Friday, December 31, 2010

Snowy church

A bit more from the snow that ruined travel for a bit but is all gone now.

Have fun saying goodbye to 2010! I hope your year has been as wonderful as mine.

Thursday, December 30, 2010


A view of Southwark from the Millenium Bridge on a partly cloudy day. Notice the building under construction in the left part of the frame. Someday, this is going to be the Shard London Bridge and will apparently be the tallest building in the European Union when it is completed in 2012. Some interesting artist's renderings right over here. Thoughts? Kind of looks horribly out of place to me, but I guess this is the future of London. Developers like these enormous skyscrapers a lot more than the old three-story 19th-century warehouses.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

St. Paul's in the rain

St. Paul's as seen from the north side of the Millenium Bridge. It was raining that night so my lens got a few splashes on it, hence the light spot in the upper right corner. Let's just pretend that was intentional and that it adds a sense of whimsy to the shot.

Monday, December 27, 2010


Three cold ducks struggle on the ice and snow in Hampstead Heath.

Sunday, December 26, 2010


Nothing like the lighted windows of a bookshop in the snow to warm your soul.

Friday, December 24, 2010

Santa's new ride

I think the Big Man would have a little more fun delivering all those presents tonight if he were driving one of these. This is the "Christmas window", as it were, at the Bentley showroom near Bond Street -- so class.

Thursday, December 23, 2010


I did eventually make it down to Trafalgar Square to watch some of the carolers. Norway donated that enormous pine, as it does every year, in recognition of British help during the Second World War. Students set it on fire during some of the protests we've been having over the last few weeks which angered a lot of people. The tree seems to be doing alright, though.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Oxford St at Xmas

I have not had any desire to shop on Oxford Street in the three months I've been here. And it's mostly because of this scene which I have witnessed on a number of a occasions from the safety of the top deck of a city bus. Especially around this time of year, the swarms of rabid shoppers are terrifying. I have seen people practically herded down the stairs into the tube station, packed together like sardines, not able to move an inch. How unpleasant!

Monday, December 20, 2010

white on white

Amazing what a little snow will do. Changes the color palette of the entire city. The whole world becomes whites and browns and occasionally reds (those telltale phone and post boxes). We got at least 3-4 inches sticking and the city looks like A Christmas Carol.

But, oh my goodness, they don't know how to deal with it! Heathrow and Gatwick closed for a day and are now experiencing heavy delays and cancellations. Everyone has been thrown into a panic. And we Midwesterners just laugh and laugh and laugh.

Sunday, December 19, 2010


Chilies after a sudden, unexpected burst of snow. We've been having some tremendously Christmas-y weather here in London over the last couple of days. Has put me in an equally tremendously good mood. Though it has been a bit...ya know...chilly (har har).

Saturday, December 18, 2010

St. Paul's

May not be the classic shot from Millenium Bridge, but I am so proud of this photo anyway. Had to balance it on a wall and use the timer, all the while cursing because I don't have a tripod. But I think it turned out brilliantly anyway. It was a cloudy, rainy night and you can really see in this shot why the stars are never visible in London -- far too much light pollution.

Friday, December 17, 2010

Pub Sign #1

I think I'm going to start a pub signs series. This is a sign on a building near where I live but there isn't a pub there anymore. It's been converted into some rather odd-looking flats. I can't quite imagine living in an old pub, chopped up into separate rooms.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Westminster Palace

Jumped at the chance to take a free tour of Parliament the other week. Saw the House of Commons and literally stood feet away from where Tony Blair used to stand when he repeatedly and consistently kicked the opposition's ass every Prime Minister's Question Time in the late 90s. Not gonna lie, it was pretty amazing. Snapped this shot on the way out.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010


At the Albert Memorial, statues at each of the four corners depict different regions of the world. This is the one for the Americas, which basically means North America, as far I can tell. Here we see an oddly Grecian-looking American Indian "chief" who appears to be riding a buffalo (pretty sure that never happened). There's also a Daniel Boone type frontiersman round the other side.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Coach of Lord Mayor

The majestic coach of the Lord Mayor of London. It's about 250 years old and is usually housed in the Museum of London--except during the recent Lord Mayor's Show that takes place every November. Sadly, I missed it due to a trip to Spain during that week.

Monday, December 13, 2010


The burnt shell of a bombed out car from Iraq on display at the Imperial War Museum London. A bit of a strange experience, to say the least, seeing something like this presented as an art installation.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Tower Bridge

The other night, two of my English friends took me on a walk along the South Bank on our way to their flat in the East End. They probably hadn't bargained that this meant I would have to stop every fifteen feet to take a picture of Tower Bridge from a slightly different angle. I hadn't seen it yet on this trip, and I think my persistence paid off with a fairly classic but nonetheless aesthetically pleasing shot.

Friday, December 10, 2010


I tried to take the bus to Trafalgar Square this evening to see some of the carolers that are singing there every night under the big Norwegian pine. But my usual bus was unexpectedly re-routed and I found myself suddenly on the wrong side of the Thames. So I got out to see what was up and came upon a group of student protesters at the Houses of Parliament. The MPs were in the middle of voting to increase tuition for UK universities (after many of them had promised not to) and the protesters were in the street waiting to hear the results of the vote.

Snapped this shot of police vans lined up to block the street next to Big Ben. And below is a fairly poor shot of the students with the Eye in the background.

I used to be something of a protester in my youth (I say high school years, I guess), but I was quickly disillusioned and now tend to stay away from mass rallies and demonstrations. As I was shooting pictures of the students, they were in the middle of voting on what song they wanted to hear next on the loud speaker. Didn't exactly change my mind regarding the effectiveness of protests.

But then I saw this hideous report on the BBC. And, voilà, they have my sympathies again. I'm as changeable as the wind.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Winter rushing

I like to call this one "People Walking By Snow-Covered Telephone Box."

Tuesday, December 7, 2010


The last few nights of Chanukah are upon us and my school is acknowledging the holiday with an electric menorah in the main quad. Obviously, I took this picture on the first night. (Also notice the statue holding a sign in support of student occupiers.)

Monday, December 6, 2010

White Hampstead

Went for a windy wintry walk on the Heath. (If only "Heath" started with "w.") The snow is all gone now, but it gave my favorite London park a totally different feel for a few days.

Saturday, December 4, 2010


We had some wonderful snowfall in London over the last few days, something that apparently doesn't happen too often. As a transplanted Midwesterner, this snow has been a real godsend. There's already a foot or so back home and I was starting to worry I'd have to wait until my trip home to see some flakes. But, happily, the weather gods took pity on me and I've been in an unspeakably good mood for the last few days as a result.

How can you dislike something that makes even my relatively ho-hum north London neighborhood look like whispered poetry?

Friday, December 3, 2010

FULL English

And here's the real thing, a full English breakfast from Smith's of Smithfield, right next to Smithfield meat market. I bet those sausages are real fresh.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

English breakfast

One of things I have attempted to do during my time here in the UK is improve my cooking skills. There is no shortage of inspiration in this country that, frankly, is unjustly maligned for the quality of its food. I had tons of mushrooms left over from Thanksgiving cooking a few weeks back and whipped up this homemade English breakfast. I'm missing the sausage, bacon, baked beans, and black pudding, but it turned out so nicely and I was so proud of it, that I simply had to share. See how easy it can be to eat well in England?

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Old and the New

Here we see the ruins of an old church overpowered somewhat by the towering glass headquarters of some 21st century bank or corporation. As time passes, the city changes....hence why I chose this photo for City Daily Photo's theme day, "Time."

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