Monday, June 22, 2009

I've been here for awhile.

So I haven't updated in a couple of weeks, because life has been quite crazy. I'm in my last week of my internship and it has been great. I've been mostly keywording and checking photographs for the Shootbank, but I have been asked to come up with a marketing plan for the site, so I've been working on that. The weekends have been really fun, Shopping, parks, dinner, ULU Fridays, and Camden town. This past weekend was very eventful, Saturday we went to Portobello Road for the markets and I got some cool stuff... Sgt. Pepper's on vinyl for £5, a really cool antique map of the world, and a roast pork and rocket sandwich (so good). We also trekked to Wembley which I was quite disappointed because all we did was look at it, we weren't allowed inside. Oh well...

After that we went to Abbey Road and wrote on the wall, and walked across the same crosswalk the Beatles did for their album cover. I was kind of disappointed in the fact there was no street sign actually saying Abbey Road/City of Westminster. After that we ate at Oneill's at King's Cross, (Irish Sausages and Colcannon, yum) and then Just hung out in Alexandra Park for all of us were tired from the day. While we were in the park we spotted these things that were flying on fire, and we still have no idea what it was. Talk about wierd...

Sunday I had a bit of a lie-in and then headed to the Southbank for Tortilla and the Tate Modern. I was pretty disappointed in the fact that Tortilla was CLOSED... I totally wanted a burrito. So Sam and I went and had a pub lunch, I finally had my Sunday Roast!!! It was so good, Roast Beef with horseradish sauce, Yorkshire pudding, roast potatos, carrots, cauliflower and cabbage. When we were done eating we went to the Tate Modern, and then met up with the boys and Susie who went to the movieum. We decided to go eat dinner somewhere and found a place on the Strand called the Pitcher and the Piano, where the food was decent. I was tired and it was around 9 when we left, so Rob, Ben and I made the journey on the Northern Line home to Muswell Hill, where I watched Dead Man on Campus and fell asleep.

This morning I woke up just in time to get ready and go to work. I've been taking the First Capital Connect train to Old Street, which is so much more convenient than the tube, for it only takes 10 minutes and I don't need to change trains. (If I took the tube, I would have to take the Victoria to King's Cross and change to the Northern line, edgeware branch) I've been checking someone's keywording of a photo event and now I'm on lunch. I haven't been to the bank today so I'm eating a classic POT NOODLE, actually more decent than Cup'o noodles, except the fact it has egg in it, gross.

This is my last week in London, so we're going to make it a good one. A few things on the agenda are the London Eye, a River cruise, and a West End show. I'm hoping Sam can also get another ticket to one of her PR events so I can accompany her.

I will update again ASAP!

Monday, June 8, 2009

After my last blog on Tuesday I met up with Sam, Susie, Meredith, Ben, Josh, Rob and Sean.. and we went to Kiss the Sky in Crouch End for Acoustic night. It was pretty fun, some of the acts were kind of boring but there were a few standouts... like the guy who played "Eye of the Tiger" on the electric violin. After being there for a bit Ian and Jamie met up with us, and we toasted to Meredith's birthday at midnight.

Wednesday was HECTIC... I really want to know when AIFS thought we were going to have a break to eat! Went to the Tate Modern in the morning, but only had about 25 minutes in there before we had to leave... I did get a really cool Russian Propaghanda poster though. After that we went to ULU for a quick lunch and then a great guest lecture by the one and only Bob Craig about London and the Blitz (World War II). I swear he knows everything there is to know about anything, and can make the most boring information interesting. It also helps that he knows little random facts about stuff and most of it is really cool and good to know. After the lecture we proceeded onward to the Imperial War Museum... great museum, good artifacts from both World War I and II, but I wish we would have had more time. I can always go back because it's free, but I won't have Bob Craig's expert knowledge to tell me about it!!! I got the poster I've been wanting since last year, Winston Churchill with fighter planes and it says "let us go forward together", just what I needed... another poster. My walls are going to be completely covered! After the museum we hopped on the tube, got a quick dinner at Pret a Manger (Swedish Meatballs in a tortilla, kind of wierd but delish) and then proceeded to the theatre to see Wicked! I've seen it before in 2004 with the original cast (Kristin Chenowith, Idina Menzel) but I was so tired that I fell asleep during the last part of it... thankfully this time I stayed awake and I really enjoyed it! Probably number two behind Spamalot in my opinion. After the play I was so beat from the days activities I just went home and went to bed.

