London — Magic and Tragic
London oozes culture from the cracks of its pavements. History and liberty abound; yet, perhaps London stands alone as the place in the world that unveils the highest level of the opposing states of regal and raunch.
In some parts of the city, you can feel aristocracy in the air, which I find to be a pleasurable thing. I don’t need anyone to give me a concerning smile and a hearty chat, but can simply enjoy a sense of refinement and elegance skipping around on the grey streets in the better parts of town. And, if you are lucky enough to know of some obscure inner circle restaurants in London and cost is not much of a concern, your culinary needs will be more than satisfied.
Other places in London can be abrasive and untidy to the point of having to dodge waste on the streets and an obvious presence of groups of people who appear emotionally numbed, perhaps by financial woes, too much alcohol, logistical problems, and a general feeling of the weight of life. In this state of existence, there becomes an acceptance of too many cupcakes, an abandonment of civility, and a lost-count of glasses of wine or bottles of beer consumed, as if people are grasping to own little moments where they are able to put down their guard and forget about their worries.
But on this day, there is an oblivion to the dichotomy of London as I decide to board one of those prettily glaring candy-apple-red double-decker buses running through the heart of the city, and today I become a full-fledged admitted-tourist.
During the double-decker bus tour, I attempt to take photos that give a unique perspective to some of the more common sites of the city and in the end, I feel that I have found pretty good results.
The next day, I attended the Changing of the Guard Ceremony at Buckingham palace, and felt like I was crammed inside a box of overloaded toothpicks, barely able to move or see anything more than a 60 second segment of the ceremony in motion.
If I could do it again, I would roam around Buckingham Palace before the ceremony, watch a few minutes of the fanfare, and then leave and watch a youtube on “changing of the guards” at my leisure.