favorite, Ferraris. Although these expensive vehicles were surprisingly abundant, they weren’t much more than one would see in a wealthy American metropolis like Los Angeles. Most common folk made their way about town by means of other, more affordable European and Asian cars, including Peugeots, Fiats, Škodas, Vauxhalls, Hyundais, Kias, Toyotas, Hondas, and Nissans. Although many of these makes are unfamiliar on American roads, their market segment was very familiar to

me. By and large, however, the most common vehicle on the roads of London was the ubiquitous black London Taxi. Produced by the London Taxi Company, the vehicles are similar in concept to America’s Ford Crown Victoria, which, until recently, was used almost unanimously by fleet taxi companies and police departments nationwide. The London Taxi Company has been producing black taxis for the city since the 1930s, and the vehicle in production today, although thoroughly modern, bears a resemblance to the original. Initially taken aback by the car’s polarizing styling, the tradition and history behind it gained my respect over the course of our week in London. Though many connections can be drawn between Great Britain’s roads and America’s, numerous more differences can be spotted as well. The most obvious is the country’s use of public transportation. Transport for London is a government agency responsible for maintaining public transit systems in the city, including the most commonly used, buses and the Underground Tube subway. Millions of residents in London use these modes of transport every day to get to and from work and run errands around the city. In our time in London, we used the Tube daily to get around to our different sight-seeing excursions. Though America has seen success in some areas with public transportation

systems, none of ours are as successful as London’s; we simply can’t match the efficiency, cleanliness, and low-cost of London’s impressive Tube. This, however, is not a shock to most. Because America is far wider and spread-out than Great Britain, it is difficult for us to implement public transportation successfully. There are other reasons that contribute to our differences in public transit, as well, though. As we know, the cost of gasoline and diesel fuels is far higher in Europe than in America, a result of higher fuel taxes. Furthermore, the roads are typically not well-suited to automotive travel, some being too small to fit even a fullsize sedan. This, in my opinion, indicates the root of our biggest automotive differences with England, and all of Europe, in fact: America is young, and our country grew up around the automobile, while all of Europe was already well established when the car was invented, and thus had to modify their plans to make it fit in. As a result, roads are cramped, towns were already close together and conducive to public transportation, and big cities were so overcrowded that fuel usage needed to decrease to maintain air quality, so the heavy fuel tax was put into effect.

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From these differences stem many different cars. While there are a handful of cars for sale in Great Britain that one could buy in the United States, far more of them were unique to the United Kingdom or Europe. Most cars are far smaller than those we’d buy in the States, so as to fit on those cramped roads and to get better fuel economy. Many Europeans like their fast cars, but it seemed that far more were concerned with their fuel usage than with going fast, so small cars with even smaller engines were the norm; this is a sharp contrast to the 1970s American mantra, “there’s no replacement for displacement,” an homage to basic engineering of old American engine designs, which were just made bigger when more power was desired. Most cars on London’s roads were not powered by gasoline, but rather by diesel fuel. The diesel engine is the most efficient internal combustion engine that we know of, so this was absolutely great for all European roads, and its implementation in all kinds of cars was astonishing. Everything from the cheapest little Smart to the most expensive Porsche could be had (and often was had) with a diesel engine. Why can’t we do this in America, though? Two big factors are standing in our way: a bad reputation and difficult emissions. Diesels have had a bad rep in the States ever since General Motors introduced the Oldsmobile diesel in the late 1970s. This engine was loud, smoky, sluggish, unreliable, and not even particularly fuel-efficient. Unfortunately, to this day, many Americans don’t realize that not all diesel engines exhibit

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these bad qualities, and that in many cases, the diesel is far more desirable than its gasoline equivalent. Disregarding the bad view we Americans have of diesels, however, US emissions standards make it incredibly expensive for car manufacturers to produce diesels in this country, which is why most diesel vehicles are significantly more expensive than its gasoline counterpart. It is simply not feasible in many situations, so most carmakers choose to stick with gas because it is more economical and widely accepted. The biggest surprise for me in London was the respect that Europeans have for American cars and engineering. That is, at least professionals and experts appreciated America. American cars were conspicuously absent from London roads, with the exception of Ford, which has a very strong European presence. The stigma of America in London is that we are lazy and dumb, and our cars aren’t much better. Our cars are made to go fast in a straight line, but start turning corners and it doesn’t know what to do, most Londoners agree. Most don’t even bother to test drive an American car when they’re shopping around to buy, but the experts are quick to point out that they’re missing out. Browsing through Top Gear magazine, I was pleased to find that many Europeans have taken notice to America’s shift in engineering priorities. In the past, they were correct in stereotyping us for our oversized, overweight, gas-guzzling automobiles, but the modern American car is different. We’re

in the middle of a fuel-economy war between auto manufacturers, so cars are getting smaller and lighter, which lends well to the good handling and driving dynamics that the Europeans love. We’ve still got a lot of work to do to win over the public’s opinion in London and Europe, but it was so refreshing to see that professionals who regularly compare cars from all over the world could acknowledge that America’s cars are becoming quite competitive in the global marketplace. After my keen observation of the automotive scene in London, my biggest takeaway was that although American and English cars and auto markets are extremely different, that is simply all they are; neither is necessarily better or worse than the other. Both sides of the argument will claim that their cars are the best, but the reality is that London has their small, practical cars because they can’t afford the fuel, or they don’t have the room for a large car or multiple cars. And conversely, Americans buy big cars because we simply don’t have a need for something smaller and more practical, and we have plenty of space to accommodate our large lifestyles. With the exception of the manual transmission’s lack of relevance in the US anymore (there’s the car enthusiast in me coming out), I would argue that both car markets are equally competitive and healthy. It was absolutely stunning to see all the beautiful cars on England’s roads, but I’m glad to be back in the States, where we drive on the proper side of the road from the proper side of the car.


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YOLOndonReview @VickyDCamacho This week was full of history lessons, memorable interactions & a newfound understanding. Bidding London adieu, but I will be back! YOLOndonReview @VickyDCamacho Final English Brunch to top off the week! Fabulous London — with Lily Delphine at All Bar One, Holborn.

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via Instagram Today: The Tate Modern

YOLOndonReview @VickyDCamacho Wandered the streets of Oxford, St. Mary’s Church tower and had a lovely meal the oldest pub in Oxford With Elaina — at The Bear. YOLOndonReview @VickyDCamacho Flaunting prints on the way to Oxford

YOLOndonReview @VickyDCamacho This is England <3

YOLOndonReview @VickyDCamacho A dreamer has luggage in tow, about to board a plane with 20 plus students to London. That dreamer is me and I can’t believe it’s happening!

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Walking Art: London Street Style @LilySanders When Oscar Wilde wrote, “one should either be a work of art, or wear a piece of art,” I assume he was referring to the trendsetters strolling the streets of London. In this specific United Kingdom metropolitan, the art on the street runs parallel with the art in the museums. The Tate Modern’s Pablo Picasso’s are represented by the women wearing Peter Pilotto’s structured and geometrically printed dresses. Romantic watercolors by London-born J.M.W. Turner match the ethereal lace dresses and blouses that the wonderfully dressed women selling vintage jackets and shoes at the Spitalfield market. In Kensington, the women donning elegant trench coats and high heels are reminiscent of the fashion of the royalty exhibited at the Victoria and Albert Museum. There is no doubt that Londoner’s consider fashion a form of art. Not only do the people of London consider their clothes pieces of art, but also it is clear that they dress themselves to express their personality and identity. In Lawrence, people wear shirts to identify if they are a part of Greek life or to affiliate themselves with their favorite sports team. In London, people dress themselves in pastel furry coats or rich floral pant suits to convey what mood they are in or what kind of night they are trying to have. My first night in London, I went to Madison’s Cocktail Bar, which offered sensational panoramic views of London. Instead of my attention being focused on the London skyline at night, I was transfixed on the confident men and women wearing outfits that could have been featured in a Vogue editorial. I was immediately impressed with the women’s outfits that were inventive and challenging. One outfit in particular from that night sticks with me. A woman paired together a metallic A-line skirt with an