Thursday morning I woke up semi-early to get to ULU for the guest lecture by Dr. Alex Seago on British Media. It was very similar to the lecture he gave last year, but he is downright hilarious so it was very entertaining. I didn't know that pretty much all of central london is owned by like three people, The Queen, the Duke of Westminster and someone else I forget, but WHOA they're richer than I've ever imagined, more money than they know what to do with. He gave us papers to analyze, and I unfortunately got to analyze the Sun, a sleezy daily with a bunch of crap.. my favorite story was "MAN RIDES TO PUB ON A ZEBRA", come on. Afterwards I got some sushi from Pret, (I eat there way too much) and ate it on the train too Windsor Castle. Windsor was very beautiful but I was kind of disappointed... the part you could tour was reletively small. My favorite part of it was all of the swords and guns, there were over 1,000! There was also some very beautiful chalices and portraits of Henry VIII, Mary Tudor, Edward VI, and Elizabeth VI. For some reason I find the Tudors very interesting...
Beside the point Thursday was the first day I didn't feel rushed to do anything, which was good. I went home and made some food and relaxed, and then met up with Meredith, Susie, Rob, Josh, Sean, Ian and Craig in Alexandra Park to hangout. We decided to go to kiss the sky for a beer but Rob and I left early because we were tired, and that's the end of that night.

Friday morning I woke up and remembered that I had given all of my clothes to mags to go in the wash, so I threw something random on and went to Primark. I love this place.... I got Three tanktops, a plain tank to go underneath stuff, a shirt for work, shoes, and a purse with the Union Jack on it all for 34 pounds. I stopped at Tesco on the way back to get some pies and something for lunch. I proceeded to get ready for the day and then left for a tour of Parliament. I think by Friday, everyone was so burnt on tours... I tried to pay attention and I did as much as I could but I found myself drifting off. The most interesting part of it to me was the room with all of the portraits, starting with Henry VII/Elizabeth of York, and then down the line. Our guide explained when and how the United Kingdom first came into existence, and that was something I had never known. After Parliament, Susie, Sam and I were craving a burrito so we went to this place called Tortilla that we found earlier on the trip... SO DELICIOUS!!! I had definately been craving mexican so that was certainly needed. While eating dinner, I got a call from Justin Frye saying that he had arrived in town and got my name on the guest list for this show at ULU. Sam and I went to that which was really fun, I had'nt seen him in almost a year because he moved to Brooklyn. He is going to be back this month before going back to the states so I hope I get to hangout with him again. After the show, Sam and I wondered where everyone was because no one would pick up their phones... but finally Rob called me back and they were in the Duck and Dive the whole time.... like two rooms over from us! We went there and had a few pints of Strongbow (my favorite!) and danced, so much fun. I met some dude from Iceland that was very entertaining. They played my favorite song just before closing (don't stop me now by Queen) and that was just a great end to the night. We took the 134 home and I went to sleep immediately.

This weekend was quite uneventful. I had a bit of a lie-in on saturday which was nice, and then Andrea and I went to honeymoon for some Chinese food. I took a nice long shower and then went shopping in Muswell Hill for shits and giggles. I then met up with Meredith, Susie, Sam, Rob, Josh and Sean at ULU and drank strongbow for a few hours, got a pizza, and then headed home because I was tired.

On Sunday I met up with Rob so we could take the Tube to meet with Meredith for lunch before she caught her flight. Again, we ate pizza. Afterwards Susie, Sam, Josh, Sean, Rob, Ben and I went to Chorak for tea and then to Wood Green to see Terminator Salvation, quite disappointing to be honest. I then went home and made a Chicken and Broccoli pie, watched Dogma and then went to sleep because my internship started today.

My internship is kind of cool. Today was my first day, so it was reletively boring... all I did was keyword photos for 6+ hours and listen to a Parisian radio station, but I think it will get more interesting as it goes on. Antonia was talking to me about how they need help marketing the Royalty-Free photobank, so I'm going to do a bit of brainstorming on that tomorrow, and then Brett asked me to figure out ways to market the treasure hunt to americans. WOOHOOO

I met up with everyone for dinner at O'neills and now I'm sitting here. Time to watch the rest of Dogma and then go to bed.

