February 2014 Archives
The first piece of art to grace the side of the Village Underground wall is a green, white and black mural by Roberto Ciredz. The mural looks like a topographic chart. A lot of his work appears to be inspired by three-dimensional graphs or charts, grayscale colour swatches, or dimensional shapes. I watched the work take shape over the course of a very wet and rainy week or two. I don't think it would have been a fun time to paint due to all of the constant bad weather that was happening when this mural was painted. Also, sadly, some of the paint chipped away (or perhaps a vehicle caused the damage) quite soon after the mural was completed.
The running white lines that make up the graph remind me of how wet and rainy the weather was then (and currently is) recently.
More work from the artist can be found here: https://www.facebook.com/RobertoCiredz
Sugar High Bakery is located in Frankenmuth, Michigan. The bakery won "Cupcake Wars", a reality television programme about baking cupcakes, in 2012. The bakery has several different flavours of cupcake as well as additional sweets (cookies, ice cream, and other items) available in its shop. There's also merchandise for sale. However, I felt that it could use a few additional tables in the cafe as there were only a couple of tables.
When I visited, the shop was busy. I had a snickerdoodle cookie, and it was delicious. Snickerdoodles are my favourite. On my second visit, which was on a Monday morning, the shop was quiet. I managed to enjoy a cupcake and a sugar in the cafe. Both were nice.
Sugar High bakery
A sugar cookie
In the cafe, I had a milk cupcake. The cupcake was a very moist vanilla flavour. The icing and cake was not too sweet, and it was light.
We bought some cupcakes. Mine was a lime cupcake. The cupcake was light and the lime icing was sweet and a little tart. This was a nice combination. However, it was slightly too much icing for my taste as part of the cupcake is hollowed out on top in order to stuff more icing in. The cake-to-icing ratio was not exactly to my taste. The cupcakes were delicious and looked delicious.
These street art faces by Plin were the first widespread collection of street art work that appeared in the new year. Some of these are painted on walls, but the majority of them are paste-ups. I also noticed a few stickers. This year has been a little slow for street art so far, but I have noted a few new pieces appear from some London-based street artists, which I will post in due time.
I cannot find much information about Plin on the web, so let me know if you know any more about this artist.
Winchester is down the road from where I live, but I don't often need to visit it. However, I decided to have a day out to walk around the town and have afternoon tea. Winchester was once the capital of England, and some pieces of its history remains. Some castle remains and tunnels can be seen near The Great Hall, and there's a part of the city wall, impressive cathedral, market cross, old mill, and Tudor-style buildings and passages.
Part of the city wall, Westgate near the site of the castle, can be climbed. There's a museum on the top, and there are some nice views down the High Street. This is at the top of the hill.
Winchester city wall
Gargoyles on Westgate
View of the High Street from the top of the hill
In the middle of the high street is the buttercross, a market cross. The buttercross was built in the early 14th century. Goods were sold here.
Detail of buttercross
Some of the signage on the high street in Winchester feature pictures or sculptures of goods that would be sold in the shops. There are many of these around old towns in England as people in old times were illiterate. Winchester has a few of these, including the boot and kettle below.
Kettle and boot
View looking up the high street
Winchester Cathedral and the close have some pretty buildings, and the water meadows are near here, and there are some nice walks to smaller villages outside of Winchester. At the entrance to the close along the high street is a tall steel sculpture structure that is covered in lights. The structure changes colour depending on commands send via text message to it. It is fun to visit in the evening and watch it change colour in response to text messages.
I had afternoon tea as Maison Blanc at the bottom of the High Street. The afternoon tea included English Breakfast tea, a mini chocolate eclair, mini apricot almondine, mini lemon meringue, mini chocolate brownie and mini Millefeille Framboises. My favoruites were the lemon meringue and the Millefeille Framboises.
Afternoon tea pastries at Maison Blanc
Before I had the afternoon tea, I had a BLT sandwich on baguette and a glass of white wine. This was promptly followed by tea and pastries.
BLT sandwich and wine
At the bottom of the hill is the statue of King Alfred, which is one of the symbols of Winchester; its college is named after him.