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asymmetrical Hawaiian-inspired crop top, and topping off her look with gold and silver costume jewelry with sleek black heels. She took risks with her outfit and produced an amazing look. Her effort and creativity inspired me to style myself like a true Brit for the rest of the trip. If I was going to be visiting one of the most iconic fashion capitals of the world, then I figured I might as well dress the part. With this attitude in my mind, I spent my days scavenging through neighborhood markets and hidden vintage stores to replicate the woman’s’ from Madison Cocktail Bar noteworthy style. European fashion-forward retailers like Zara and Topshop were my go-to places to find the best knock-offs from London Fashion Week. Although I spent more time shopping and

observing street-style than I did in museums famous for their renowned art collection, I didn’t feel like I missed out on a cultural experience that I shouldn’t have left London without doing. To me, fashion is a medium of art that is used to express a concept that is bigger than just beauty or designer labels. It can bring about a feeling of awe and even bring tears to the eye because of its powerful aesthetic impact. Londonbased designer brands like Alexander McQueen and Burberry Possum has inspired people everywhere to step up their game in their day-to-day lives by wearing something completely outstanding. From my experience in London, I consider the fashionistas on the street to be the true artists of the city.


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Wherefore Art There No Rubbish Bins? @TashaCerny In London, there are no rubbish bins.  As our group gets off the plane, I am carrying a 15lb carry-on (I’ve decided that I could not part ways with my laptop for an entire week, even though I will not use the darn thing the entire time I am away from home) and a large purse filled with my travel papers, a cell-phone that will have no reception the entire time I am overseas, and make-up that I am not wearing. In both my hands I juggle the trash that the flight attendants did not pick up from me on their last rounds with a trash bag. I am too nice to leave the rubbish on my seat; little do I know that I will hold these plastic wrappers all the way through luggage pick-up and customs, and that I will only finally get rid of these pointless hand-fillers once I am in our hotel room two hours later.   The reason for the lack of rubbish bins, as they are referred to in the U.K., is something I will only be reminded of once I am back in Kansas, reading through the notes of a fellow classmate and traveler, trying to

discern what exactly it is I will write about.  As she notes the abbreviation “IRA” next to a question brought up in class, “Why are there no rubbish bins in London,” I am flooded with memories of explanation from my first trip abroad to London three years ago. Due to bomb threats from the Irish Republican Army (IRA) guerrilla group, authorities in London have been reluctant to place bins in busy areas and in/near London Underground Stations. Particularly after the terrorist attacks of “7/7”, potential hiding places for bombs are of major concern in high traffic areas. However, this fact escapes my memory while I am in London for a second time, and I will ponder frustratingly at their serious disappearance throughout my eight days there. Possibly the most frustrating aspect of the serious lack of rubbish bins throughout the city is the taunting number of recycling bins that have been put in place in areas where no rubbish bins subside. These specially

designed bins are what the British authority is calling “terror-proof,” and have shaped openings meant to handle the shapes and sizes of recycling that each bin is designed to hold, while not allowing large enough openings for bombs to be deposited. These bins, while environmentally friendly (good for you, London!), are taunting because much of the rubbish I will acquire throughout the week is non-recyclable. The bins are deceiving, being about the same size and over-all shape of a rubbish bin. My natural inclination is to assume that where recycling may be deposited, so too may rubbish. This turns out not to be so. Several times on my various journeys throughout London I will stray from fellow travelers, having spotted one of these recycling bins and hoping to find a rubbish bin accompanying it. Almost always, I will have no such luck. Like the unicorn on the Royal Crest of the British Monarchy, the London rubbish bin is nearly a mythical creature. #whereyoubin

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Hampstead Haven @BrookeGunter Tucked away four miles northwest of Charing Cross is a little piece of London named Hampstead. Often referred to as Hampstead Village, this area of London charmingly does remind travelers of a small and sweet village with a certain spunk and uniqueness to it. This little hidden treasure of London is home to a distinct scene of artistic, musical, and literary energy. After hearing rave reviews from other London Reviewers about this gem of an area, I decided to go check it out and see what all the buzz was about. It proved to be just as fantastic as was described to me. I realized that the reason I enjoyed it so much is that I felt like less of a traveler and more as a part of the neighborhood there. I spent time enjoying the scenery around me, rather than trying to capture all of the glitz and glamour of the busy city life through the lens of my camera. I didn’t have a map and I didn’t have an agenda, which made for the perfect recipe in which to explore Hampstead. I just took off from the Tube stop and followed wherever my interests led me. One of the most thrilling finds of my wandering was a beautiful park, which happens to be quite well-known: Hampstead Heath. “The Heath,” as it’s commonly called, stretches across 790 acres of land and offers a little country within the city. The great thing about wandering through London is that you will stumble across sites that were never

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on your “must-see” list to begin with. For me, Hampstead Heath was one of those unexpected finds. I was away from busy streets and bright lights for long enough to forget I was even in a big city. What surrounded me instead were beautiful ponds, bright flowers, and stretching meadows. Hampstead provided me with a nice change of pace from the previous five days spent in London. I felt like I was instantly transported to a quaint small town. The flow of life there was slower and more relaxed. Instead of honking taxis and scrambling people, I had my own little oasis complete with many trendy shops and local dives to explore. After a few days of fast-paced and pre-planned sightseeing, I found that spending some time in simple solitude perusing the streets and parks of a quiet little nook of the city reenergized and excited me. Hampstead was never on my original list of locations to visit while in London, but the ironic thing is, that it ended up being one of my most favorite locations. I concluded that London was best experienced by venturing off of my “must-see” list and onto fresh terrain. Enjoying time away from large tourist attractions and museums and instead opting for an afternoon spent along the cozy streets of Hampstead left me with many beautiful images of what “small-town” London is like. Therefore, my advice to any London-bound traveler is to seek out the quietness of the city by setting aside

an afternoon for wandering, choosing a random Tube stop off of the beaten path and then exploring wherever you feel led. By doing so, you will be able to capture another memorable side of the busy and booming metropolis, which is the charm of a “small town” within a big city. #bigcityserenity


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The Guards, They qre A-Changing: Musings on Military and Government @CatieGronniger In truth, I thought the changing of the guard would be pretty lame to watch, an elaborate and unnecessary ritual spectacle, like pretty much everything relating to the English monarchy. Instead, it intrigued me and provoked several deep thoughts. As an educated American (raised on the philosophies of our founding fathers and the intelligent European men from whom they borrowed their ideas), I do not quite understand why England still has a monarch. Granted, she does not seem to possess much in the way of real power (please correct me if I am mistaken, but it appears she has only been handed an easy and extravagant life for historical reasons, because of a bloodline that may or may not now actually be close to the original stock), but why bother holding on to something that does not have any use and only drains the nation of financial resources that could

be better spent on those suffering in the “real” parts of the country, on the sidewalks, in rundown buildings, in damp, dark, and crowded homes? On the coach from Heathrow, I looked out at rows upon rows of small, twostory brick houses, weathered and worn from the passage of time, with cramped, concrete gardens behind them smattered with dozens of potted green plants to evoke some notion that there is life, hope, and health to be had in those crowded boroughs. I observed an older woman with short and straight dark gray hair sitting on a plastic chair in her front garden, shoulders slumped forward with her forearms resting limply on top of her slightly sprawled thighs as if mustering up the courage to return to whatever exhausting activity caused her to rest in the first place. She was somewhat far away, but I could see the positioning of her face, pointed for-

ward and slightly down, and I felt pity. I bet she has never met the queen and would not care much if she ever did. But I guess it is not the queen’s fault inequality plagues developed nations – America clearly has its own set of issues, the causes of which I will refrain from surmising. England is a good, just country, a worthy ally. It is possible for a nation to champion individual rights and promote republican values without divesting itself of the patriotic traditions that produced its unique historical trajectory and rendered its current form. Who am I to say the queen has no purpose? To the people of England, she is an emblem of their country and their history, a living relic that is not to be disparaged. We Americans have our flag, that unifying symbol of all that we stand for, of all that our founders and the countless military men and women who served after them fought