I'll update soon!!!


Tuesday, June 2, 2009


Friday morning I woke up and finished packing to go to Paris. Hopped on the Victoria to Kings Cross St. Pancras to meet everyone and get on the Eurostar to the Gare Du Nord. I think train is my favorite way to travel... it was a very comfortable and relatively short ride. When we got to Paris we were met by our guide and a coach to take us on a tour of the city. The best part of the tour was when we got off the bus at Napoleon's tomb and there was a lady giving out free Orangina! So delicious and even better when you don't have to pay for it... Other than that getting to see the entire city in a few hours was cool. We got dropped off at the hotel which was NICE. I couldn't believe it, because our hotel last year was crappy and far from everything. This year we stayed at the Novotel Tour Eiffel, which is a 4 star and apparently rooms ran at 550 Euro a night! It was a few blocks away from the Eiffel Tower and right on the River Seine. Everyone freshened up after we got to the hotel and then we went to a quaint French restaurant for dinner, which was probably the most delicious meal I've ever had. I got a three course meal with wine... started with Tuna Tartare with spring onions and a balsamic reduction, followed by King Prawns with fresh Asparagus, and then a course of Brie and salad, with 1/2 a bottle of Sauvignon Blanc. During the meal, some grumpy french man told us to SHHH and I thought that was very rude, HELLO we are in a party of 19, and the restaurant is making more money off of us than you so you SHHHH. Yes, Americans do tend to be a little loud but with that many people it's impossible to be quiet. After dinner, we went to get some Champagne and then drank it in the park next to the Eiffel Tower, which was very fun and entertaining I must say. Everyone left to go hangout in Josh's room so Rob and I just walked around for a bit, then I went back to the room and fell asleep.

The next morning I went and got breakfast with Andrea, Rob and Ben in the hotel, which was decent but kind of disappointing, If you weren't a guest at the hotel they would charge you 22 euros! Ridiculous. I did figure out that Brie spread on a Baguette is delicious...
So after breakfast we parted ways with Andrea and met up with Sam, Susie, Meredith, and Josh to go to museums. Dr. Turner recommended we buy a museum pass because it gets you into a bunch of museums/landmarks and you get to skip lines. So we took the metro to the Louvre, walked around there for a bit, peeped the Mona Lisa (again) which is by far the most disappointing famous painting, I found the one to the left of it more intriguing. After the Louvre, we decided to get some lunch so we walked toward the Opera house and found a Chinese restaurant. I got Shrimp Dim Sum (dumplings) and rice which was SO GOOD... I've been craving it ever since! After lunch we jumped back on the Metro and went to the Notre Dame... We were going to go up to the top but it was something like 422 steps, and Rob with his bum knee can't climb down them, so we hungout in the Garden in the back for a little bit. We started walking toward the Pampidou Centre, and gathered in a square were hundreds of people watching the French Open on a huge screen... I got some footage of it. When we got to the Pampidou there was some street performer that was really cool, he painted a portrait of Obama in something like two minutes! I got some footage of that as well. There were many vendors outside of the Pampidou so we took a look around and I got a really cool hand made ring for three euro. We finally went inside and looked around, definately the WIERDEST museum I've ever been in, lots of feminist artwork and then classic examples of Modern art as well. It was a great museum but I still think I like the Tate Modern better. After the Pampidou everyone was pretty exhausted and hungry so we ate at the first thing that we saw, which unfortunately was McDonald's. I would say that McDonald's in France was better than in the US, I don't know it must be the Fanta. We headed back to the Hotel after eating where I took a bubble bath, it made me feel like a million bucks! Got dressed and then bought some more Champagne and again drank it underneath the Eiffel Tower in the park, all in good fun. That is probably my favorite place to have drinks in the entire world! Headed back to the hotel around 2:30 and watched the Red Wings game until I fell asleep.

