Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Final Thoughts, August 4, 2011.

 One step in the time to achieve the success.  I left my comfort zone being around my children and making sure that my husband has a very successful career,  stepping out of the 'kitchen', and leaving all these behind to re-entered back to school to start all over again.

Yes, I can say it -- I did.  I was starting with an old programs on my MAC 2008, which could not keep up with all assignments or downloading all extras that I needed to create all assignments.

I have to say Thank You Very-Very Much to everyone who was helping me through all these three weeks that flew by like a day.

I would recommended to anyone to try to do something so unfamiliar that you could feel the same way that I do right now: A Blessing!


Good for a change.

Another day at the palace, The Buckingham Palace. Once again, it all about gold, tourists, and a big impression. The tour is well organized since this is the Queen's official residence.  The Faberge exhibit is one of the kind.  I wear only one bracelet that is a modern Faberge.  Nothing to compare the original Faberge art work, which was started in Saint-Petersburg, Russia and went out of business in 1920, but reopened in Switzerland. Strolling among the beautiful palace, passing over the dress of Kate Middleton, hearing the story about how the dress was designed by Sara Burton.  The lace on the dress was made in Hampton Court, wow, we just went there yesterday. I glad that I was able to see this dress so close, even though then I married almost 20 years ago and I could not afford any special dress on my wedding day.  Yes, the dress is beautiful, what else you would designed for a royal wedding.

The gardens, and the greens, and the alley to heading you back from the palace.

Finally, the last stop.  The Hard Rock Cafe:

Great for a change.

My family started a tradition then we take our boys for their b-day to the Hard Rock Cafe.  It began as accident while we were on the family vacation in overseas.  Boys missed traditional American food the most.  Since this 'accident' my boys are waiting to go out for b-day dinner to wonderful world of the Rock & Roll.

Yes, it was a very special lunch in the very first Hard Rock Cafe.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Hampton Court

As soon we arrived to Hampton Court, passing through the green court, I could not help myself to stop thinking about all palaces that I was visiting in the past.  Somehow, I see so many similarities in each of them even though all palaces are different.  Most tours are started with bedrooms or  a dining room.  Today, we were heading directly to the kitchen.  Appetite, attitude, and amount!  This is a king's life after all.
Good Lord, Henry did not eat the same meat every day, and actually he loved varieties.  Sure, including the number of his wives.

Still, the Hampton Court is listed among the top ten things to see in London.  I wander through over 60 acres of beautiful maintained gardens, the Maze, and the Chapel Royal, still I was thinking about the life-style...

The life is good!

Monday, August 1, 2011

Hyde park; Kensington Gardens.

A green summer.  Summer in the city get a little overheated in London too, so it is a the prefect day to take a break and go on a "nature  and culture" excursion.  Today is an opportunity to enjoy the cool air and discover some excellent and very special parks that dedicated to Princess Diana.

 The first stop was at Diana, Princess of Wales Memorial Playground with a centerpiece of the wooden pirate ship in Peter Pan style.  The whole area is designed so that children can play together, and the same time,  provides  many educational & social skills, encouraging using an imagination with.
  The second stop, the Memorial Fountain symbolized life and happiness.

I saw the children playing around, and I was thinking about my boys.

Today's assignment is photographing water.

And babies -birds that I saw 

and in the end - the prefect tea party with delicious food. Great day!

Back to work: more assignment are due.

Paris -- Part Three: The Modern Art & The Louvre.

My Paris is all about an art.  It's always intriguing for me.
On Friday, I saw the sign about an extreme event: "Paris-Delhi-Bombay" exhibition at the Pompidou Center, and of course, I told myself that I have to see it.
 At the start of the exhibition, a hi-tech module summarizes the main principles of Indian society, regulated by a system of values that may seem very complicated and exotic to us.  Museum compares India past and present and an Indian dessert. Seventeen French artists have also been invited to express their vision of India.  This was an extreme journey between India's Old & New Worlds that again confirm to me that the contemporary art is forceful expression.

The Louvre isn't a forceful expression.  This is my choice; I enjoyed every moment of being there.  I started back on the same spot where I stopped on Friday since we have a limited time only.  I went all floors, and I spend another 6 hours there.   I love it, and I am dreaming of coming back.

And a real Mr.  French Mascot is very-very tired and wanted go back to London;


Paris -- Part Two: A New Shopping Experience

If Paris is the capital of fashion, then Galleries Lafayette is its heart.  Following the department store's renovation, the pulse of the french luxury sector beats here. But do all Parisians browsing its floor or tourists.  The Galleries Lafayette attracts many international customers and provides special services for them.  Certainly not.  Yet, thanks to its exclusive offers, the shopping is now a paradise for foreign visitors.
I saw the lines of only foreign shoppers, mostly from Asia, and I saw that each counter has an asian-native salesperson.  Finally, to make the delights of shopping even less stressful, the store is offers another brilliant  innovation: an immediate tax-refund service.  I found the best shopping innovation for me -- a free chilled water with many free refills as you wish.  I took advantage of that.
 45-minutes later, I was heading outside away from the new shopping experience.