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and died for many times over; the English have their queen. And there is nothing wrong with that. As I watched the changing of the guard ceremony proceed to the front of the Wellington Barracks, where it completed its final moments, I was impressed with how precise and orderly everything was. These men, as foolish as they looked with their enormous bearskin hats ruffling in the steady breeze, never broke step, even when one of the horses before them lifted its tail and dropped a significant

load of fresh poo directly in their marching path. That is one important definition of love and respect for one’s country. Some of their stomping and shouting and arm swinging brought thoughts of toddler tantrums to mind, but even so, the soldiers possessed – no, demanded – a certain unquestionable dignity that made me afraid to do anything that could potentially put me on the other side of their terrifying assault rifle-bayonet combination. These men are not harmless action figures who stand there all day just

to fascinate tourists and continue a unique aesthetic tradition. They are trained military professionals, exceptional servicemen drafted to protect their nation’s most sacred living treasure. And they will threaten you if you test them. They will kill you if they must. It is easier to revere our military men and women here in the States because their uniforms are less garish and their movements more subdued (though equally deliberate, precise, and demanding of respect), but despite the differences in dress, procedure, and ceremony, the two bands of protectors are not exceptionally different from one another. Every nation has its own traditions, but people are fundamentally similar everywhere. We all feel a sense of loyalty to our country and to our family; we are all willing to fight to preserve the things we value most; we all have a system that works best for us. Though I am still an American through and through and my allegiances will always rest with the stars and stripes and the fine nation they represent, I can still appreciate the unique characteristics of other nations that look out for their people and support noble interests. #WorkingTogether

10 things about America that are suddenly 10 times more annoying post-London @NinaScheibe 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10.

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The cars are bloody massive, and they’re driving on the wrong side of the road. Brown grass, bleached-out sky, and no flowers anywhere. Exuberantly colored houses. Sales tax. The complete lack of well-groomed men in tailored suits. Breakfast. Once upon a time I enjoyed my raisin bran and soymilk…not anymore. Feeling compelled to acknowledge and smile at people while walking to class. Interesting accents are a rarity instead of a given. Slow walkers. Still have my tube ticket, but no train to ride.

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Day and Night, Over vs. Under @TashaCerny London nightlife is bizarrely scarce and alive at the same time. Coming from the country that birthed The City That Never Sleeps and the 24hour Walmart, it is difficult to accept that London has a bedtime.  Above ground, the city retreats within walls by 8pm; below ground, the Tube, which transports the nightlife of the city, shuts down at 12:30am. After that, the only beings on the sidewalks are those returning from their local pubs, and the only vehicles on the street are the double-decker night buses and taxis that shuttle home lost tourists. The Tube is oddly quiet at night.  Other than the unbearable screeching of the train brakes, riders do not make a sound.  It is a characteristically British thing, to not be social in public spaces.  Occasionally at night, though, you will have the misfortune of getting onto a loud train car with someone who has had too much to drink. Otherwise, conversation is typically minimal on the Tube. Between 7am and 6pm, you will not hear a single British accent on the Tube (other than the driver and the

automated station announcements). This time is for self-contemplation and singular preparation for the work day or journey home. The exception to this occurs around midday, when the population of Tube riders is mainly tourists. During the day, London is much different. Above ground, London is a maze of centuries-old buildings; history stuffed in every corner. During the day, the streets are full of traffic and public transportation, though most everyone walks from place to place. Despite being one of the most populated cities in the world, the physical span of London is really just about one square mile. Winding roads and countless, unending buildings make the looks of the place deceiving. There are parks and green areas interspersed throughout the city, and it is easy to get lost amid the ever-changing landscape of neighborhoods: it only takes a turn around the corner to be in an entirely different world. Underneath London is an entirely different landscape. The Tube is a fascinating and mind-blowing thing. Some of the tunnels and Tube sta-

tions are not far beneath the surface of the city, simply accessed by a short stairwell, like the Circle and District lines in the Gloucester station. These tunnel lines fascinate me the most because they can often be heard from above ground, as was true in the Phoenix Theater, where a group of us saw the musical Once. For the entire duration of the show, there would be a subtle rumbling in roughly ten minute intervals, as if a weak thunderstorm was accumulating outside. As equally noteworthy are the Tube tunnels that are miles beneath the ground. These are also incredible to think about, as they often take several stairs and escalator rides to get to – sometimes even an elevator if the Tube station does not have the depth needed for escalators (like Covent Garden). These lines are sometimes so far beneath the Earth’s surface that when the carriages pass through a long tunnel, one’s ears pop from the pressure change. Possibly the coolest part of the Tube and being underneath London is ruminating on the idea that the system of Tube stations and Tube lines act, in many ways, as their own entirely separate world away from the city. Each station has a personality – like Baker Street, which is by far my favorite Tube station. While getting on or off at Baker Street on one of the more contemporary Tube lines like the Circle is not very interesting – other than a mural of Sherlock Holmes’ silhouette, the platform is unextraordinary – hopping on an older line, like the

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Bakerloo, will take you into a more historic part of the station. The Bakerloo line is situated off to the side from the entrance to the other Tube line platforms, and contains an abandoned entry area that looks as though it once housed several small shops and stands for what, at one point, must have been a very busy train station. The ceiling of the Tube platform for the Bakerloo line is wide, low, and sloping, constructed entirely of bricks, and giving the impression that at one point, it had been a very showy station indeed. The trains that come through the Bakerloo line are just as shabby and worn, but this only adds to the charm of what must be a legendary station and platform. To this day, it still boggles my mind that within Londonâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s geographical vicinity, there actually lives two physical, vibrant cities: London, above ground, and the London Underground. #Londonlife

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The Struggle for WiFi @AllyJones While I knew that finding wifi and data in London would be a different situation from what we are used to here at home, I never could have predicted the scarcity of internet and the constant mission we each found ourselves on to obtain connection with each other and the world back home. Without data or texting plans, we had no way of really contacting each other while on the trip, so wifi served the sole purpose of connecting to the world back home. Without free wifi at the hotel, the search was constant; in fact, our choices activities began to revolve around whether wifi would be available. I might even say that the value of an experience or place increased greatly in the presence of wifi. One night, a few of us stood outside a deserted Starbucks for 20 minutes, not saying a word to each other as we engrossed ourselves in precious, poor-signaled Internet. On another occasion, I met up with a friend who lives in London and whom I haven’t seen in 5 years. For almost the entirety of our time together, she was stopping occasionally to Snapchat, text, or Facebook message on her phone. Maybe I was simply jealous of her access to data that I didn’t have, but I remember feeling a bit irritated, confused as to

why she would choose to interact with the people she sees on a daily basis instead of me. I realized, though, that I do the exact same thing back home – constantly posting, liking, commenting, and texting. In fact, it was almost peaceful, not having constant stimulation and access to anyone and anything via my phone. Yet, despite being in one of the most amazing cities on this planet, once wifi was found, this peace was forgotten and my phone always absorbed me. When comparing the lives we lead everyday to that week in London, wifi holds two very different roles. Here, we live for wifi, taking it for granted and constantly using it. Every once in a while though, we are interrupted by real-life interaction and conversation. In London, we were constantly interacting with the real world and were interrupted by rare access to wifi. As the week in London progressed, I did notice that my obsession for finding wifi decreased, and I took much more notice of the physical, tangible, and beautiful world around me. Wifi became a privilege instead of an interruption, and I grew to appreciate it while also realizing its potential for over-use. #addictedandstruggling

The Top 8 Ways That Dan Almost Got Injured in London @Dan Phalen 1.) Looking the wrong way before crossing the street, only to realize that a car was coming from the other direction. 2.) Looking the wrong way before crossing the street, only to realize that a white car was coming from the other direction. 3.) Looking the wrong way before crossing the street, only to realize that a very expensivelooking car was coming from the other direction. 4.) Trying to get a double-decker bus to stop for the group after the KU game. 5.) The treacherous steps at The University Church of St. Mary the Virgin. These steps were built for little 11th century feet, not mine. 6.) Disturbing the ghosts at the Tower of London. They weren’t happy that I scored so highly on the archery simulation. 7.) Visiting the British Museum. I’m sure that many of those artifacts were cursed, and I felt uneasy being around so many of them at one time. 8.) Looking the right way before crossing the street, only to realize that it was a one way street, and that many, many cars were coming from the other direction.

