Sunday, May 06, 2007

Charing Cross Road & The History Boys | Part V of Driving to London

So after a trying and equally delightful first day back in England, I was ready for a solid night's sleep… which is exactly what I got. So I got up bright and early, and lazed about the flat for an hour or so — eating breakfast, catching some of the odder moments of English television programming, and showering — before hitting the streets of London.

The plan for the day?

A cruise up and down Charing Cross Road and where ever else my feet my take me. The road divides the Covent Garden area to the east and SoHo to the West neatly, and snakes through the theater district and Chinatown… and it's famous for it's myriad bookshops. The last being my main attraction to the road, and the thing which first brought me here many years ago during my first visit to London.

So with a little breakfast in my gut, I headed-out. The day was cool and bright — perfect for a walk — and the stones were damp and clean from an evening's rain. I wandered back up to where Mihaela and I had walked the evening before and snapped some photos, then followed a number of small alleys over to Leicester Station. It was early, and everything was shuttered, and only a few shop keeps were out getting their displays ready for the day's business. So I did a lot of window shopping (my favorite kind!), and walked and re-walked most of the paths that criss-cross the neighborhood.

I noticed, early-on, that The History Boys was showing in the neighborhood, and decided to grab a ticket when the box office opened at eleven. In the mean time, I wandered… going into book and curio shops as they opened one-by-one, finally returning to the theater at 11 and snagging a ticket for the night's show.

From the theater, I walked a few steps down to St Martin's Spice and had a delightful lunch of curries and papadams… and then my walk up Charing Cross began in earnest, and I visited every book seller that caught my interest. Somewhere along the way, I called Mihaela, and we met-up at her school office, and spent a little while together before I headed to the theater.

The show was heart-breaking, thought-provoking, and amazing… and I purchased a theater edition of the book and headed out around the back of the theater to take one of the alleys back to the flat. It was a fortuitous choice, and I saw the cast exiting the backstage door. But I was too shy to ask for any autographs, as I didn't have a pen. I vowed to return.

The evening ended with dinner in the flat, and a little television while I wound-down from the day's excitement.

Next Stop: A Dinner Party!

Photos from this leg of the trip can be found at my flickr account... starting with this photo I took of a mail truck.


Adam said...

What a cool area of London. Lots of history there.

Silus Grok said...

I love this area of London. It just feels so, I dunno, "Londony".

: )

I also enjoy Notting Hill and Marlybone... though, I think, next time I'll spend more time outside of London — visit Bristol, perhaps.