Travel

Late night in Times Square

Spending a few weeks in New York City, I had lots of time to explore. One of the most interesting places is Times Square. It’s loud, bright, colorful, smells funny and is full of unique individuals. Named after the New York Times, Times Square was their headquarters beginning in 1905. By the end of World War I, most theaters had moved uptown to Times Square. High-end hotels and restaurants attract over 50 million visitors a year. On any given day, almost 350,000 pedestrians cross Times Square.

Statue of George M Cohan

In 1959 a statue honoring Broadway composer, George M. Cohan was erected in the square. His song “Give My Regards to Broadway” became a well know standard all over the world.

Vendors selling “Street Meat” can be found every few feet

If you’re feeling a bit hungry on your way, you may stop at one of the dozens of food vendors operating out of their mobile carts. “Dirty water” dogs are a popular staple in Times Square.

Looking for a souvenir? There’s a lot to choose from.

You can find everything here from Mickey Mouse hats to Hershey’s Chocolate, M&Ms, Hard Rock, The MTV Store, The CBS Store, Sanrio and Sephora. No matter what you’re looking for, you are bound to find it here.

Categories: New York City, Photography, The Big Apple, Times Square, Travel | Tags: , , , , , | Leave a comment

Pirates and Rum

If you find yourself in the British Virgin Islands, make sure that Pusser’s is on your itinerary. As you wait for a seat in the Dining Room, grab a seat at the bar decorated with ship’s chandlery and Victorian stained glass lamps. Order a Painkiller and watch the world go by, you may even share a stool with a real pirate.

Categories: B.V.I., British Virgin Islands, hdr, Painkiller, Photography, Pirates, Pubs, Tortola, Travel | Tags: , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The Dragons Of London

You must believe that the city of London is protected by Dragons. In fact, there are 13 Dragons marking the boundary of the city. There used to be a building called the Coal Exchange built in 1849. Adorning the building were 2 seven foot tall Dragons. In the late 1960’s the Coal Exchange was demolished, but the Dragons live on. The 2 Dragons were mounted on plinths on either side of Victoria Embankment to mark the boundary between Westminster and London.

These 2 Dragons served as the model for the city Dragons. Another Dragon was in contention for the honor and can be seen at the site of the original Temple Bar. This lone Dragon is much fiercer than the others.

If you have any doubt as to whether or not you are in London, look to these guardians. Each Dragon faces outward to protect the city. If you are seeing the Dragon’s backside then you are truly inside London.

Why Dragons? The City of London crest has been supported by Dragons since the 17th century. Since the 17th century the City of London crest has been supported by a pair of dragons. It makes sense as the City of London has used the St. George’s Cross and Emblem, in heraldry having animals (real or mythical) as supporters for a crest is quite common. One theory for the choice of dragons for the City is that the since the 14th century the City of London has used St. George’s cross as an emblem and a dragon. Since a Dragon is a key part of the legend of St. George, it makes sense.

Categories: Dragons, Europe, hdr, London, Photography, Travel | Tags: , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Come Feed The Birds

Early each day to the steps of Saint Paul’s
The little old bird woman comes
In her own special way to the people
She calls, “Come, buy my bags full of crumbs

Categories: Church, Disney, Europe, hdr, London, Mary Poppins, Photography, Travel | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The Art Of The Pub

Categories: Europe, hdr, London, Photography, Pubs, SIgns, Travel | Tags: , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The Art Of The Pub

Categories: Europe, hdr, London, Photography, Pubs, SIgns, Travel | Tags: , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The Art Of The Pub

Categories: Europe, hdr, London, Photography, Pubs, SIgns, Travel | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The Art Of The Pub

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Spirited Theaters

One thing London does not have a shortage of is haunted places. On my sprint through the city, I mapped out a few spooky locations. Due to the pandemic and the hour of my journey, I wasn’t able to venture into any of them, but they still have that sense of something other worldy lurking in the shadows.

In St. Martin’s Lane, it was originally called The New Theater in 1903. The Noel Coward Theater has the distinction of being the home of it’s original manager, Sir Charles Wyndham. Sir Charles managed both the New Theater and the Wyndham Theater, which sits behind it.

If you see a debonair gray haired man walking the hallways or entering the dressing rooms, say hello to Sir Charles.

Towards the end of WWI, a group of friends were enjoying a performance at The London Coliseum. They noticed a friend of theirs walking down the aisle. Strangely, he disappeared into thin air. On his last day before being deployed, this young soldier had seen a production at The Coliseum. Later, the friends were notified that he had been killed in battle. There were sightings of the young soldier for many years after.

For more stories about Haunted London check out this book by my good friend, Rob Gutro.

Categories: Haunted Travel, hdr, London, Photography, Theaters, Theatres, Travel | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment
 
 

A Sprint Through London

Travel in the time of Covid has been an adventure in and of itself. Flying over seas in a mostly empty plane and being locked in a hotel room for a 12 day quarantine made it all the more interesting. I was in the UK for work and had planned on staying in London for a few days, but the universe had other plans.

Even though London and the UK were emerging from lockdown, the country wasn’t necessarily open to foreign travelers. I had to cancel my plans and leave as soon as my work was done. Until, the flights home kept getting cancelled. In the end, I had about 4 hours in London the night before my flight.

I mapped out a route from Leicester Square down to St. Paul’s and set out to see as much as I could see.

To celebrate the 350th anniversary of Leicester Square, a series of statues depicting famous movie scenes were in stalled. If you aren’t looking for them, you may actually miss them.

A short distance from Leicester Square is where you can find Cecil Court. This hidden thoroughfare in London is the home to some of the most unique bookstores. Second-Hand books, Antiquarian books, even the residence of an 8 year old Mozart can be found on this narrow street. I didn’t get a chance to explore as most of the shops closed early or had yet to open from the lockdown.

Categories: Europe, hdr, London, Photography, Travel | Tags: , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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