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From Beowulf to Harry Potter. The Legacy of Literature @BlaireGinsburg Let me begin by saying that the first I heard of The London Review was at the beginning of my Major British Writers to 1800 course last fall. Within days of the study abroad pamphlet being handed out, we began reading Beowulf, the oldest surviving epic poem of the earliest Old English vernacular. When my professor said that the sole manuscript of the tale resided in the British Library in London, I was sold: I had to go on this trip. Fast forward to Monday, March 17. I’ve been in London for all of 36 hours, and after a handful of months and an eight-page research paper on the poem, I’m about to see the Beowulf manuscript in person. The hype is real – there’s an entire lost culture

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behind this story, the shift from oratory tradition to written literature, and the fading remnants of an ancient language. Upon entering the Treasures of the British Library exhibit room, I am astounded by just how vast it is – various wall displays and cases obscure a direct line of sight to the back, but it’s somewhere far off, I can tell. The lighting is modest, but dim, with brighter lamps illuminating the exhibited pieces. The glass cases are all on sturdy supports done in solid colors and clean-cut lines, the descriptive fonts sans serif, and housing all of these ancient, weathered, yellow-paged volumes, it is a wonderful visual juxtaposition.

I start along the left wall where major pieces relating to literature are presented, starting with the Beowulf manuscript and ending with a first draft of Sylvia Plath’s, a timeline through history. I wait for the current viewers to step down the line of the display, and then, I’m standing a foot away from one of the oldest texts in written Anglo-Saxon history. One of the first things that strikes me about the Beowulf manuscript is how small it is – no larger than five by seven inches, by my eye. Its pages are weathered looking, yellowed with small stains, the ink slightly faded. These aged imperfections are the product of time and toil and handling and survival, though, and they give


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it as much strength of character as the tale’s eponymous protagonist. As I’m forced to move onward down the length of the display case, not wanting to loiter, a sense of contentment settles over me, because as long as that manuscript sits in this library and is integrated in school curriculums, its story lives on. If that isn’t a beauty within itself, I don’t know what is. The same thought occurs to me a few days later, Thursday, March 20. A good portion of our group has ventured out to the Warner Bros. Studios to tour the Harry Potter film sets, and that sense of a legacy surrounds me yet again as I move from the Great Hall to costume displays to classroom sets and more. This entire tour is a cast and crew of thousands peeling back the layers and the curtains and the movie magic until we’re left with a completely tangible core: JK Rowling’s literary masterpiece. I started reading the Harry Potter books when I was eight or nine, between the publications of Goblet of Fire and Order of the Phoenix. My uncle lent his copies of the first two books to my older brother, who was eleven at the time, and thus the ‘appropriate’ age to follow Harry along his journey into the magical world. My brother wasn’t half the voracious reader that I was though, and so he passed the books off to me. I was immediately enamored with the richness of the culture Rowling had spawned, the whimsical enchantment of a world of magic, the excitement of

adventure. Reading that book was like falling headfirst into the story myself, and even if I wasn’t of age to receive a Hogwarts letter, it gave me time to hold out hope in my imagination. The best was yet to come, however. Just a couple months after finishing the first book, Warner Bros. premiered the very first Harry Potter film. My excitement snowballed with every thought of what a movie would hold: a genuine look at the Hogwarts castle, seeing scenes play out before my eyes instead of in my head, a real live Quidditch match, and magic beyond my imagination. Of course I knew it was a production, just like I knew the books were fiction, but that didn’t ruin the illusion of it all in the slightest. If anything, the movie brought the wizarding world even more to life in my mind’s eye. Standing there, so many years later, in the middle of all that movie magic, surrounded by droves of fellow fans snapping pictures and reveling in the sight of it all, I am encompassed by the very legacy of yet another prominent work of British literature. I can so

easily see this world and this series holding its ground for centuries to come, rooting itself firmly in the landscape of history, and standing up as a monument of what one little story can become. It is a testament to Rowling, to authors of countless British classics, and even extends all the way back to the bards of Beowulf themselves. Just as importantly, though, it’s an inspiration to the storytellers of the future, and I only hope that one day I can join that legacy. #litchat #mischiefmanaged

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How To: Avoid Going Broke in London @HannahDenning Armed with the knowledge that London was an expensive city and knowing intimately the details of my spending habits, I set aside a generous sum of money to spend during my visit. Quickly after my arrival in London, I received my first lesson on how easily it was to overspend without realizing it. Heading toward the hotel, all of my classmates talked about how they were going to document every moment in London. That’s when it occurred to me: I had forgotten my journal in America. Once I showered off the stale air of the eight-hour flight and ate dinner, I decided to explore the neighborhood and to find a shop that might sell journals. I wandered the streets and visited one of the first souvenir shops I found: Press Bureau. They had a nice selection of journals, and once I found one that was aesthetically pleasing to my eye, I turned it around to check the price. £15, read the label. In my mind, as one might predict, I saw it as $15. $15 for a journal? I’d come across cheaper options in Barnes and Noble. How-

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ever, it was getting late, and I wanted to document my first experience on an international flight and my first impressions of the city, so I decided to get it. I hadn’t visited an AMT yet, so when I approached the counter, I offered my credit card. “Is this okay?” I asked the cashier. “Of course,” he responded. When he swiped my card, he looked up at me and asked, “Do you want to see the conversion rate on your receipt?” Though I didn’t hear his question at the time due partially to his accent, partially to my jetlag-muddled brain, I nodded politely, took the receipt, and headed back to the hotel. Once I got back into my room, I found myself wondering what he’d asked, and I grew curious, so I looked at the receipt. Lo and behold, I discovered that I hadn’t spent $15. I’d spent $26 dollars on a journal. To say that I was surprised was putting it mildly. I immediately discovered that money went quickly in London. There were plenty of enjoyable, free things to do, such as exploring museums, attending festivals, and visiting the landmarks and parks. There were also a lot of fun, inexpensive things to do, such as going to markets, eating at pubs, and riding the red double-decker buses around the city. However, the things I enjoyed the most were not exactly cheap, such as visiting the Harry Potter Film Studio, attending musicals, and drinking at the pubs. If I were advising someone who only wanted to spend a specific amount in London, $500 for example, I would first suggest converting it into British currency. In this case, $500 is

approximately £300. Next, I would advise avoiding the use of a debit or credit card: it’s quite easy to overspend on accident. Instead, I would find an ATM and withdrawal some bills. If you don’t plan on withdrawing your full spending budget, make sure to record how much you withdrew, so next time you know what’s left. Also, look over the activities that you want to do while traveling abroad and budget accordingly. The last thing you want to have happen is to not have the funds to do something you’d been planning on. Lastly, try not to stress too much on money. Ironic, no? This trip takes place over spring break, so yes, while you should keep your budget in mind, don’t let prices overwhelm the experience. While spending $100 on Les Mis tickets gave me a slight heart attack at first, once I was seated and watching the musical I’d been dying to experience for ages, money was the last thing on my mind. #MakinItRainOnDemBrits #WhereforeArtThouSugarDaddy


