Given that as LA-natives we all hail from the land of eternal spring, it is hard to wrap our heads around the idea of actually seasons. However, London is definitely a city that boasts all four, with spring and summer being irrefutably the most becoming. The changes in attitude in the city anytime a ray of sunshine is present are blatantly obvious. It seems as though everyone in London is convinced that each sunny day could be their last, and flock to parks to celebrate the sun and take full advantage. Saint James in particular becomes overwhelmed with people lounging on its green grass and enjoying the “Marry Poppins”-esque landscape. I’m not kidding, boss, this park is so picturesque that it looks identical to the chalk painting that everyone jumps into at the beginning of the film. God, maybe that’s why I love London so much- it completely reminds me of Mary Poppins. Continue reading
Greece is great, let me just open with that. Sure, I’m only basing this on one day in Athens and then another day spent on pilgrimage to the temple at Delphi, but as far as I’m concerned, Greece is great (and yes, I acknowledge the repetition, but given how great Greece is, the redundancy is necessary).
We first arrived in Athens at 2:00 in the morning, with high hopes for our hostel which had been advertised as one of the world’s 10 best, though I was sold at the mention of a free breakfast. Continue reading
Foreword by Stan Lerner: hopefully downtownster readers have all read my blog “President Obama Fails To Deliver Abroad”, but the following letter from my intern on loan to London offers yet another viewpoint of this disaster of a trip. And yes, I’m of the view that she shouldn’t have touched the Queen—I have loyalist feelings toward the crown!
I know that London may share the same alphabet as the US, and perhaps even the language is pretty much the same (despite the fact that the letter “Z” is pronounced “zed” and to “light a fag” does not have the hate crime connotations that it would back at home) but in terms of the press, the UK is notorious for their one-sided presentation of news. Outrageously biased, one is forced to choose a paper that most closely aligns with their political ideologies. For instance, for the hipster Independents there is the Guardian, and the Conservatives love The Daily Telegraph. However, one thing all the papers used to have in common was a universally UK anti-Bush sentiment.
Now that the Bush administration has gotten the boot, to say London has jumped on the Obama bandwagon would be an understatement. Continue reading
Foreword by Stan Lerner: I wasn’t kidding when I said she won’t stop with the letters!
I’m currently writing to you from my quaint Berlin Hostel, which was chosen based on the fact that it boasts its own bar, complete with the stereotypically stoic East European bartender and lots of equally stereotypically cheerful Swedes. You should actually feel pretty special right now, given that I’m choosing to entertain you with my witty correspondence, rather than using this time more effectively, ie: Facebook stock my friends and exes, while updating my status to brag about how fabulous of a time I’m having in the city my guidebook referred to as “irreverent.” Continue reading
Foreword By Stan Lerner: When my intern told me she was going to keep me posted on her trip to London, I told her I might just post her letters on downtownster — now she won’t stop sending them. I never paid much attention to the youth of America, unless I was dating one of them, but I’m starting to like some of these kids. Ugh! So, read what Kate has to say. It’s not such a bad way to start off the week.
Leaving the sun of LA for the pastiness of a London winter would seem like the idea of a masochist, right? But despite the harsh weather, the appeal of London does not diminish with the daylight. Instead, the city offers the culture of Europe, without the shock of not knowing the language. In this town, the EU meets the US in the most harmonious of hybrids. Continue reading