Paris -- Part One: Culture & Gourmet Dining

Three days in Paris, is it enough?  This is my third time in Paris.

Paris is so different compare to London: the speed of the life, the language, and the atmosphere. 
Paris earned the reputation of the center of the style, the art, and gourmet dining.

Paris has more monuments to discover than any other European capital city, which is only natural, you might think, for capital of the country that welcomes the most tourists in the world. However, few restaurants can claim to be an integral part of  Pure –bread Parisians and tourists alike come here in search of something quite different: the soul of a city and taste for certain art of living. 
For over a centuries Paris has been a place to savour simple, authletic, generous, traditional cuisine that is easy on the pocket. Classical and seasonal startes, tasty meat and fish dishes and succulent stews follow each other in the unique friendly atmosphere created by sharing large tables with their red and white tablecloths.

Diners chat, marvel, learn, enjoy themselves and feast like kings.  Isnt that what July is for?

Well, I noticed that easy on the pocket restaurant is disappeared very quickly.  The breakfast that used cost about 20 euros, now is 55 euros.  Do you think it is too much, too soon, and too dramatic?

Here is some view on dining; here is everything available, and if you cannot afford -- take a pictures as I did.

Remember there is always a street market:

Thursday, July 28, 2011

The British Library.

The British Library is the national library of the U.K.  Now I have a Reader Pass for the British Library. Everyday the library received up to 8 thousand items for their collection, plus all items that was requested  by readers.
What did I learned today from our guided tour?  Books by Shakespeare on the display are all poems, why?  At that time, the play was designed for performance, and not for a reading.
The next stop, at the music display.  The written text of songs by the Beatles that never was recorded.
The map display.  We saw London before & after the Great Fire of 1666 side-by-side that represented the time with eye-level view.  We saw something really similar in the Museum of London, but the British Library has an original items on display. I liked maps collection at lot because it a very interesting  to see how people used their imagination to represent the world around them.
Magna Carta has 4 copies.  We saw one in the Salisbury Cathedral, and now two more copies in the British Library. [the Lincoln Cathedral has one more copy]
I also learned that people of London raised up 53 thousand pounds to help purchased  Codex Sinaiticus that Stalin was selling for 100, 000 pounds during the WWII.

I also browsed on my-own and visited all exhibits. I found a display with four old Russian post-cards, 1914, a visual presentation of 2214.  Although people in 'the 23rd century' costumes that are very similar to fashion of the early 20th century.  The buses are flying from the top floor of the buildings, and many-many airplanes up in the air, and many-many cars on the street with a really heavy traffic and a few accidents.  I smiled while I was looking on these post-cards: they are close to reality.

I wished that I can often come to the British Library and discover something new every time.

Today, I am choosing the backward view from my photo-collection: I want to look back, and I am looking to come back.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

The Globe Theatre: Before & After

Evening along the Thames & Ann Boleyn:

The city is living at day & at night.

Sherlock Holmes in London: Observation, Deduction & Knowledge.

It happens in every city -- when we read fiction, it is often based in reality, and when it is tied to a specific place.
The places are real, even though the characters are fictional. People love to visit places described in books; it how I started my digital story. 

The Sherlock Holmes Museum is the most popular privately run museum in London. The address is 221B Baker Street is the world's most famous address, even though 221 Baker Street existed only in Conan Doyle's imagination.  Still, if you're planning to visit the museum, prepare to pay 6 pounds, climb a very narrow stairs to see for yourself how imagination, stories, & descriptions recreate a real atmosphere of Sherlock Holmes house.

 Observation, deduction and knowledge are main steps of Sherlock's Holmes problem solving method.  Still, no one can solved mystery as well as Sherlock Holmes did: discovering clues, deducting the cause, and finding solution.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Mixing Modern with an Old.

The Salisbury Cathedral is busy with visitors daily.  I did not realize that I was saying "Sorry" to the real statue that does not move.  Suddenly, I saw all kind figures, including the fountain in the middle: the water -tower. I asked guide the name of artist: he said he thought it was Bruce Munro but he wasn't sure. He told me that it was normal to see all kind arts inside one of the oldest cathedrals.
Photography is welcome in the Cathedral, except  Magna Carta, which creates a good place for displaying art.  On the other hand, this is a sacred place.  I thought about how every aspect of marketing is covered to a new level, including installations, and hidden reasons why foreign tourists visit this cathedral, and bring support to local economy. Maybe it is a new way to show you care about the future of the Cathedral, through communication with modern art.

Mr. Piglet presents his adventure through the world of modern art inside one of oldest cathedral;

Mr. Piglet stood up and looked up; walked down the steps; sat down; tried to hide; and went to sleep.

What do you think about Mr. Piglet?

Monday, July 25, 2011

The history in our hands.

Stop # 1: The London Museum. I never have been here before, even though this isn't my first time in London. How I could miss this place before? The history that you can hold in your hands, see all transformation through the time, seeing how London was born on rubbish but turned out to be one of the most beautiful cities in the world.