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True Life: My name is EVERYWHERE in London @VictoriaKirk It was everywhere. I had gone from a place where my name was slightly uncommon and seen as just another name to a place where it was literally royalty. In the United States, when I tell someone my name is Victoria, I’m always asked if it is okay to be called Tori or Vicki. When I tell them I just like Victoria, sometimes I feel like I am judged for wanting to be calling such a long name. Luckily, being named Victoria in London was somewhat of a blessing. Before getting to London, I had of course known the significance of the name Victoria, but I did not necessarily expect to see it, and hear it, all over the city. The streets, the tube stations, the statues, EVERYTHING had something named “Victoria”. During our guided walk the first day of our trip, I saw the “Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea Victoria Road” sign. A couple hours later, I gazed in awe at the Victoria Memo-

rial statue outside of Buckingham Palace. I had the chance to visit the district of Victoria, and then several days later, while at the Victoria Train Station, I saw my name every few feet on the nameplates. Of course, I took the opportunity to take pictures with the things that had the same name as me, and found myself posting them to social media networks whenever I could connect to a WiFi source, and I would attach a funny caption to the picture like, “look at the train station that is named after me!” Not only did London have many different sites that were associated with the name Victoria, but also in our group of thirty students, there were two other Victorias. Needless to say, during our trip, I heard my name more in those several days than I had in all my 21 years up to going to London. Whenever introducing myself to new people, the name Victoria always received a pleasant reaction. There was even an

instance when I had to thoroughly explain to someone how no, I was not named after a queen. However, one thing that was pretty great about being named Victoria in London was that everyone knew how to spell it. I guess that’s always a plus, especially at Starbucks. #mynameisawesome

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National #Selfie

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Portrait Gallery

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The Hills are Alive...with the Sounds of Britain @Elaina Smith As we drowsily exited the airplane at Heathrow, we tried to be excited. After all, we were finally in London, but we all felt ‘airplane-y’ and gross and just wanted to sleep. Then, as we waited for Mary to contact our bus, we heard it. The sound that evaporated all of our ill feelings. The sound of a voice coming through the intercom: “Please do not leave your bags unattended. If they are found, they will be destroyed.” The message itself seemed bland, if not a little drastic, but it was how it was said that caused a smile to light up our droopy travel faces. We were in the UK. What comes with the UK? Accents! British accents have fascinated Americans forever. Things just sound better in an accent. If I had to be told bad news, I believe I would take it better if it was delivered in an accent. Jokes aside, British dialects are incredibly interesting because they are so geographically specific. I had the privilege of taking an accents class with an acting instructor that is one of the foremost experts in English dialects: Paul Meier. He discussed a selection of the dialects spoken in the UK and how class and geography impacted the evolution of those ways of speech. RP (Received Pronunciation) is the most proper of all of the dialects, and it has almost completely disappeared in the natural speaking world. It is still found in proper theatrical plays and other such venues (Blithe Spirit, for example), but other than the tippity top of the upper class that has specifically trained their speaking be

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this way, it has been influenced and changed by one dialect or another. Cockney is at the other end of the spectrum; known as being a lower class dialect, cockney was spoken by laborers and others in that class. It has since morphed and joined with whatever other dialects it has come into contact with.

Dialects are much more prominent in British society than in American society. Children are bullied because of their accents, and people often study how to make their speech sound more proper so they are more marketable as potential hires for big companies. During our trip to London, I noticed this in action. Older men and women who were obviously more well off would have an accent more similar to RP when I spoke with them on the tube or in the streets. Usually the office workers in nice suits on the tube

would also speak in this way, though I heard several American and Australian accents mixed in. However, I did not hear anything close to cockney in this setting. Cockney was heard more with the security guards and other out-of-the-office professions. The youth that I encountered in London varied with their accents, and some were a collection of so many different things that I really couldn’t determine where they would be placed in society. Not only can you start to determine class structure, but you can also geographically determine where someone came from. And not just a general idea like, “Oh, she’s from the south,” or, “There’s a Boston accent if I’ve ever heard one.” Sometimes it can be discovered right down to the neighborhood where someone is from. You encounter this in in the musical My Fair Lady and in the play on which it was based, Pygmalion; Henry Higgins, a dialect expert, determines the very street where people are from. Since the mobility of people has improved since the turn of the century, it is less easy to be that specific, but it can still be accurate. Regionally, the accents are incredibly varied. One might have trouble thinking Hampshire and Yorkshire dialects are even connected at all. Regardless of where exactly they came from, we love them all the same. From, “The bags will be destroyed,” to “Please mind the gap,” to “Welcome to Hogwarts,” to “DO NOT OBSTRUCT THE DOORS,” it all had a musical quality that made the entire city seem magical.


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“Well Fertilized” @AllyJones While on the tour of Kensington, I remember very clearly Angie, the tour guide, describing the cause of the exquisitely beautiful church gardens, saying, “church gardens are often so lovely, and it makes sense. I mean, they are so well fertilized. They used to be graveyards after all…” At the time, I found this comment hilarious, as well as very characteristic of the typical, crude British humor. I assumed, knowing the importance of wealth and status in English history, that the quality of the garden is thought to correlate with the quality of those buried in it. All jokes aside, I considered the fact that this could be seen as disrespectful and inconsiderate to some, especially given that in America, we avoid talking about death at all costs. As the week progressed, I realized how right Angie had been, and every church garden we stumbled upon was indeed beautiful. Each time, I struggled to see past the fact that decomposed bodies could be accredited with this beauty, and found myself very caught up on that idea. On Tuesday, I stood at the top of St. Mary’s church looking out onto the beautiful Oxford town when I was distracted by the garden below, and had somewhat of an epiphany about the idea that had haunted me for days. Maybe I was in-

spired by the setting in which I stood, or maybe I am grasping at straws for something to write about. In any case, I realized that the buildings I looked upon, which had held some of the most brilliant and prestigious minds of history, were comparable to the gardens. The men and women who had walked the oxford halls contributed some of the world’s greatest ideas, literature, and much more. Though many of them have passed, their legacies and the people affected

by their work remain. All of us leave behind parts of ourselves in more ways than we could ever physically measure, “fertilizing” the world with our actions, words, writings, glances, impressions, interactions, etc. Everything that we do here on this earth, no matter how big or small in magnitude, affects the ways in which life ensues from that point on. As the dirt is constantly recycled in those church yards, you cannot possibly trace how much one of the corpses has helped a shrub-

bery grow. Similarly, you cannot trace how much we, and everything we do and say and look at and touch, will affect the generations to come. So who knows what plant will grow from your decomposed body in the years to come – all you can be sure of is that everything you do, and everything anyone has ever done, will change our world and the people who inhabit it. Just as the church gardens sprout from the graveyard remains, we each grow from the lives of all people that have lived before us. They “fertilize “ us - shape who we are and what we do - despite their physical absence. Whether we have nitrogenrich corpses or not, we all will leave our incalculable mark on the lives of the people of the future. This is what this book represents in a way, does it not? Our stories, accounts, and embarrassing “selfies” will affect our lives, the lives of those who read it, and the lives of all the London Review students in the future in some shape or form. So just as I would choose to have beautiful flowers sprout from my decomposing body as in the London church gardens, I hope that my life, in some way, will positively fertilize the world, and encourage and shape the growth of love and happiness. #deadpeoplemakeprettyflowers

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Result of Not “Minding the Gap” @AllyJones stationary middle escalator as stairs. The excessive calorie intake at the Borough market probably inspired this. 14:23 – With only 8 steps left on the escalator, Ally trips and lets out a scream. She is embarrassed and doesn’t want to draw even further attention to herself, so she ignores the initial pain and focuses on getting to the top. Once at the top, Brooke, Laurel, Dan, and Sam are all concerned about Ally, whose jeans are slightly ripped at the knee and blood is slightly visible. Ally insists that she is fine, but agrees to clean the wound up before continuing the journey. 14:12 – The group meets after spending an hour at the Borough market with full stomachs and happy hearts. 14:15 – Ally, Brooke, Dan, Sam, and Laurel decide to go the Covent Gardens market and board the Jubilee tube line. 14:22 – The group of 5 gets off the Jubilee line at Waterloo and follows signs to connect to the Bakerloo line. This requires them to go up an escalator, and because the far left upward-moving on is full, they choose to use the

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14:40 – Ally, Brooke, and Laurel discover that the wound is actually much deeper than expected. Ally starts to feel a little more stressed, realizing that she cannot take care of the knee herself and is in need of medical attention. 14:52 – Dan and Sam find the First Aid stand of the Waterloo station, which consists of a small, dirty room and a lady in a neon workers vest acting as nurse. Ally and Brooke exchange a fearful look, and Ally insists that she is in need of an actual hospital.

