Friday, May 22, 2009


Feel London. Touch the walls of Saint Paul’s Cathedral, sit in the seat that Charles Dickens frequented at the Cheshire Cheese pub and run your fingers over the old and new architecture mashed together in the City of London. Textures allow this place to come alive and radiate not only a history of London, but the true makeup of its people.

St. Paul’s Cathedral

St. Paul’s Cathedral is an iconic symbol of the city of London. Despite many tries by Germany to crumble the church during World War II, the walls stood strong because of the extreme precautions and efforts the people took to protect it. The cathedral is a symbol of hope that radiates through the building and is felt by simply standing near its walls.

The outer layer rough walls are spotted with small craters that serve as remnants of the past war. Recently, the outer walls were cleaned to expose the naked scars left on the church from shrapnel. London wants to make clear that this church went through battle and suffering like everyone else did at that time, but it is one of the few that remains standing.

Londoners made sure that it would never crumble. In fact, during the war, volunteers strapped themselves to the top of the church to extinguish incoming bombs that may damage the structure.

Running my hands over the wounds in the side of the cathedral allowed me to understand why Londoners, past and present, look at the building in a loving way.

Cheshire Cheese pub

The Cheshire Cheese pub is a pretty cool place. Charles Dickens, Mark Twain and Samuel Johnson frequented the pub.

I sat in the seat that Charles Dickens often drank. I ran my fingers over the wood that witnessed the beginnings of creative writings important to our culture. The hard seat seemed barely comfortable enough to pour out a classic novel.

I touched the wall that the original draft of The Tale of Two Cities hung proudly. How remarkable— one of the greatest books of all time is not being preserved in a museum, but a pub!

Pubs are where it all starts in London, they are the community meeting place and observe much of what is happening here.

Since I have been here we have eaten in several pubs and seen the activity that goes on there. Throughout the weekdays, working people—usually men dressed in fine suits—eat and drink, socializing with friends there.

They are not like American bars. No one appears drunk and sloppy. The interior is cozy, warm and classy. People do not come to get wasted or be loud. Yes, most of them carry a beer, but it seems more like a beverage here and less like a device for mischief. 

1 comment:

  1. Good post. One thing I would say is that when you're dealing with a sense like touch or feel, that you have to almost give that sense lifelike qualities. So when mentioning the Cheshire Cheese, you can use the "feel" of it to describe the aura the pub gives off. Does it feel dank and dark, comfortable, inviting? These words will give our readers clues to what the pub actually is like for you (or them) when visiting. The descriptive bits are very good, just remember that you want to give people more than just the description. You'd like to (in a perfect world) give them the feeling that they are right there with you, taking it all in, including your point of view and perspective on the place.

    Keep it up, and keep having fun!