Sunday was a hectic but enjoyable day. Woke up, ate breakfast and then Headed to the grave of Jim Morrison! I was kind of disappointed that his headstone had been replaced, but apparently the old one had a lot of grafitti on it. The graveyard itself was very interesting, the headstones were more like little houses that just markers with names. There were also several statues and busts of people around the graves... that's got to be expensive. After we looked at his grave we left the cemetary and did a little shopping at an antiques market right outside. I didn't really see anything of interest, but a few other people bought things. We then got on the metro and headed to the Sacre Coeur Basilica, which was AWESOME. There is a grassy area a little below it so we decided to get lunch, and I had the worst sandwich of my life... but FANTA makes everything ok. Climbed up some pissy stairs but when we got to the top the view was breathtaking!! You could see pretty much everything but the Eiffel Tower. We got back on the Metro after descending to go to the Arc Du Triomphe, another attraction free with the Museum pass. The view from that was even more breathtaking than from the Sacre Coeur, you could see all of Paris! The Arc is right in the center of the Champs Elysees, so the streets radiate out from it and it's amazing. We left there and almost rented bikes to go back to the Hotel, but decided to take the metro instead. Alas, this was the end of our journey. We met everyone at the hotel and then got the bus back to the Gare Du Nord and the train back to London, where I fell asleep PRONTO.

Monday was quite eventful. In the morning we had a lecture in Parliament from a Conservative MP, Graham Brady. He kind of explained why there is so much turmoil with the MP's in the UK, but otherwise it wasn't too interesting. Made the trip to ULU where we ate lunch and then attended a great lecture on the European Union. I learned more about the EU than I had ever known, which was very beneficial because I knew a little about the EU but I didn't know exactly what the purpose of it was. We then caught a train to Hampton Court Palace, which was cool but a little disappointing because AIFS has jammed too many things into one day. I would have liked to spend way more time there, I felt the hour and a half there wasn't enough, especially with a 2 hour train ride to get there. When we got back to London, Susie, Meredith, Josh, Ben, Rob, Sean and I decided to go to Goose to get dinner, where I had a delicious Steak&Ale pie with mash and my all time favorite, Strongbow. We stayed there for awhile before Ian met up with us. We decided to hop on the tube and go to Kiss the Sky in Crouch End to be a little closer to home. After that I went home and went to sleep.

This morning I woke up and iced my rib before getting ready. Mags told us it was going to be a scorching 90 degrees so I decided to wear a skirt! Hopped on the tube to go to Westminster Abbey, which was enjoyable. There are so many crypts of kings, queens, poets and composers, it was very cool. My favorite part was the memorial to FDR, and the Coronation chair which was made in the 14th century. Our Guide was very informative, but nothing like Bob Craig! After we finished in the Abbey we went to ULU to eat some lunch, where I had a very delicious Chicken Caeser salad. Hopped back on the Tube to tour the BBC, where I learned loads from our guides, Abbey and Annie. We started in the newsroom, which is 7 floors and is the workplace of some odd 2,o00 people. Apparently, they have in-house travel agents to get their journalists to wherever news is breaking, and they get there faster than most other news companies. For instance, when 9/11 happened, they were there before many American journalists because airlines in the US were delayed or canceled.. the BBC flew into Toronto and drove to NYC. Crazy stuff. Our tour also included a peek at a studio, dressing rooms, and the weather studios. Probably one of my favorite tours so far. After that I hopped on the tube, stopped at Tesco for some cottage pie and now I'm sitting here with a giant beefsteak tomato. Tomorrow will be fun, as it's Meredith's birthday, Bob Craig is guiding us around the Imperial War Museum, and we're going to see wicked. I will update as soon as I have time!!!



Thursday, May 28, 2009

There's no time for internet in London.

Thursday night, after my last post, Andrea and I met up with Meghan, Karina, Lacey, Jaime, Rob, Ben and Johnny at O'neills, which is always a good time. After leaving Andrea and I decided a doner would be delicious so we got a lamb one from kebab king up the street and made the walk down the hill to the homestay. Friday morning we woke up extra early to go to the Tower of London which was THE COOLEST THING EVER. We had a quick tour from a beefeater who was quite hilarious. We looked around solo for a bit and saw the Crown Jewels, the Star of Africa which is the biggest diamond in the world, torture devices and huge ravens that are like 30 or 40 years old. After the Tower we decided to get some lunch so we stopped into a pub and I had some delicious fish&chips, but they did not have HP sauce... WHAT? After returning to the homestay to relax for a bit I met up with everyone at ULU (University of London Union) for a few drinks because they are cheap... After a few strongbows we met some colorful characters and then left to get dinner, which for some godforsaken reason we ended up at KFC. After that we walked to Leiceister Square where a really nice girl on the street gave us stamps to get into a club for free. It was really fun, we danced and drank delicious mojitos. After a while we decided to go home so we took the 134 from Tottenham Court Road back to muswell hill.

