Tag Archives: Fame

Trying to Figure Out London!

Related Posts: Planning for London! and Planning for Blake’s London!

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Firstly, I just wanted to thank all the awesome bloggers who have given me very helpful advice for this trip!

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Note: This post is really just for me to try to jot down and organize all the information/recommendations/advice I’ve received about London so far. AND MORE ADVICE IS MORE THAN WELCOMED!

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Here, I’ve narrowed down the Blake historical sites to only the ones I want to see most:

  1. St. James’s Church: (10) Where Blake was baptized. The font still survives.
  2. Westminster Abbey: (10) Where Blake practiced drawing. Monument to Blake in the Abbey’s Poet’s Corner.Will probably end up here on a bus tour!
  3. Royal Academy, New Somerset House: (9) Where Blake studied and occasionally exhibited his work. Original building.
  4. 13 Hercules Buildings: (7) Where Blake produced the Songs of Experience. House demolished in 1918.
  5. 17 South Moulton Street: (10) Will be here on Tuesday!
  6. St. Mary’s, Battersea: (10) Where Blake married Kate. Original building.
  7. Bunhill Fields: (9) Where Blake is buried.

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Important: Buy an Oyster card!

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Harrods Vintage Bus Tour of London with Champagne Tea at Harrods

Okay, this might be really silly/crazy/touristy, but a tour in a vintage bus plus tea time? That just sounds so ridiculous (in a good way, I think)!

Won’t have time for this on Monday or Tuesday, so will have to do either Wednesday or Thursday.

Location: Starts at Harrods, 87-135 Brompton Road, Knightsbridge.

Time: Starts at 1 p.m, for 5 hours.

Price: £49

Includes: Buckingham Palace, Big Ben, The London Eye, Westminster Abbey, Downing Street, Trafalgar Square, Nelson’s Column, Hyde Park, the Houses of Parliament, The Royal Albert Hall, a cruise on the River Thames, and tea/scones at Harrods. 

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Jack the Ripper Tour

Might have time for this on Monday, or otherwise on Wednesday.

Option #1: Every night at 7 p.m. Outside exit 4 of Aldgate East Station. £9. 2 hours.

Option #2Every night at 7 p.m. Outside exit 4 of Aldgate East Station. £9. 2 hours.

Option #3: Every night at 7:30 p.m. Outside exit 3 of Aldgate East Station. £9. 1 hour, 45 minutes.

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Tate Britain

At the very top of my list!!!

Tentatively, I think I might go to the Tate and V&A on Tuesday, the bus tour and possibly Jack the Ripper on Wednesday, and then the British Museum and Blake historic sites on Thursday.

Location: Millbank.

Time: Open daily 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Price: Free (except for special exhibitions).

Taking photos not allowed.

  • Need to find out more about the renovated Blake rooms!
  • Need to figure out what else I’d like to see at the Tate!

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Victoria and Albert Museum

Location: Cromwell Road.

Time: Open daily 10 a.m. to 5:45 p.m.

Price: Free (except for special exhibitions).

May take photos, unless otherwise noted.

  • Ask information desk about the “…four of Blake’s ‘fresco’ paintings on display permanently.”
  • David Bowie is£14.00 (+£1.40 booking fee per ticket). Already bought my ticket!! :D

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British Museum

Location: Great Russell Street.

Time: Open daily 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Price: Free.

Photography permitted in most galleries.

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National Gallery

Not sure if I’ll have time for this.

Location: Trafalgar Square.

Time: Open daily 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Price: Free.

Taking photos not allowed.

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National Portrait Gallery

Not sure if I’ll have time for this. May go if nothing else to do on Thursday evening.

Location: St.Martin’s Place.

Time: Open Sat.-Wed. 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Thurs.-Fri. 10 a.m. to 9 p.m.

Price: Free (except for special exhibitions).

Taking photos not allowed.

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The Princess Louise

A restored Victorian pub. Recommended pint: Timothy Landlord’s.