14:55 – The first aid “nurse” sends the group “just around the corner” to St. Thomas’s A&E (Accident and Emergency, the equivalent of the ER) 15:07 – The group reaches St. Thomas’s after about 5 blocks of walking, which hardly fit their definition of “just around the corner”. All the while, Brooke, Laurel, Sam and Dan refuse to listen to Ally’s insistence on their continued touring of London. Little did Ally know how much she would appreciate their help and support in the proceeding 3 hours. 15:08 – Ally checks in to the A&E, all the while observing the striking presence of smoky scent and absence of impeccable cleanliness. She is beginning to feel very stressed, wondering if she will be receiving adequate care in this seemingly less-than-adequate hospital. Brooke is very reassuring and calming towards Ally. 15:10 – Dan, Sam, and Laurel explore the hospital. 15:22 – Ally has finally been called up to check in, and is surprised by the minimal amount of information that is asked about her. The employee acts surprised by Ally’s concern about


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not having her insurance card on her person, and insures her that it is unnecessary. 15:45 – Simon, a smiling nurse practitioner, calls Ally’s name. 15:50 – While sure that Ally was getting adequate care, the girls notice a slight difference in the way in which Simon handles the medical instruments compared to the way in which they would be handled in an American hospital. Friendliness and conversation seem to be of greater importance to Simon than complete sterility. 16:07 – Brooke receives her first live suture lesson as Simon puts 9 stiches in Ally’s knee. Simon is confident, calming, and competent. Ally feels that she is receiving excellent care, despite her initial impressions of the hospital. 16:17 – At the completion of the procedure, Ally asks Simon where she should go to pay. He laughs and assures Ally that no payment is need. It’s completely free. 16:20 – Ally and Brooke find Sam, Laurel, and Dan. The group walks out of the hospital, exchanging surprised and joyful stories about the free-of-charge and once-in-a-lifetime experience. While the hospital was seemingly scary at first, the group was generally pleasantly surprised by the experience, and reflects on the possibility that Americans take unnecessary measures to achieve sterility. Ally was sure to mind the gap, and the sharp escalator steps for that matter, for the remainder of the trip. #atleastitwasfree

Scenario Number Four: Brain Swap Gone Wrong @DanPhalen I watched helplessly as my body ran through Hyde Park. I chased it as quickly as I could, but my little legs could only go so fast. The professor had warned me not to perform a brain-swap experiment on myself, but curiosity had gotten the better of me. I had decided to use my dog Benny as a test subject, as nobody else was in the lab. I had expected to brain swap with Benny for 10 seconds, and then be swapped back by the timer mechanism. However, as soon as we swapped brains, the silly dog started flailing around in my body and broke free of the machinery. He sprinted out the door and into the park. It looked like Benny was slowing down. For a dog trapped in a human’s body, he sure knew how to run well. This was my chance to catch up to him, although I had no idea what I was going to do after that. I suppose I could try barking at him to get his attention, or maybe I could scare him back with a threatening growl. Before I could reach a conclusion, I saw Benny reaching into a bobby’s pocket. “You stupid dog!” I tried to shout, “Don’t do that! You’ll get me in trouble!” Unfortunately, all that came out of my mouth were three loud barks. That got the bobby’s attention immediately. She turned to Benny and asked him what he was doing. I jumped around and barked at her feet, trying to explain the situation, but she ignored me. Before I could do anything else, Benny bopped her on top of the head. The next thing I knew, he was wrestling with two bobbies and shouting, “Police Brutality!” at the top of his lungs. I was so distressed that I didn’t even bother to wonder how Benny learned to speak English. They hauled Benny off to who knows where, and now I’m sitting in a kennel at the police station. If I could just get back to my body, I could explain this whole situation to them. I’m the victim of a brain-swap gone wrong!

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The Future is Now! @SarahHornung I like books. Old books, to be specific. I like the ancient, fallingapart-so-much-that-you’re-afraid-itwill-dissolve-the-instant-you-touch-it kind of book. When I went to the British Library, weirdly enough, I didn’t really learn much about those kinds of books. I did, however, learn some fantastic details about the future of digital archiving. Leading us through the library was Nora, whose title is technically “curator,” though she prefers to be called a librarian. She works with the digitization of information, and explained a bit about some of her most recent projects. She took us on a little tour of the library, showing us a bird’s-eye peek at the main four-level reading room and leading us through the main exhibition hall. As we gawked at the manuscripts of Emily Dickinson and John Lennon, she described some of the fascinating parts of her library experience. One such element of digital librarianship is turning physical books into digital archives. At a basic level, computers are able to “read” typed text. Handwriting and illustrations are just a mess of lines that do not translate well into data, so transferring those to digital format is basically impossible without some human intervention (side note: Nora said that those “captcha” things on the web that ask “are you human?” are often street addresses that you’re helping digital machines to translate—so weird!). Recently, Nora’s team of curators put 65,000 pieces of literature through the digitization process, resulting in a million unidentified blocks in data where the computer was not able to read an illustration. The team wanted to describe each picture, but that endeavor would require a massive, overwhelming amount of effort on their part. So what did they do? Posted the pictures to Flickr. They put every picture in the public domain, giving the book and

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page number for each illustration. The hope was that anyone interested would look at each of the pictures, maybe do some research, and post their findings. Fantastic! I had heard of crowdsourcing, but I only then understood what it meant. Nora further blew my mind with a discussion about “digital manuscripts,” what they are, and what the heck we do with them. We rarely write letters (or anything, really) by hand anymore, so our correspondence is less accessible after individuals cease to exist. Instead of letters, what do curators and researchers collect? Computer hard drives. We can find out an awful lot about a

person from what she does with a computer. There arises the question of what information should be studied or published; while knowing about someone’s life is fantastic, some things do not need to be revealed to the public. Having access to a well-known person’s email correspondence is quite similar to collecting letters, but it’s just not necessary to release someone’s full browsing history. So now begins the discussion (debate?) regarding what kind of information should be made available to the public. This will be an interesting topic to keep up with, and maybe we will one day see some of the contents of J.K. Rowling’s hard drive. #digital!

Liberal, Kansas Takes on The London Review @LydiaYoung Coming from a small town in Southwest Kansas, traveling the world has always been a dream of mine. I have been fortunate enough to study Spanish in Barcelona, Spain, shortly after my Freshman year at KU, and as a Senior I saw no better way to end my time in college than another international experience. When completing the necessary requirements for the Office of Study Abroad, I ran into a familiar face – Freshman Victoria Calderon who also is from my hometown. I asked where she was going and with what program, to which she replied the London Review for Spring Break. I honestly couldn’t believe it, and I was so happy that she was starting out her time at KU with a study abroad experience. While in London, we took arguably the best photo ever taken in front of Buckingham Palace, and I know we both will cherish these memories for the rest of our lives. This trip would have been special no matter what, but sharing it with someone from your hometown makes it all the more significant.