Saturday we woke up, packed and met up with Rob and Ben at Kings Cross to catch the train to the Airport. On the train Ben decided to name his fish furniture and we laughed about dogs for some reason, Those boys are hilarious! The flight was short but good. My internship company was featured in the onflight magazine, how funny! When we got to Amsterdam we met up with everyone at Bob's Youth Hostel and got some wok to walk and just walked around. I ended up going to bed early because we were beat from the past few nights.

Sunday was fun. Meredith and Susie had met a few people in the hostel, which we hungout with the whole time we were there. My favorite was a guy named Stuart, from Birmingham. We got some food from the grocery store and headed to Vondelpark via walking. We sat at the park for a few hours and it was really cool... there were so many people! Stuart was telling us random facts, and we came up with the name Wikipedia for him because he knows a lot but only half of it is believable. On the way back from the park we stopped in Leidseplein to look at random jewelry vendors, and I got a pair of earrings. When it got dark, we just hungout in the hostel with some canadians and drank a bit of wine. I decided that I want to try potato chips from everywhere, because the flavors are so different! In London I want to try roast ox and chili with chocolate but I haven't been feeling that gutsy.

Monday we went to Waterlooplein market after stopping at a place called bluebird. It was pretty much a bunch of junk but I got a new shemai scarf in royal blue, I can't stop buying them! For lunch Andrea and I got Turkish Pizzas, which are too delicious. It's a thin pita with spices on it, toasted and then doner meat, salad and tzatziki is put on it then rolled up like a burrito. It was huge but I ate the whole thing!!! Andrea and I seperated from the group because they wanted to go to museumplein but having two huge blisters on the bottom of my feet prevented me from walking there. We decided to get something for dinner from Albert Hjien, which has the most delicious juice selection, I wish there was one in America!!! I randomly saw Dr. Waite on the steps of the grocery, I didn't think it was him and then I looked and it was!!! I should have said something to him!! We met back up with everyone and went to a shop called Abraxas and just hungout for the rest of the night, had to go to sleep early because our flight was at 8:30 am Tuesday morning!!

Note to self: NOTHING IN EUROPE IS FREE. No free refills, ketchup, etc. Another thing people, just because a table is outside doesn't mean you can sit there. It's part of the restaurant or cafe, and you must be a patron to sit there.

Tuesday was cool, but HELL. We got off the plane/train and immediately had to go to class... where Bob Craig (the greatest tour guide EVER) lectured on the history of London. After the lecture we got lunch and then headed to the Victoria and Albert Museum, which was a short tour but I learned a lot from our guide, Karen. I need to go back and check out the fashion section of the museum... I caught a glimpse of a Vivienne Westwood Gown which was absolutely beautiful. My favorite part of the museum was the Cast Courts... replicas of different random statues/columns/funeries that were made from the original casts. After the museum we ran home to drop our stuff off and change to go see Comedy of Errors at the Globe Theatre, which was a great play. Afterward we made the trek back to Muswell for a good night sleep for the day ahead.

Wednesday we got up soooo early to take a trip to Stonehenge and Bath. I have to say, I was quite disappointed with stonehenge because it was raining cats and dogs, and freezing! Everyone just wanted to get back on the bus and leave. Bath was amazing though. The Roman Baths were beautiful and I got some very good pictures and some footage as well. Apparently the only natural hot spring in the UK is in Bath, I touched it and it felt real nice. After the baths a few of us went on a walking tour with Bob Craig, I swear that man knows EVERYTHING! He showed us a few spots around town, The Circus, The Crescent (Johnny Depp lives there!) and an assembly room which I forget the name... Overall Bath was a beautiful town and I would definately go back there. If only the hotspring was swimable...
After we returned to town a few of us decided to get dinner and watch the Manchester/Barcelona futbol game. We went to a pub called Goose which had really good food for cheap, I'm definately going back there. I got a steak with mash and salad with a strongbow for 6 quid. Susie, Meredith, Sam and I met up with my British friend Ian who I met last year in Crouch End for a few drinks, and then we headed home.