Location: 208 High Holborn, Holborn. Between Covent Garden and the British Museum.

Time: 11:30 a.m. to 11:00 p.m.

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Tea and Tattle

“Fresh leaf tea in a pot and bone china, scones with clotted cream and jam, finger sandwiches and tasty cakes… could anything be more British than afternoon tea in London.”

Location: 41 Great Russell Street (opposite the British Museum).

Time: 9 a.m. to 6:30 p.m.

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The London Review Cake Shop

“…the traditional with a twist.”

Location: 14 Bury Place  Bloomsbury (near the British Museum).

Time: 10 a.m. to 6:30 p.m.

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Coach and Horses, Soho

Very shabby, but landmark.

Location: 29 Greek Street, Soho

Time: 11 a.m. to 11:30 p.m.

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French House

Location: 49 Dean Street

Time: 12 to 11 p.m. (Food served until 4 p.m.)

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Seven Stars

Something quieter.

Location: 53-54 Carey Street (behind the Royal Courts of Justice, near some of the Blake sites around the Strand/Fleet Street).

Time: 11 a.m. to 11 p.m.

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The Angel

Something quieter.

Location: 61-62 St Giles High Street (a bit of a no-man’s-land between Covent Garden and Bloomsbury that’s central yet tourist-free).

Time: 12 to 11 p.m.

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The Queen’s Arms

Location: 30 Queen’s Gate Mews (near the V&A).

Time: 12 to 11 p.m.

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The Sherlock Holmes

Has a very authentic English feel. Fish & chips.

Location: 10-11 Northumberland Street

Time: 11 a.m. to 11 p.m.

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The Old Shades

Great fish & chips.

Location: 37 Whitehall (Trafalgar Square).

Time: 10/11 a.m. to 11 p.m.

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Lighthouse Fish Bar

Fish & chips of mammoth proportions.

Location: 8 Tooting Bec Road (1/2 block from Tooting Bec Tube Station).

Time: 11 a.m. to 1 a.m.

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Curry/Indian: Any suggestions?

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The Gay Hussar

Fabulous Hungarian food and a very interesting past illustrated by the political cartoons on its walls.

Location: 2 Greek Street, Soho.

Time: 12:15 to 2:30 p.m., 5:30 to 10:45 p.m.

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Copyright 2013 by G. E. Gallas


Planning for Blake’s London!

Related Posts: Planning for London!

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Disclaimer: I do not own this image!!

Disclaimer: I do not own this image!!

As you may know, for the past couple months, I’ve been busy planning for my trip to Cannes and London. I’ll only have 3 full days in London, so I’m trying to figure out the best schedule that will allow me to fit everything in. For my British followers/readers, any advice would be incredibly appreciated.

Monday

  1. Arrive: Hello London!!!
  2. Take public transportation from Heathrow to hotel; check into hotel and get situated.
  3. Since I’ll be exhausted from the film festival (and if I don’t get in too late), I think I might take a bus tour of London. That way, I  can relax and cover all the basics in a short amount of time and hopefully won’t feel like I’ve missed out on anything. If I don’t have time to do a bus tour Monday, then I’ll do one Tuesday morning/afternoon and maybe do a Jack the Ripper tour instead.

Tuesday: Special Event Day!

  1. I’m not exactly sure how I’ll spend a good chunk of this day yet. Like I said, I might take a bus tour of London. Or perhaps check out the London Eye, Covent Garden, Sherlock Holmes Museum, Royal Botanic Gardens, etc. on my own. I have to look into the different types of bus tours and schedules!
  2. Leave some time to relax and possibly nap in the late afternoon.
  3. Special Event: G. E. Gallas Invited to Speak to The Blake Society!

Wednesday: Museums Galore!