Chepstow Castle is situated in Wales, not too far from the English-Welsh border. The castle was constructed by William the Conquerer in the 1060s after the Romans, but there may have been a medieval fortification on this site prior to the castle. The castle is perched on a cliff overlooking the river Wye, just outside the village of Chepstow. It was built in four stages. A 12th century door can also be seen at the castle, and the views over the river are amazing. I visited the castle with friends at the end of June.
The entrace to Chepstow Castle.
One of the rooms in the castle with an open fireplace area.
The hallway between the kitchen and the hall, which would have been busy with servants.
View of the castle and the river Wye from the highest part of the castle's wall (Barbican).
The castle's walls, the Barbican.
A statue at the top of the tower.
The interior of the tower.
This was not my first visit to the castle. I first visited it in July of 2005 on a very sunny day. My photographs from that visit are below.
Over the past twelve moths, I have captured a lot of street art and grafitti in London. I did not have a place to publish most of it, so I have included a lot of the various bits and pieces, some of them unknown, here. Some of these are by well-known street artists in their own right, but I have surfaced a lot of photographs of street art. I feel that I need to catch up, so I will be blogging new work more quickly as it appears on the streets to make room for publishing these older pieces. Enjoy!
Gaia's hands (with other collaborations)
DeeOne 'Heaven's Rejects'
Icon's ET seeking asylum
Idiom and others
For more information about Low Bros, see their Facebook site: https://www.facebook.com/lowbros
Various work by unknown artists, Kid Acne, Endless and Jana & JS
Various work by unknown artists, Paul 'Don Smith's tribute to Apple Steve Jobs and Nando Mambo
Unknown stencil work and Stra
Unknown umbrella adapted into building cable
Fuel and Part2ism
Endless, Occupy London, and Artlinkalipski
Various and unknown
For the first time in what has seemed like ages, I saw the sun shining. I do not know about everyone else in Great Britain, but I am tired of the rain, winds, clouds, and flooding that we have been having. I know that my family and friends "across the pond" in North America are tired of the snow. My partner bought me flowers for Valentine's Day, and I choose yellow roses because it is one of my favourite colours, and I needed some bright colour. I thought that I would share.
I do hope that spring is now on its way and that we have a sunny and warm summer ahead. I do think that spring is on its way at last because I saw the first snowdrops yesterday.
Last year was a busy one for street art, and I managed to get a variety of pieces that I have not yet published in my blog. This blog is dedicated to a variety of street artists and their work that I have captured over several months last year.
Amara Por Dios
Stockholm-based, the work produced by Amara Por Dios is colourful with bold, black lines to make up a abstract-organic faces from shapes. The artist had an exhibit in London earlier this year and has been back since. These photographs were taken this spring and summer.
Collaboration with other artists
Collaboration with Artista
White Canvas Project advertisement
For more information about the artist, visit her Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/AmaraPorDios
Another recognisable street artist is Kef!, a German-based artist. Kef!'s work, like Amara Por Dios, consists of bold and black lines and bright colours to create shapes. However, his style does not include abstract human-like faces. Often, these appear to be animals. There are also a greater number of lines.
For more information on Kef!, view his Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/kefart
Airborne Mark's (also known as The Pilot) work reminds me of Victorian steampunk with one-eyed metal creatures and characters. He creates a lot of this work, including planes, in his art.
Street artist Masai specialises in painting realistic-looking animals and is inspired by African tribes and African animals. Normally, the portraits of the animals highlight conservation causes. There was an excellent piece of his work completed this summer of a quilt-patch hippo, but it was painted over extremely quickly and I never got a photograph of it.
Massai, Kef! and Airbourne Mark
However, wooden birdhouses were placed upon some walls in east London, and these have been attributed to Masai.
Cheba is a Bristol-based street artist. This year, he painted one of the Gromit sculptures (Grosmos) for the Gromit Unleashed art and charity exhibit. In the autumn, he painted on scaffolding on Brick Lane. The patterns was similar to the Gromit that he painted.
Untay is an Isaeli-based street artist. I caught him starting a work featuring with horses on Brick Lane.
Untay and a similar style piece by KLO (bottom)
Neoh's street art depicts abstract ballerina girls. You can often see these figures dotted around east London. Typically, blue or purple paint is also used to draw the girls.
Neoh (including early work and the last two are the most recent)
Macay's (real name Macarena Yanez) work shows vintage-themed paste-ups of large birds, floral displays and people in vintage dress. The artist is from Chile, and she created some work around Redchurch Street in east London ahead of her exhibit.