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Growing Up, Growing Out @KatherineStites

There’s something about getting on the tube and navigating London by yourself that makes you feel like an adult. During my nine days in London, I learned about British history and culture but also I learned what it feels like to be an adult in one of the most influential cities in the world. Part of the London Review experience is being self-sufficient, learning how to travel on your own, planning your own days and doing what you like to do. London is about being independent, being brave; it’s a sophisticated city with a fast-paced way of life. During my stay in London, I found myself asking this question: How do you tell the difference between what you don’t want to do and what you’re scared to do? Did I really not want to take the tube for a lunch by myself or was I scared to do it? London Review

helped me understand how to work past that initial fear of trying new things and experiencing new situations. This program reminded how important and valuable it is to be comfortable being alone. After London, I have a better idea of the type of city I want to live in when I graduate or the type of school I would potentially enroll in for my Master’s degree. I also have a better understanding of what I enjoy doing, what makes me happy. Through

experiences like this, I learn more about who I am and who I want to be. As a soon-to-be KU graduate, this is the time in my life where I’m completely free to choose my own path. That’s an incredible amount of responsibility and pressure. I would never be able to confidently make that kind of decision if I hadn’t seen more of the world, if I hadn’t experienced many different places and cultures. #grownup

“Traveling is how I get to know the world; it’s how I get to know myself. London Review is no exception to this.”

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Dear Mary ... Thank you so much for working hard, looking out for us, and making this fantastic trip possible. It was so refreshing to get out and experience something big and exciting before returning to the old comforts of Kansas. I hope you enjoy a well-deserved rest before heading back in the summer! We students sincerely appreciate your kindness, your concern, your sacrifice, and all that you do. - Catie I couldn’t have asked for a better supervisor on my first trip abroad. You are outstanding in every way! I would never be able to trust 29 students venturing off by themselves in another continent, and that’s what makes you so special. You have instilled in us a sense of wonder and exploration, all the while showing us how to have a smashing good time. London Review 2014 will forever be a memory I cherish and share with those I meet. Thank you for being you, Mary. There can never be another. -Brea I don’t even know how I could ever thank you using such a small amount of space. My gratitude to you could flood the entire city of London; probably even the entire island of Great Britain. Your dedication to every one of your students and your tireless efforts to put our wellbeing first is so admirable and rare. You deserve all the wonderful things in life and more. So thanks, not only for giving us incredible opportunities, but also for always being there for us. – Victoria C.

Thank you so much for all of the planning you put into making our trip the best possible experience. The personal attention that was given to each and every student is unparalleled in the university. I appreciate you so much! – Sarah T.

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I am so thankful to have gotten to know you over the years and especially on this adventure. You make us all better by inspiring us to dream big and connecting us with the resources to make those dreams possible. Thanks for everything. -Jenny I’m so glad that I was able to go on one of your famous study abroad programs before I left KU. Thank you for all the guidance and reassurance about my wild ideas about the future. You truly are an incredible teacher and an incredible person. Cheers! -Katie When I walked into your office to ask about the London Review last fall, I was instantly reminded of my very first visit with you back in high school. Four years later, I know that I couldn’t have asked for a better advisor, let alone leader for my first study abroad experience. London was so incredibly amazing, and I can’t thank you enough for encouraging me to go. Best wishes! -Blaire Thank you for your sincerity, guidance, and belief in me. With much love and to many future glasses raised. - Kayla

I absolutely could not have asked for a better study abroad experience than the London Review! I will never forget the time and effort you put into making each and every students’ experiences the best they could possibly be. You gave me so much personal attention to make sure that my travel plans were smooth and stress-free, and that means so much to me. Thanks for turning what started off as a fun spring break trip to London into a life-changing cultural educational experience. - RJ


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Dear Mary ... (cont.) Dear Mary, You truly went above and beyond to make our trip to London so wonderful. The London Review Program was an experience I’ll never forget and I thank you for that. Your patience, kindness, and effort are so appreciated. I’m so happy to have you as a teacher. - Lily The London Review rebooted my mind and gave me a newfound appreciation for living passionately. Your fervor for life and experiences rubbed off on me! You inspire me. It is because of your vision for this trip that we were able to freely soak in culture and return with life-changing impressions. I really enjoyed the moments spent talking to you about where to find whiskey for my husband in the hotel parlor and chatting about future goals at the Turf. Dearest Mary, you’re a lovely lady and I’m privileged to have met you. It won’t stop here! London Review 2014 was the opportunity of a lifetime and now, I’ve gained a friend and role model. Love & hugs, Vicky Dear Mary, I met you on my very first day of class at the University of Kansas. And I have never been so inspired than when I was sitting in your office talking about my future with you. That inspiration continued throughout all of college. While we didn’t meet or talk as often as I would have liked we always had a ready smile for each other. I was thrilled to be accepted into the London Review and one of the main reasons for that was knowing I would get to spend as much time with you as both of us could stand. Traveling abroad with you was truly a gift and I couldn’t think of a better companion when going abroad (can we please do it again sometime?) actually I can’t think of a better friend in general. I consider you to be someone that I will bother for many, many years to come… & I hope you’re okay with that! Love, Taylor

Dear Mary, Thank you so much for everything you did to make the London Review such a great experience! The London Review will definitely be an experience that I will never forget and has been the best experience in my college career so far. I know that the trip took a lot of planning, organization, patience, and work in order to make it go as smoothly and enjoyable as it did, and I really appreciate everything you did! -Laurel Nothing that any of us could say would fully convey how much you mean to us. Especially through this trip, you showed us what it means to take notice of all the beauty in life and never forget to have fun while doing it! I will always aspire to develop the way in which you find hidden value in every experience, even if it’s falling up an escalator on the tube and getting 9 stitches! We love you Mary, and would follow you anywhere in the world! – Ally Mary, thank you so much letting me be a part of this year’s amazing London Review trip. I am especially thankful for your patience with my flying fear, and holding my hand during the scary parts! It truly was the trip of a lifetime. – Victoria K.

I don’t even know how to begin to thank you. I feel absolutely blessed to have gone on the London review. It wouldn’t have been the same without you. You changed my life. I’d follow you anywhere, even to Missouri. Thanks for putting up with me. – Lauren

Thank you for an adventure of a lifetime. This experience will be something that I will cherish forever. Thank you for always being so encouraging and supportive on this journey. - Ashleigh

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Dear Mary ... (cont.) Mary, Thank you so much for showing us such an amazing city! You made the trip so memorable for me. It was such a joy to get to know you better over the trip. You are by far one of the most caring and devoted professors I have had the privilege of knowing at KU. Thank you for a wonderful trip filled with fun memories that I will treasure forever! -Brooke Hiya Mary! With your confident guidance, I have hopped across the pond to unthinkable adventures. In every endeavor we have undertaken together, your tag-team work with basically everyone in my family has built a comfy little net of support, and it feels so nice to be well cared-for. You put an unimaginable amount of trust and consideration into every relationship, and it has led to fantastic connections across the world. Back at home, too, when school is being school and life is being life, you find a way to look at it all in a new, fascinating light. Cheers for the love, my dear Mary. – Sarah H.

Mary, The London Review is a fantastic program and a wonderful opportunity to explore a beautiful city. However, it would not be half of what it is without you: your kindness, your knowledge, and your dedication to making this a highlight of our college careers. You have such a lasting impact. Even after we part ways at the airport, because you have helped us have the most amazing experience possible, you and the trip stick with us. You are wonderful and supportive and I cannot wait to visit London again and see you guiding another group of lucky students around the fantastic city. Until then! Elaina

Thank you for being so supportive, thoughtful and kind. You really make my experience at KU even greater. Thank you very much. Saran

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Mary, Thank you so much for planning this amazing trip year after year. You help give students a life changing experience and for that all of us thank you. You put up with us crazy kids half way around the world, which takes a lot of energy, I don’t know how you do it year after year. I was really hesitant to apply to the program, but you told me I should and that I would love it. And you were right, the trip was amazing. I’m so glad I listened to you and applied to go to London with you for 10 days. Thank you once again, for all of the work you put into this trip. Cheers, Jessie Mary, I could say so many wonderful things about your sense of adventure, humor and guidance, but truthfully I can think of no words in the English language that can truly describe the impact you have had on my time at KU and my life. It was you who talked me into applying for this amazing experience, and I can think of no better leader than you for this trip. The memories I made in London will last a lifetime, as well as the friendships from the amazing people in the London Review. I can’t wait until the day I return to that magical city I called home for a week, and I hope to catch a glimpse of your cat scarf jumping on the nearest Tube stop. Cheers, Lydia. Mary, I couldn’t be more thankful to have shared this experience with such a great group of people. And it would not have been so dang awesome had you not been so dang awesome. Your knowledge, humor, organization and spirit are truly admirable. Infinite thanks! -Sam Mary, thank you so much for giving me the opportunity to have this adventure. The London Review is an amazing program, and I’m very fortunate to have been a part of it. This was definitely an experience that I’ll never forget. – Dan


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Dear Mary ... (cont.) Mary, thank you for all the time you put into the planning of our trip and helping all of us get organized. Your excitement for England and everything it has to offer was really motivating and made me that much more excited about traveling to London. I’m so grateful to have been given the opportunity to travel with you, have you as a teacher, and get to know you. You’ve been incredibly inspiring and a wonderful role model. You’ve inspired me to aspire for greatness. The trip to London really opened my eyes to a world I never even knew existed. I just wanted to thank you for all the time and patience you’ve given me. Every moment I’ve had with you has truly been a blessing. Annie.