  1.  ★Tate: I recently contacted the Tate about their William Blake collection and was absolutely delighted to hear that the renovated Blake rooms are scheduled to open May 14th and will very likely include The Ghost of a Flea — talk about perfect timing!
  2. British Museum: I would like to visit the British Museum’s Print Room (Department of Prints and Drawings), where one can access Blake works without an appointment. According to the Chair of the Blake Society, Tim Heath: “…you are able to hold in your own hands some of Blake’s original (and now priceless) illuminated books. It is one of the secrets of the city.”
  3. Victoria & Albert Museum: According to Naomi, the V&A has “…four of Blake’s ‘fresco’ paintings on display permanently, as well as a good collection of watercolours which you can see in their Print Room (no appointment needed).” Would also love to see upcoming exhibit called  David Bowie is (March – July)!!

Thursday: Blake’s London!

Thursday, I plan on adventuring through London to visit all the Blake historical sites. Naomi recommended this tremendously helpful resource on the Tate’s website: http://www2.tate.org.uk/williamblake/lambeth/london_intro.html.

I need to figure out the easiest way to walk and which sites I would most like to see (on a scale of 1 to 10, with 10 meaning “I absolutely must see this!”).

  1. 28 Broad Street: (7) Where Blake was born. Original building no longer survives. Tate: “Old houses that survive… give a good idea of what Blake’s house looked like.” 
  2. St. James’s Church: (10) Recommended by Tim. Where Blake was baptized. The font still survives.
  3. Mr. Pars’ Drawing School in the Strand: (5) Where Blake was sent to study at age 10. Demolished in Regency times.
  4. 31 Queen Street, Lincoln’s Inn: (8) Where Blake at age 14 became apprentice to an engraver. Original building demolished in late 19th century. Tate: “…but the next-door houses (of brick rather than stone) give an idea of its original appearance).
  5. Westminster Abbey: (10) Where Blake as an apprentice practiced drawing ancient tombs (such as King Edward I) and monuments. Monument to William Blake in the Abbey’s Poet’s Corner.
  6. Royal Society of Arts: (5) Where Blake admired James Barry’s murals The Progress of Human Knowledge and Culture. Original building.
  7. Royal Academy, New Somerset House: (9) Where Blake studied and exhibited his work on several occasions. Also important location for the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood, if I’m not mistaken. Original building.
  8. Green Street, Leicester Square: (5) Where Blake moved after his marriage. Original building no longer exists.
  9. 28 Poland Street: (6) Where Blake moved after dissolving his partnership with James Parker. House rebuilt in the late 19th century.
  10. 13 Hercules Buildings: (7) Where Blake lived during his most productive years and produced the Songs of Experience. House demolished in 1918.
  11. 17 South Moulton Street: (10) Where Blake “…suffer[ed] his bitterest disappointments. Fame and financial success continued to elude him, and he sank into poverty and paranoia.” Will be here on Tuesday!
  12. Fountain Court, Strand: (7) Where Blake lived until his death and produced his illustration to Dante’s Divine Comedy. Original building no longer exists.
  13. St. Mary’s, Battersea: (10) Recommended by Tim. Where Blake married Kate. Original building.
  14. Bunhill Fields: (9) Recommended by Tim. Where Blake is buried (in an unmarked grave). Tate: “A small monument now stands at the approximate site where Blake was buried.”
  15. Paolozzi Newton: (6) Where a statue based on Blake’s Newton stands.

Friday

  • Depart: Back to San Francisco!

Now that I’ve laid everything out, the next step is to narrow everything down into a manageable plan!

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Copyright 2013 by G. E. Gallas


October 2010: VAMPS at Roseland Ballroom, NYC

I can’t believe it’s already been two years since I saw VAMPS in New York City. I made so many great friends in line, and I still communicate with them via Facebook today! –G. E.

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Waiting for Hyde:

Curiosity Killed The Average New Yorker

It was 7 in the morning when a skinny, middle-aged woman in a tracksuit jogged up to us and asked “What are you guys waiting for?”

Carey, one of many fellow fans I had met for the first time that very morning, asked her friend Shannon to hand her the signs. After receiving the pile of lined paper from Shannon, Carey proceeded to display the first page to the skinny woman. In crude Sharpie marker, the sign read:

We are here for VAMPS.