More of her work can be seen here: http://www.macayanez.com/
Red Gallery #R3D
The Red Gallery commissioned some artwork, which I photographed below. For more information, visit their website: http://www.redgallerylondon.com/
Bom.K and Liliwenn
Last summer, French street artist Bom.K and Liliwenn collaborated on a large wall on Hanbury Street off of Brick Lane. The mural depicted several parts of faces.
This artist creates architectural scenes. More work can be found at the artist's website here: http://www.jopeel.com
After Jo Peel's work, Fintan Magee painted on the large wall near Old Street (at the Foundry). More work from the artist can be found here: http://www.fintanmagee.com/wall/
I'm not sure who the artist is who painted the artwork with numbers.
The above is various work, including an unknown "wake up! Listen! what is your mission?" piece, work by Vexla, work by Piano, and work by LostMonkey.
I took these photographs of lock hearts on a chain fence across from Shoreditch High Street station in London. The locks have been there for a long while, and I have snapped photographs of them a few times before. I noticed the new heart-shaped lock and other locks with declarations of love on them. Happy Valentine's Day!
On one Saturday last summer, I caught a brief glimpse of a wedding on Brick Lane when I was giving one of my non-London friends a tour. The wedding was a traditional and cultural one. (I am assuming that the couple being married were Bangladeshi.) I loved the outfits and jewellery and just thought that this made a nice photograph of the couple and the wedding party walking down Brick Lane in London. I thought that this would be the perfect post for Valentine's Day.
At the beginning of December, my parents and I visited Henry Ford's Greenfield Village and the Henry Ford Museum, (Days Out: Henry Ford Museum). We did not get to see and do everything that we wanted to do in Greenfield Village because there's so much to do. We had to split our day between this and the museum. Greenfield Village was the highlight for me as I am a big fan of living history and history in general. Old times have always captivated me, and if I had a time machine, I would always go back in time to a world that has now been lost.
Henry Ford bought and moved all of the buildings that make up Greenfield Village because he knew that his assembly-line method of production would change the world, and history was important to him. He bought homes and buildings that meant something to him, such as his school. He bought the homes of others (Thomas Edison, Wright Brothers, Firestone, Heinz, George Washington Carver, etc.) that meant something to him, and all of these were moved together to create Greenfield Village. He also bought machinery and locomotives.
There's so much to interact with at Greenfield Village, and this was their final opening day before closing for the Christmas season, so there were not many people about. Christmas trees were up in some of the houses and buildings, and the air was chilly, so it did feel like Christmas.
Cider mill and sawmill
We arrived and got some photographs of some farm machinery in one of the buildings, and then we checked out this steam engine below. Instead of heading toward the "town" area, we walked to a farmhouse (the Firestone family of the tire/tyre fame) first. We got some nice photographs of the buildings and fields on the way.
Actually, this method for drying corn was still used in the 1950s/1960s and my father remembers having to make these when he was younger, and they didn't do such a great job because several had fallen to the ground. The Amish (Travels to Ohio's Amish Country and A Trip to the Amish Country) still farm this way.
When we came to the Firestone Farm, we saw a lot of beautiful chickens. They were hanging around the farm and in the bar area.
The employees who work at Greenfield Village actually do use all of the items produced. We went into the farmhouse and had a chat with the farmer's wife, who was preparing the meal. We explored the house and the cellar area.
Corn-sheller in the barn
The barn is one of those beautiful multi-level barns that is built into a bank, and we had a look around at the different machinery. The wooden machine with a handle is a corn-sheller. You put an ear of corn inside the hole, and you turn the crank, and the kernels funnel out.
The chickens especially liked the barn above, with the old wagons. The slat area on the left is where ears of corn are dried out.
We had a look inside the pottery shop and saw pottery being created and painted, and we had a look at the sawmill, but it was not operating. We also had a quick stop at the tin shop and were told about the importance of tin, the glass shop, and the printing shop where we printed a paper using the printing press. There's also a water mill and weaving shop. I wanted to create a glass flower, but we did not have enough time.
Woolen mill and glass shop
Our next stop was at the Detroit, Toledo & Milwaukee Roundhouse. A Roundhouse is where trains were worked on. Inside the Roundhouse were several huge locomotives, and these are in working order. A water tower is near the railway line. Not far away is the station, which we explored. In those days, the station contained rooms for the staion master to live in, a waiting room for passengers, and telegraph room.
