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Days 0 to 4 | Days 5 to 8 | Days 9 to 11 | Days 12 to 14

DISCLAIMER: This site looks best on a Mac. On a PC, many of the photos may look dark, and the text may be improperly spaced. I blame Microsoft, of course.

So I'm off to Europe! Thanks to work, I get to visit London and Paris, spending two weeks in the cozy confines of foreign un-Americanality. This page is meant to be a sort of daily update. I plan to post pictures here as the trip progresses. Will I succeed? Only les temps will tell.

Why do all this? If you have to ask that, get back to reading
"Being Boring for Dummies."


DAY 0: Nothing Yet
May 29
Festive Padre

I'm still designing this page, so this little test picture is not from Europe.

And this man is not French. He's Polish.


Tiny EUs


DAY 1: Imminent Arrival in London
May 30

Probably still on the plane. Certainly not yet arriving at Bryon and Nadine's place in West Dulwich. Yes, Dulwich. Like Sandwich, but more dull.


Tiny EUs


DAY 2: In the Sticks
May 31

And suddenly, I'm in London! West Dulwich. A £75 cab ride. Yoiks! Talk about the 'burbs. In fact, it's quite nice here, and, as you can see in the photo below, it's a sunny day!


Bryon's Flat

Here's where Bryon lives, where I'll be staying for two nights. I've learned it's not a flat, it's a "maisonette." Damn. Guess I'm in France already.

This is Bryon. Or what he'll let you see of him. Looks like a recluse chef. "Take my picture and I'll beat you. Literally. With this spoon!"

Bryon's Spoon
Frozen Whipped Polyester Treat

Who doesn't love the ice cream man? Even in a country where the ice cream man drives on the wrong side of the road? Fact is, these frozen treats tasted exactly like slightly unthawed Cool Whip.

Bryon didn't know I was taking this, so he's actually in view.

Following the "ice cream" feast, Bryon, his roommate Stephen, his friend Charlotte and I were meant to have watched Moulin Rouge, but we ended up watching Big Brother (which is much naughtier in the UK!) and a TV séance by some British guy named Derren Brown. They can swear on TV out here, too. Man, we're such prudes in the U.S. Yawn!


Tiny EUs


DAY 3: All About Town
June 1
Little Houses All in a Row

Bryon's neighborhood has rows of assembly-line houses—er, maisonettes—which is a fun and common feature in London. Like American suburbs, they all look the same. Unlike the American suburbs, they're all connected.


The Retro Bar

Ah, The Retro Bar! Bryon does much graphic arts work for this pub, creating flyers and post cards to advertise their various shindigs. This was mid-day, so that's why there's no crowd. I did Karaoke here last year... "Gypsies, Tramps and Thieves." It was quite a hit, probably only because I was American.

Bryon, on the right, is hiding again. Wanker.


Enjoying a mid-day boozer at The Retro Bar. (I don't even need to say I'm kidding.)

Retro Lounging
Tate Modern

Me, with slacker tourist stance, in front of the Tate Modern. The smokestack of this power-station-turned-art-gallery glowers down upon the Thames like a propagandist's dream. Inviting, no? A great building, though, for modern art and snacks.


Just weeks ago, I was meandering through a book about Edward Hopper at Steve Rowley's place. Looking at "Nighthaws," his super-famous diner painting, I wondered what it would be like to create something that becomes so iconic.

The Super-Famous Nighthawks

Cue the coincidence! A Hopper exhibit was showing at the Tate Modern today, and I got to see, with my very own eyes, the actual painting itself. Very exciting. And Hopper could not have known, as he was creating this art, what it would become.

(I was not allowed to take pictures, but I managed to sneakily snap this one and get it mostly in focus and in frame.)



Just one more example of a very classic British building. This is an original, not a "repro," and gorgeously impressive. (For detail geeks: This building houses the Liberty department store, and is on Regent Street.)


Tiny EUs


DAY 4: A Day of Many Vehicles
June 2

From West Dulwich, of which no one's heard, to Piccadilly Circus! From maisonettes to fancy-schmancy hotels! From a relaxing visit to WORK! Such is the price of leisure. And, honestly, I didn't get enough of London's outer environs.


Le Fancy Meridien

After another, much more reasonably-priced cab ride, I got to my next lodging, Le Meridien Piccadilly (above). What the hell's with all this French naming? I suppose when I get to Paris, maisonettes will be called "two-storey flats," and instead of Le Meridien I'll be at "The Very English Hotel."


A Nicer Lobby

While Le Meridien is nice, it's not as nice as where everyone else gets to stay. They get to stay at a place with a proper, English name: The Charlotte Street Hotel. Look at this cool, relaxing lobby!


But who cares about accomodations? It's all about the travel! Today, aside from the taxi, I traveled on buses four times and the tube just as many. I felt like a local, and even got asked for directions by a British lass. Musta been my fancy new Pumas.

This is from the upper deck of one of the red buses. Outside the front windows, you can just make out Piccadilly Circus.

The Top of the Red Bus
Dinner Chums

With co-workers arriving, it was time to begin our nightly dinners out on the town. Here's Joel and Richard and me after a yummy Soho meal. I tried to shrink the picture enough so Richard doesn't look drunk—which he's decidedly not—but I don't think it worked.


I really need to go to friggin' bed, but why not leave you with a pretty picture before I do? But which picture shall it be? Oh, I know! How 'bout the only one left? Good choice, me. Good choice.

While walking back to my French hotel après dinner, I snapped this shot of Piccadilly Circus. NOW I can wish you bonne nuit.

Circus in the Dark

Days 0 to 4 | Days 5 to 8 | Days 9 to 11 | Days 12 to 14


Let's Hobble Back to the Library The Ranting Wren

Trip: May 30 to June 12, 2004
Last Update: June 13, 2004