After staring at the words for a moment with a confused expression on her face, the skinny woman responded by asking, “What is that?” Carey tucked the first page behind the others to reveal the second sign.

They are a Japanese rock group!

“VAMPS” is the popular side-project band of Japanese rock star Hyde. In Japan, “Hyde” has been a household name for over a decade.

Hyde’s major band, L’Arc~en~Ciel, keeps busy dishing out one hit single after another and playing Tokyo Dome (a venue with more than twice the capacity of Madison Square Garden) for the umpteenth time. This year, the band celebrates its 20th anniversary.

Hyde performing at the Roseland Ballroom in New York City.

Although Hyde doesn’t sport fame in the United States equivalent to that of bands like Green Day per se, his fame among American Japanophiles is enough to earn VAMPS a spot in the 2009 Vans Warped Tour and a 2010 World Tour including four concerts across America.

On Saturday, October 9th, I attended VAMPS’s concert at The Roseland Ballroom in New York City.

After reading the second sign with an increasingly confused expression on her face, the skinny woman asked “How long have you all been here?” Carey revealed the third sign.

Yes, we’ve been here ALL DAY.

VAMPS fan Carey and her signs.

My friends thought me insane for heading over to the venue at 5 in the morning. But I knew better. By the time I got to Roseland, there was already a block filled with VAMPS fans standing in line for the 8 p.m. concert.

By “standing,” I mean fans huddled in blankets, sleeping sprawled out on the dog-piss-covered Manhattan sidewalk.

Chatting in line, I could tell that these fans were truly dedicated.

According to Josh (a friendly, chubby VAMPS fan dressed in a kangaroo costume for some unknown reason), some fans had been waiting in line since Wednesday.

Many had come in from Syracuse, Connecticut and the like. Some – such as die-hard fan Mayline – had flown all the way from faraway places – in Mayline’s case, Puerto Rico – just for the concert. Mayline had even lied about a death in the family just to get time off work.

The skinny woman, confused as ever, continued asking questions. And for every question, Carey had a pre-made sign with the corresponding answer. “7 in the morning, and Carey was already an expert at this,” I thought to myself. “Only 13 hours to go.”

Taxi drivers stopped at the light would shout out their windows at us. We would shout back and, once the light turned green, they would drive away still chuckling.

Tourists stood with their cameras snapping pictures of us. Fans in line would retaliate with their own cameras. Upon seeing cameras flashing in their direction, the tourists would flee.

Theater-goers would ask us, “Is this the line for Jersey Boys?” or “Is this the line for Promises, Promises?” They would leave moping about how young people don’t appreciate Broadway anymore.

Sometime during the afternoon, the VAMPS American tour manager came around and handed out flyers with Hyde’s face on them. We figured the flyers would make our lives easier, a visual tool to show curious passersby.

VAMPS World Tour official flyer.

Unfortunately, the flyer just seemed to confuse people more.

Around 5 p.m. and about the gazillionth curious passerby, VAMPS fans in line started getting fed up with all the questions. Down the line, we started hearing people walking past, complaining, “Why didn’t anyone tell me there was a Justin Bieber concert today?”

By that time, the VAMPS line must have already reached the Letterman Show a few blocks up. I can only imagine the kind of hell that part of the line was getting. “What, you’re not here for Letterman? What’s wrong with you?”

After all her questions were answered, the skinny woman seemed disappointed. As she jogged away, she sighed, “Okay then, enjoy yourselves.” She didn’t even stop to read Carey’s last sign:

Thank you for your time! :)

Perhaps the skinny woman would have been less disappointed if Carey’s first sign had read “Bette Midler.”

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2012: L’Arc~en~Ciel went on to become the first Japanese band to headline Madison Square Garden. The “WORLD TOUR 2012 LIVE at Madison Square Garden” concert DVD will be released December 26th.

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For more updates, don’t forget to follow me on tumblr and/or twitter.

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Copyright 2012 by G. E. Gallas


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