Nearby is the Herschell-Spillman carousel, and this is in working order and guests can ride on it for a fee. We did not becuase of the lack of time. There is also a pub near here, and this would have also been a nice option for lunch, but we wanted to see more of the village. We did stop into the general store, and we were told about the history of the building and other facts about general stores.
Chapel, schoolhouse, and courthouse were additional stops. We made our way into the actual "town" area of Greenfield Village, and we started to see more people about on horses or driving classic vehicles. Visitors could ride on some of the vehicles for a fee.
Horses in Greenfield Village
We went into a few homes that belonged to famous people, such as George Washington Carver's log cabin, and Ford's childhood home and the Wight Brothers' home. We were in a little bit of a hurry, so we did not get to do much.
Bus in Greenfield Village
We went to the Ford dealership, and we got a ride in a ModelT Ford. This was a "must" for me, as I've always loved the old ModelT Ford. I used to draw these. I think the ModelT that I got to ride in was a 1923 model. My parents rode in a different model. This was a quick blast around some of the streets, and we were taken to an area that we had not seen yet as we didn't have time.
After our ride, we walked by a post office and stopped in as I wanted to see if I could send postcards. We were in luck! I have an obsession for postcards, and I always like to buy them and write a travel journal onto them of the places that I have been. The post office actually sold vintage-style postcards, and they had Christmas ones. I bought a couple to post, using modern stamps and prices, of course.
We had to make our way back to explore the museum. The building in the photograph below was moved from England, or at least the decorative elements were. It was a watch and jewellery shop in London. In Greenfield Village, it is a sweet shop. The clock figures move.
At some point, I need to visit Greenfield Village again and see the bits that we were rushed through and spend more time on some of the other areas. For an interactive map of all of the buildings and a description of the buildings, visit: http://www.thehenryford.org/village/map.aspx
For more information about the Henry Ford Museum, read my entry Days Out: Henry Ford Museum, which we went to visit after Greenfield Village.
Stencil street artist C215 is one street artist that I enjoy discovering when I am wandering the streets in east London. The artist is Christian Guémy from France, and he has painted his artwork in various cities over the world. His work is primarily portraits and images of cats. The portraits include the homeless, orphans, the elderly, and his own family. Often, the pieces are easy to overlook, and unfortunately, a lot of his work was tagged over quickly. It looks as though some of his London work was targeted by the same vandal who used the same colour to paint over his word. I find this sad as the work should be appreciated and enjoyed by others.
Last week, a large wall with C215's work was painted in east London. This is the first large-scale piece by the artist that I have seen in London.
In addition, I have taken many photographs of the artist's work in London, which I have included below. The majority of these were taken at the beginning of last year, and a lot of them have since been tagged over now. Sadly, only about five of these remain but have faded considerably, so I am glad that the artist is back in London. Maybe more of his work will appear in the coming weeks.
The photographs below are ones that I have found tagged over, and they were not around for long before being tagged over by the same person. (In one instance, however, the image was worn off.) I have included the image below along with what it originally looked like.
C215's cats are one of my favourite pieces. I've discovered a few of these cats around east London. The placement of a random cat in a wall in east London brings a smile as they are unexpected.
The images below are Google's resuls of C215's cats. I would love to find more of these cats.
At the beginning of December, I visited the Henry Ford Museum. The museum contains a history of popular cars throughout history, locomotives, agriculture machinery, planes, American-made products, a collection of dollhouses, an exhibit on civil rights and other exhibitions. There is also an IMAX cinema on site. The museum has the car that JFK was shot in and the chair that Abraham Lincoln was shot in. I've included some photographs of the museum (and in the museum) below.
I have been to a few automotive museums previously, such as the Volvo Museum in Gotenburg, Sweden. Whereas the Volvo Museum was filled with all types of Volvo, the Ford Museum was a lot different and was not exclusively Ford cars.
The exterior of the Henry Ford museum
The exterior of the museum has a clock tower. We arrived early in the morning, just before the opening time, and the grounds in front of the museum were filled with geese. There were rows of Christmas trees for sale in front of the museum, and they made the area smell of refreshing pine. A statue of Henry Ford was also in front of the museum.
