Archive for February, 2008

Photo Tour: The Tower of London

Tower of London

Last weekend, one of the first things Evan and I did with my parents was go to the Tower of London. Evan had been on a previous trip to London and loved the tour, so we dutifully got into a group with a ton of other tourists and had a fantastically flamboyant Beefeater (aka yeoman warder, or maybe gentleman warder, since they seemed to use the term interchangeably) show us around.

Tower of London Yeoman Wardour

He told us about beheadings, kings, queens, wars and prisoners, all with a bit of a smirk and and a wink. It was jokey and very scripted, but he put in an emphatic performance. The only time I had any complaints was when there were helicopters overhead and I couldn’t hear him for a few minutes. The tour also left us with more questions than it answered, and the guide didn’t go off script to take questions. I feel like I should do some reading.

Tower of London

After the tour was over, we had some time to explore the parts of the tower that weren’t on the Beefeater path. We checked out the crown jewels — very impressive and sparkly, of course. Then we saw the White Tower, the oldest of the complex’s buildings, which house an armory exhibit with lots of gun, armor and statues of horses. We also saw a mini changing of the guards in front of the crown jewels, which disrupted a “historical reenactment,” which, like the tour, was more drama than history, but looked like fun. We also saw the ravens, the tower bridge, prisoners’ cells and jewel-less crowns. Interesting fact of the day: The royal family can’t afford to buy all its own jewels, especially diamonds, so they often rent.

Tower Bridge

Britishism: Rocket vs. Rocket

Rocket vs. Rocket

I sort of forgot this one since I got used to everyone in Budapest calling arugula rocket. They didn’t understand what we didn’t get in the translation, of course. But I think rocket is a much more exciting and less pretentious name for the fancy lettuce.

A Week of Londonist Posts

Well, I haven’t been posting here much this week, but I have been writing on Londonist. Check out my latest blogs:

My parents are leaving tomorrow, so I’m off for one last afternoon of sightseeing and one more dinner. Then blogging should be back to normal, with lots of pictures, drawings and my usual inane commentary.

Earthquake in England

Who would’ve thought that after leaving the land of earthquakes, I’d be in one, albeit rather far from the epicenter and not that huge, in London.

Last night, while lying in bed at about 1 a.m., everything started shaking. I asked Evan if he was shaking his leg or something. He was asleep and got very confused when I asked him. It felt like an earthquake, but I wasn’t totally sure, since it wasn’t that bad, and sometimes the apartment shakes, like when we or any of our neighbors is doing laundry. Evan doesn’t remember feeling the quake at all.

Anyway, I found out this morning that it was indeed an earthquake — a magnitude 5.3 in Lincolnshire, which seems to be quite north of London. Apparently there was a small amount of damage, and currently there’s only one person reported as injured.

Read more about it on the BBC, with the best, most British reactions and observations of an earthquake. Seriously, people talk about their grandfather clocks rattling and everything shaking as if on a “jelly mould.”

P.S. sorry I haven’t written much in the past few days — my parents are in town and I’ve been busy playing tourist. Expect lots of posts ad lots of pictures soon.

Towards Darkness in Theaters March 14

UPDATE: This information is now outdated. View new theaters and opening dates here.Towards Darkness

Save the date, book your tickets and plan an awesome night out at the movies on March 14 if you’re in LA, New York, Miami or Fort Lauderdale: Towards Darkness (aka Hacia la Oscuridad) is finally making its public debut. Its also Evan’s first feature as an editor.

We went to the premiere last year at the Tribeca Film Festival, which was actually the first time I got to see the film — no sneak previews for me on that one — and I was totally blown away. About a college student’s kidnapping in Columbia, the story is full of suspense. It also stars America Fererra among other talented actors and is half in Spanish, half in English.

Evan and I are planning on going to New York to see it, so if you’re going to be around, let us know and we can all go together.

Where you can see it:

  • Los Angeles: Laemmle Music Hall, 9036 Wilshire Blvd., Beverly Hills 90211
  • New York: Quad Cinema. 34 West 13th Street, Greenwich Village, New York, NY 10011
  • Miami: AMC Aventura 24, Biscayne Blvd. In Aventura, FL 33180
  • Fort Lauderdale: MUVICO Paradise 24 Theater, 15601 Sheridan Street, Fort Lauderdale, FL 33331

I have no idea how long it will be playing, so try to make it opening weekend, March 14, 2008.

What people are saying:

“A gritty bilingual kidnapping tale.” –Entertainment Weekly

“A thrilling and mesmerizing story that will have audiences glued to their seats.” –Skuawk! Magazine

“Slick, riveting, and absolutely sure of itself at every moment…like ‘Man on Fire’ only with a cooler story structure.” –Creative Screenwriting Magazine

The trailer:

And if you can’t make it out to the theater, the DVD is set to come out June 17, 2008.

Britishism: Chocolate Buttons

Chocolate Buttons

Though this stems more from a misunderstanding, chocolate buttons still makes me smile. The first I heard of them, Evan and I were having crepes at Crepe Affaire with his coworkers, and they said something about chocolate buttons in their dessert crepes. I gave them a quizzical look and said, “You call chocolate chips chocolate buttons?” It just sounded so charming.

Turns out chocolate buttons are different from chocolate chips. They’re essentially what we’d call molding chocolate — those flat pieces you melt to make other chocolates — and Cadbury sells them as a snack.

Still, I had pictures of little buttons in my head instead of the more familiar little chips, and thought they’d be especially cute in a cookie.

More Reading: New Entreprener Article and Lonodnist Posts

slashingstudentcosts.jpgLots of stories posting this week!

One that I would recommend reading is “Slashing Student Costs” about BookRenter.com, an exciting new company with a 26-year-old CEO that rents college textbooks (though you don’t have to be in college to rent and the company does stock some normal books). I originally found Colin, the CEO, when I was doing some research for the article I did on former Google employees who started businesses, though I didn’t write about him then. I was happy to reconnect, though, and we had a long conversation about college, textbooks, entrepreneurship and more. This is one of those companies that has an incredibly simple base idea, makes a lot of sense — the first thing I said when I learned about it was, “I wish this was around when I was in college” — and should go far.

Plus, some new Londonist posts: “Harrow Council Knows When You’re Lying” and “New Chair to Curb Classroom Dangers/Class Clowns.”