I could take a shot of the real Roman ruins from the museum's windows, but the closest shots of the ruins were outside. I was overwhelmed from seeing all of these in one stop. What do these finds mean? Some excavated objects are easily identified and explained. Others keep their secrets.

The new & modern incorporated inside museum is so lovely. The transitions are natural, which not every museum can do. A slice through time: Saxon, Medieval & Modern, which can be used to help understand London. Many more await discoveries.

Video Project: The White shoes

The idea about this video was born back home when I was trying to figure out what to bring or not to bring.  I was reading all posts from my fellow classmates about Wear or Not To Wear, Bring or Not To Bring. That was a question.
I spied so many white shoes here in London, worn by people from all over the globe, so my short video shows many of the white shoes I saw lately.

Here are some of 'our' Facebook conversations before we came here:

What is appropriate footwear for London in the summertime? Having a hard time knowing what to pack.

FSU Multimedia 2011 Wear comfortable shoes as we will be on our feet a lot! However, wearing white (only) athletic shoes usually screams you are an American.June 14 at 8:13am · Like           

Theresa Latonis Wondracek LOL. An irish friend of mine said that her brother-in-law made the mistake of wearing white sneakers once and his feet were pointed at and discussed! She also suggested I bring capris and skirts, as shorts are "not done" -- at least for women. Can anyone give me some advice on this?June 16 at 4:59pm · Like 

I also asked my boss who was saying the same thing that we learned from Dr. Everhart before we came to London.  My boss, Ann O'Bryan, told me; "
Elena, I remember I was told the same thing before I went to Liverpool many years ago. It’s probably just a bit British snobbery and a way to look down on Americans. ;-)



Saturday, July 23, 2011

Why Do We Wear Masks?

"In order to protect ourselves, we hide our faces to make it much harder for them to identify us."  This group comes once in month on Saturday to protest in the front of the "Scientology" building for last three years.  I am so sad that my video did not work out that I took while I was watching.  People in masks are extremely loud, with a modern music turn up high.  I wasn't alone who was taking photos of this protest.
I have some pictures to share:


Day goes fast, maybe too fast; laundry takes close to 4 hours for just two loads, and working on assignments takes forever.
So much to do, so much to discover.

Friday, July 22, 2011

J. M. W. Turner

Joseph Mallord William  Turner – the English painter was born on April, 23 1775, sharing his birthday with Shakespeare;  that date was chosen by artist himself because , no actual date was recorded.  He died on December 19, 1851, at age 76.  He was born and died within the modern London.  He was buried in St. Paul’s Cathedral.  His will said to leave most of his fortune of 140, 000 pounds to the foundation of a charity for ‘decayed artists’ with a big portion that went to directly to the Royal Academy of Art. Students there can be award with the Turner Medal or the Turner Prize;  the Turner Prize is an annual art award that started in 1984.
 There are statues representing him at St Paul's Cathedral, Victoria & Albert Museum, Royal Academy of Arts.

He was the son of a barber and wigmaker, but he was submitted to the Royal Academy of Art in London at age 14.  Eventually, he became a professor at the Royal Academy of Art, from which he resigned in 1838.  He was considered one of the first impressionists,  a pioneer in the shimmering colors and lightning , and skilled at creating the ‘atmosphere ‘landscape painting with transparency effects, called ‘the loose style”.  His marinetime style left influences on many generations of artists around the globe.
Turner also became one of the richest artists in Britain’s history.
He is one of the finest British artists and the greatest landscapist of the 19th century. He left more than three hundred paintings  and almost nineteen thousand watercolors to England.  You can find his work all around the world: the biggest collection in the Tate Britain, also his works on display in the Victoria  & Albert museum, and the Royal Academy of Art.

Where can I see Turner’s paintings in London?
The biggest collection is in Tate Britain.

Approximately how many paintings are in the museum?
 Tate Britain has about 300 oil paintings and close to 30, 000 sketches and watercolors.
Wow, it is a lot of paintings.

Is the collection open to the public?
The museum is free to the public except for major exhibitions.

You can also find Turner’s work at the British Museum, Victoria & Albert Museum ,and the National gallery.

I am interesting how they got so many paintings, who paid for them?

All of the works were donated by Turner himself or were later bought for the museum collections.

How many collectors are well known?

The first private collector was an American, James Lenox of NY city, who bought a painting in 1845  for only 500 pounds. Since that Turner’s paintings increase dramatically in the collectors world, for example:  In April 2006, at Christie’s New York sold “A View of Venice “for $35, 8 million, and  in 2010
on July 7, Turner’s ‘Modern Rome – Camp Vaccino’, was sold to the J. Paul Getty Museum  at the Sotheby’s action in London for $44.9 million.

150+ years later after his death he is remains an important figure in British Art, reaching the traditional England and a Modern England at once.


Tate Britain web site.

Sweet 16!

Happy Birthday my sweet a very big boy!

 With Love From London!  I miss you very-very much.

Today at the British Museum I saw something a very special; my feet went directly to  "World of Alexander" and number is 22.