Today I finally got to sleep in!!! Took a shower then got some soup from Pret a Manger, chicken leek and potato which was delish. Headed with everyone to the Kew Gardens... such a long commute! The District line is a huge pain in the ass too, but we managed to get there early. The gardens were very beautiful but we definately did'nt need a guide... a few of us just branched off and walked where we wanted to go. They had a treetop walk which was really cool, and there was a huge peacock just hangin out. My favorite part was smelling all of the flowers, I didn't realize that violets smelled so good!!! We left around 5 pm and Susie, Andrea, Meredith, Sam and I headed to PRIMARCK!!!! That place is a madhouse but I love it... I bought a dress, a top, shoes, socks, and a clutch all for 30 pounds! talk about some deals...
After shopping we hopped on the tube and headed home, where I am now. Paris in the morning, I'll probably update on Monday!!!

Hope everything is well in the US!


Thursday, May 21, 2009

These past three days....

I've only been in London for three days now and it feels like I never left. Suprisingly, I remember my way around quite well, which is a benefit to me and everyone else!! The flight was good except there was a crying baby in front of me, and we all know how I feel about that. We got to London around 7:30 AM (2:30 Eastern Time) and took the bus into central London to the Dilke House. After being issued our oyster cards (transportation) I went to Pret a Manger with Andrea and Jaime to grab some food. After we ate, we decided to browse Primarck... but we were so beat we hardly even looked. Sinead got us a taxi to our homestay where we hungout for the rest of the day, but of course I had to go back to our favorite haunt, O'neills, which by now is pretty much a Radford Media/School of Comm legend. After it closed, no one wanted to go home so we went to cafe loco and chatted with some locals. The night ended with a 2:30 AM chicken sandwich and then finally SLEEP.

Wednesday we had orientation at ULU which was boring but informative. Andrea, Jaime, Rob, Ben and I went to the Italian Coffee Co. for lunch, you can't beat 4.50 (pounds) for a whole pizza!! After that I grabbed some raspberries on the street and the group went for a tour of London with my favorite tour guide, Bob Craig. He knows pretty much everything and adds humor to the most boring information. We took a tour of St. Paul's Cathedral which was interesting... I liked the Mosaics on the ceiling and the American Chapel. I wish we could have gone to the top but everyone was really tired and the bus was leaving. Andrea and I stopped at a Chinese restaurant on the way home and I had the most delicious Wonton Soup, and her Hot and Sour soup was soooo good, it had shrimp in it! After we ate, we went home and I fell asleep at 9:30.

This morning I had an interview with my Internship company, Shoot Experience. It was reletively easy to get to, except AIFS gave me the wrong directions!!! I had to ask a few people how to get there because of several roundabouts/forks in the road. I finally got there a few minutes early and met with the CEO. It is a very small company but I am really excited to start working with them, apparently I will be helping them market their treasure hunts. I was given the treasure hunt to actually go out and do, which I am very excited about because it gives you a different perspective of London. After my interview, I took the journey back to Muswell and made a sandwich, then took the journey to central London to tour the British Museum and British Library. I've already seen everything we peeped at the British Museum, but the Library was very cool, and exceeded my expectations. The room we went to in the library had the Gutenberg Bible, the Magna Carta, the original written copy of Alice in Wonderland, several Beatles songs which most were scribbled on something random, and more really old original maps, manuscripts, etc. Got my favorite pizza again for dinner, and now i'm here. I believe we are going to Oneill's tonight for we must be at the Tower of London tomorrow morning at 9:45, and it takes over an hour to get there.

I will update tomorrow, but it might not be until Tuesday because Andrea, Rob, Ben and I are going to AMSTERDAM on saturday!!!!!!


Saturday, May 16, 2009

Two days

Two Days until I depart for the United Kingdom, and it still hasn't hit me yet. Maybe I should start packing.