You’ve known me since before I officially stepped on to Jayhawk Blvd as an undergraduate student. I’ve seen you change the lives of every single person you come in contact with during my time here, and every day I am amazed by the incredible passion for which you approach your life, your work, your friends, and your students. I see that passion reflected in everyone around you, certainly including myself. With your uncanny insight, I am sure you know me better than I do myself, and you’ve probably already guessed correctly where I’ll end up in my life, while I’ll spend the next six decades trying to figure it all out. But even though I am unsure of myself and my place in the world, I do know one very important fact, and I learned it from you: It’ll be fine. #thanksforagreatfouryears Much Love, Tasha Everyone told me, “You have to take a class with Mary before you graduate.” I don’t think it dawned on me why they were so insistent until that moment one night when you gave me a massive hug because you were so excited about the nerdy music things I had done that day. Even after years of doing the same trip, you bring in so much joy and love that every time feels just as special as the first. Thank you. -Nina

While I’ve had many memorable experiences at KU, nothing has quite measured up to this study abroad program. I want to thank you for all the time and work you put into making this trip special. I worried about traveling abroad for the first time, but you alleviated all my stress and replaced it with unimaginable excitement. Thank you so much for assembling this incredible group of twenty-nine ambitious, intelligent, charismatic, kind, and dependable individuals. I’ve made so many precious friends on this trip, and I cannot thank you enough for all that you’ve done to make this trip a reality. It’s an experience that I’ll cherish forever. Love, Hannah A word from the alums: I don’t even know where to start, but thank you so very much for letting me be a part of the London Review for so many years. I am so grateful that your program introduced me to such a magnificent city, one that has become an increasingly large part of my life and a place that I would one day like to call home. Throughout my time in the UK, you have remained my connection to Kansas and are one of the few people who understand the many ins and outs of my experience in both places. Every time you visit, and even though I think it impossible each time, I only appreciate your company more, and I look forward to the good times and glasses of pinot grigio ahead. Cheers and much love, Mandy Thank you for taking me abroad for the first time and for always nudging me toward new, exciting and more complex perspectives. Nothing would be the same without you. I’m so grateful to be included your study abroad trips to the UK! Looking forward to seeing you in London again soon. Best wishes, Kelsey

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The London Review Staff Profiles @AllyJones Freshman aspiring to be a physician, given I don’t kill myself on an escalator between now and then. Seem to have a particular affinity for being harmfully clumsy in public places. #atleastitwasfree @HannahDenning Graduating in December with a BA in English, emphasis in Creative Writing. To quote Ferris Bueller, “Life moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it.” @ElainaSmith Senior BFA Theatre/Voice major with a Minor in Business. Loves performing, reading, friends, family, and summertime. And London. @DanPhalen Senior from Pittsburg, KS, majoring in cell biology. I had a great time in London, and I hope I didn’t embarrass my country too much. @JennyCuratola Just another Theatre-English-Middle-East-Studies-Italian student trying to figure out what to do after graduation. Also, Will Shakespeare is the love of my life. @JessieBittner Student at University Kansas, Speech-Language Hearing, Marching Jayhawk. Love Camp Barnabas & working with those who have special needs.

@SamKovzan I attend Arsenal football matches by day and lounge around with Emma Watson and Kiera Knightly by night. Can’t always get what you want.

@BrookGunter Senior majoring in Neurobiology. Medical school-bound. Clotted Cream and Scone Enthusiast. Terrified of London pigeons.

@CatieGronniger Aspiring doctor, writer and human being. Shooting for outstanding but accepting all outcomes. Embracing life’s offerings, taking God’s lead. 134

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@SaranDavaajargal Freshman from Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia majoring in Economics and Mathematics. Lucky number is 22. I love reading books, playing Rubik’s cube and eating chocolate chip cookies. @TaylorBettles Graduating in May with a BA in English Literature, Rhetoric, and Writing. I love my friends, my family, and especially my cat. @AnnieLandis Sophomore graduating in May 2016 with a BGS degree in English Literature, Rhetoric, and Writing with a minor in Journalism. I love to read and write, and I’m a huge nerd. @LaurelMichel Junior majoring in English with hopes of going law school after graduating next year. Originally from Salina, KS. Hobbies are shopping and watching “Big Bang Theory” marathons. @BlaireGinsburg Junior majoring in English and Creative Writing. Lover of literature, travel, and 90s TV. #writingispassion #lifeisinspiration @SarahHornug Awkward at first, but you get used to it. Lover of Jesus, chilli squid, books, London rain, and chatting with Grange Strathmore concierge. @LilySanders When I’m not seeking therapy for my shopping addiction, I’m researching what it means to be a Virgo and stuffing cheese in my mouth.

@LydiaYoung “When a man is tired of London, he is tired of life.” Avid explorer and cider connoisseur.

@RJZeiler I like to build cars, drive cars, fix cars, look at cars, buy cars, restore cars, watch car TV shows, and read car magazines. @BreaCudney University of Kansas ’14. Squirrel Lover. Duck Connoisseur. The next Kate Middleton. #royal #kopparberg #londonfirebrigade London Review 2014

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@SarahTaylor Junior in Mechanical Engineering from Rolla, KS. When I am not doing homework or obsessing over Disney, I moonlight as a super hero. Lawsuit vs. Tony Stark pending. @VictoriaKirk The bags under my eyes are Prada.

@LaurenJohnson Enjoying my victory lap, but will finally graduate in May with a double major in Journalism and Political Science. Part-time DJ/waitress/sno-cone manager, full-time KU enthusiast. #rcjh @KatieStites Senior majoring in Global and International Studies. After graduation, I hope to pursue a career in vagabonding. @AshleighLee Corgi addict. Living for a Pacific Coastline. Lover of all things Australian. Always seeing life through a camera lens. “I think quite ready for another adventure.” Bilbo Baggins @KaylaSale An overachiever with a love for the interdisciplinary: student of ecology, math, and CS; painter of cartoon animals; reader of mystery novels. @VickyDiaz A girl keen on films of the ‘30s through ‘60s, writer & photog, coffee purist - nix sugar & cream, vintage lover and thrift-find digger. @TashaCerny Graduating Senior with a BA in English/Creative Writing at the University of Kansas::Aspiring Traveler, writer, and Indiana Jones impersonator. @VictoriaCalderon As a young self-professed literary genius, my goal is to overthrow the patriarchy yet all my crowning achievements include meeting famous men.

@NinaScheibe Aspiring bassoonist. Big on dreams, low on sleep. Self-professed nerd, nutcase and cheese-aholic. Prefers dogs over humans, but will never turn down a good hug. 136

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Lon You o n d Y o o Lon n ly u o ne R do on lv y n i #yo o cR e e w e l v n ie #yo once w londo d n on

This book made in part theUniversity University of LeRow, production staff, staff, and and This book was was made in part byby the of Kansas, Kansas,Pam Pam LeRow, production Mary Klayder, beloved professor and adviser. All content is original. Mary Klayder, beloved professor and adviser. All content is original. London Review 2014

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