Sunday, September 24, 2017

Sunday at Leadenhall Market

Leadenhall Market is located in the City of London right in the heart of all those iconic high-rise buildings that shape the unique skyline of England's largest city.

If you visit this place on a weekday, it's so full of people that it can be difficult to navigate.  I was there on my last trip to London right at lunch time.  These lanes were so crowded that picture taking was almost impossible, so I dug out these photos from my 2013 trip.  On that trip, I strolled the area on Sunday and it was so quiet you could hear a pin drop.

My 2013 trip was in late November so everyone was getting into the Christmas spirit which explains the tree and icicle lights.

Leadenhall Market dates back to the 14th Century and is one of the oldest markets in London.  In those early days it was full of butchers, cheesemongers and florists.  Today you will find all kinds of places to eat which explains the lunch time crowds I experienced on my last trip to London.  After all,  those thousands of people who fill all those high-rise buildings need a place for a quick lunch before they head back to work.  What could be better than this ornate pedestrian center with the very long history.

Sunday, September 17, 2017

The Oldest Neighborhood in California

If you want a taste of California life at the turn of the century, the place to go is the Los Rios District in San Juan Capistrano.

The area sits along a quiet, leafy street and boasts 40 historic homes, three of which are original adobe structures.  Many of them have been turned into businesses of one kind or another.

The street runs parallel to the railroad tracks which were quite busy while we were there late in the afternoon.  I think we saw at least four different trains pass through as we strolled the street.

My friend Julie and I enjoyed our quiet stroll through the neighborhood exploring some places that had gardens open to the public.

We even stopped at one place that had been turned into a cafe for a cool drink on the pretty patio.

This one had been turned into a coffee shop and a few people were enjoying coffee and conversation on the front porch.  

This place made both of us laugh and prompted us both to take a photo of the "No Photography" sign on the delivery door.  It seemed like such a strange place for such a sign that we could only surmise that it was a bit of a joke.

Almost all of the houses were surrounded be picket fences and they also had some very pretty gardens to admire.  It's a great place to see what California living was like in the pioneer era.  It gives a quite different view of sunny California!

Sunday, September 10, 2017

Glasscapes in the Garden

When I was in California last month, my friend Julie and I visited Sherman Library & Gardens, one of our favorite places to take a leisurely stroll.  We were greeted with a surprise for this visit.

The garden was having a special exhibition called "Glasscapes" featuring blown glass sculptures from Viscosity Glass Studio in Boulder Creek California.

I love the art of blown glass and have seen several fabulous Chihuly exhibitions so I was excited to see what this group of artists had to offer in such a fabulous location.

In among the flowers and succulents were some beautiful glass sculptures.

They all had natural forms that blended well with the plants around them.

These pink ones were located in the little garden pond that is watched over by my favorite otter who holds the watering hose.

These yellow roses growing tall were a perfect base for this yellow and orange sculpture.

These two pieces in their lilac and lavender colors went perfectly in this bed filled with purple leaves.

The round, dish-like sculptures looked like colorful blooms among all the ferns and greenery.

And, they were complimented by the colorful floats floating in the greenhouse pond.

All of these beautiful pieces are the work of husband and wife team Scott Graham and Cristy Aloysi of Viscosity Glass Studio.  This exhibition is on at the garden until October 29, 2017 so if you find yourself in southern California, I highly recommend a visit.

Sunday, September 3, 2017

Robe Maker to Kings and Queens

When I was planning my trip to London last year, I knew that I wanted to spend some time exploring the "temple" area in London where so much of the legal profession is housed and so much history is to be found.  While doing my planning research, I stumbled on to some information about a business called Edes & Ravenscroft.  What caught my eye was the fact that they made those wigs that barristers and judges wear in the British courtrooms.

I decided that since I would be in the neighborhood anyway, a quick visit to their store might also be interesting.

I wasn't disappointed.  Edes and Ravenscroft is thought to be the oldest firm of tailors in the world.  They can trace their roots back to 1689 when they were making wigs and ceremonial robes for the royal family.  They created the coronation robes for Their Majesties William and Mary.

Today they continue the tradition, making wigs for the legal profession as well as the silk robes used in courtroom settings.  In addition, they hold 3 Royal Warrants, one form Queen Elizabeth, one from the Duke of Edinburgh and one form the Prince of Wales.

I do love learning about these little bits of English culture.  I guess that makes me a true anglophile.