Street sign! Yes!
Well, not exactly. At least not anymore. If you've never seen Bedknobs and Broomsticks
you will never begin to understand how excited I was to go to
Portobello Road/Portobello Market today. Cate, Stephanie, Kristin and I
were greeted with another absurdly sunny day, and took a much elongated
journey to the Notting Hill tube station. There was a lot of
construction going on, and so we had to keep getting off and back on
the tube, which was thoroughly annoying. Finally, we got off the tube,
and followed the tourist signs to the market. Apparently Saturday is
the day to go to Portobello Market, because that's when most of the
vendors come out. I was kind of disappointed when we first got on the
road, because it just seemed like a neat little row of shops, and
nothing like the dirty open air antique market I had imagined.
Some guy playing those metal drum things, like in the movie!!! I'm so lame!!!
as we walked further, we fell upon just that. In the song, it claims
that the market contains, "anything and everything a chap can unload,"
and this proved completely true. I can't tell you how long the stream
of junk-filled carts lasted, because even being there for a few hours
didn't get us to the end. There is SO MUCH there that it exhausts you
just looking at it all. There are shops lining the streets that have
permanent residency there, and on the other side of the sidewalk
assorted vendors were set up. The majority of it is antiques, and then
there is two blocks or so of food stalls. Honestly, everything you
could think of is there, and most of it is really neat and old looking
(whether it is actually old or not is often a gamble). Most of the
things are over-priced, and so we didn't really buy much.
Blurry picture of the huge mass of people who were crowding the market today.
matter though, because looking was fun enough. We had to split up
eventually because it was so incredibly crowded. Maybe it was the nice
weather, or maybe there were a lot of tourists today, but this place
was absolutely jam-packed with people. I didn't even buy anything,
really, Cate and I went in together on purchasing a bundle of dried
lavender for £3. We had a really, really amazing time here, and we are
going to go back as soon as possible. Or, as soon as we have any money.
After that we got on the stupid half-working tube again and
headed for the Menier Chocolate Factory theatre to see the first
European run of The Last Five Years
I had already seen this show twice, once with the writer/composer IN
it, so I wasn't expected to be very impressed.
And, to be honest, after
hearing everyone go on and on and on in drama classes at UCI about
musical theater Broadway and New York theater, etc., I don't know how
London could beat what was (mostly) born in the U.S. I was, although,
surprisingly impressed with this show. As with Les Mis,
the singers appeared very, very well-trained. The theater we watched it
in was very small, which worked very well for this type of intimate
show, and though I felt that sometimes the actors should have reminded
themselves that they should be playing for a smaller audience, I
thought that the show was very effective, and, as anticipated, cried
for entirety of the show on to my sleeve.
Feeling a bit
melancholy and very hungry, we walked to the Thames and crossed the
Millenium Bridge over the St.
Paul's Cathedral (it sounds like I'm
name-dropping with places, but it's hard not to when everything
you walk past, on, or under is big, beautiful and famous). Here we
lazily picked a restaurant to eat at, hoping it wouldn't turn out to be
expensive. Everything is so expensive in this city. It's ridiculous.
Other cities I've been to, there are definitely expensive places to
eat/shop at, but there are ALSO a great assortment of cheap
alternatives. Maybe I just have to get over it and accept the fact that
everything costs more money here. Anyway, Cate and I shared a seafood
risotto thing that wasn't actually that bad. I think it's going to be
my new life quest to find honest to goodness GOOD FOOD in London. If
anyone has any reccommendations, I'd be more than happy to take them,
and pursue them.