Tuesday, August 05, 2014

Final Thoughts on London 2014

There remains always way too much to do and see in London no matter how long you stay. 

In the last few days our little group managed to visit Chinatown.

A simple walk can serve up some remarkable sights, sounds, and smells.  Stroll through one of the grocery stores or have a meal in one of the many restaurants. Most of them are quite reasonably priced.

We took a couple of rides on the upper deck of London buses.  A special route took us from Picadilly, up Regent Street, then along Oxford Street, past Marble Arch and on to Bayswater.  It's not a fast trip, but it is a  great way to soak up the atmosphere of the city without being embroiled in it.

We scored some half price theatre tickets at the booth in Leicester Square. Please buy your tickets here rather than some of the other outlets in the area.  Profits from this booth go to the Society of West End Theatres.

For a more frenetic experience we tried Hamleys the famous toy store on Upper Regent Street.  It is always crowded and every floor is full of demonstrators keen about showing you how to use or operate the very latest playthings.
As frensy goes I was less enamored of the new M&M sales mart that has been built into the old Swiss Center just off Leicester Square.



For some reason it struck me as a monument to cynical capitalism. If Disney can do it why not have an entire complex devoted to selling little candies and several hundred products emblazoned with pictures of them. There are four floors of thumping music, flashing lights, and roaring color aimed solely at separating children and their parents from their cash.  Go no further to understand why today's youth have the attention span of gnats and need to be maxed out on meds to keep them from flying out the windows of school rooms.  

To calm down cross the river and visit my favorite church in all of London--Southwark Cathedral. The atmosphere is sublime and the tombs are gorgeous.  John Harvard's family attended before they left for America and Willy Shakespeare's younger brother is probably buried here.

All too soon departure day arrives and we bid our daughter and two grandsons goodbye. 

If you can get tired of this view you are indeed tired of life. 






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