Statue of Henry Ford
Henry Ford Museum
There was a selection of classic cars in the museum along with classic road-side signage, such as this McDonalds restraurant. There was also signage for gasoline and motels.
A classic car and classic McDonalds sign
There were more than cars in the museum, but I mainly took photographs of the cars, which are shown below. Do not forget to see the locomotives, agriculture machinery, Rosa Park's bus, and the chair Abraham Lincoln was shot in. Also, some ex-presidential cars were amongst the car collection.
Classic cars by era
Have you visited the museum before? What did you think?
Last year, I did not get around to writing up about the year's Super Bowl commercials. I just did not have time as I was in the middle of a tight-deadline project that zapped my energy. In the previous years, I published Review of SuperBowl 2011 Commercials and The Best SuperBowl Commercials of 2012 and decided that I would publish an entry for this year. I do not get to watch the game live as it is on far too late for me living in Greenwich Mean Time, and as it takes place on Sunday, I have work to contend with on the following day. I've included a few of the commercials broadcast during the 2014 Super Bowl below.
The commercial is a reunion for the characters of 1990s television series "Seinfeld" and plugs their new show. I love the television show, and it is a timeless classic, so I enjoyed seeing Jerry, George, and Newman again and listening to their timeless Super Bowl-related banter.
Watch it here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=FhmpTxLhqzU
Budweiser 'Puppy Love'
A cute puppy and a horse share a special bond as the puppy escapes to be near the horse and the horse escapes to be near the puppy. It is a cute and "feel-good" commercial.
Watch it here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=uQB7QRyF4p4
A boyfriend and girlfriend cannot agree on which dog to get and learn how to compromise by creating a cross-bred dog, which becomes a monster. However, buying an Audi means that no one needs to make compromises.
A commercial criticises past experiences where viewers have been unlucky, such as watching someone they like dance with someone else at school. The ad encourages visitors to use its tax services so that they can get lucky and get a tax refund.
The brand is trying to update their image; perhaps they felt that consumers viewed their shops as dated. The ad features several iconic 1980s themes and characters: Chuckie Doll, Alf, California Raisins, and several others.
Watch it here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=9ft9ruGTO1w
Coca Cola 'America the Beautiful'
This is probably the commercial that caused the most controversy and led to a backlash on Twitter and other social media websites with threatens to boycott the company. Actually, I do not understand the reasoning. Perhaps Coca Cola missed the mark here. Americans are extremely patriotic. The iconic song is sung in several langauges, including English. The citizens of America clearly identify more with America than where their ancestors have come from. The country started as a melting pot of cultures and has evolved with its own unique customs and adaptations of customs brought from a vast array of cultures. To me, the singing of this song and showing American scenery is for hope and to celebrate the range of people which make up America and bring the country together. It is living the American Dream. The corporation clearly lost its stamp on this one. Perhaps it tried too hard by picking a symbol or a song that many hold too close.
Watch it here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=443Vy3I0gJs
Teaser for '24'
Actually, this was filmed a few blocks from where I work and a couple of blocks from where my partner works. He actually got video and photographs of them filming this and saw Keifer Suntherland. (One of the photographs is included below.) By the time I knew about it, I had already taken my lunch and was too busy to walk over to have a look for myself. They had installed a phone box and post box on scene and an over-turned London taxi covered with Union Jack stickers and set up a small, controlled fire on site. The massive blast that comes from the right and the smoke around the Gherkin is CGI. The commercial is a little too "over the top" for my liking; Hollywood tend to over-dramatise.
Watch it here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=fo4_r5RlBII
Budweiser: 'A Hero's Welcome'
This commercial tugs at your heart and is sure to win over those who are currently or have been in military service. A soldier comes home and gets a warm welcome. Touching.
There's some controversy over this commercial as well based on the company's location. In fact, Scarlet Johansson stepped down in Oxfam (charity) because she supported the company.
Doritos 'Time Machine'
I enjoyed some of the company's past commercials because they are witty. This one did not let me down.
Doritos: 'Cowboy Kid'
Doritos cranked out another witty commercial. This year, both commercials featured children.
Toyota uses the Muppets to advertise their cars, and this involves a catchy song.
This is a cute commercial where the father uses pieces of the cereal to tell his young daughter that a baby is on the way.
Overall, 2014 was not a bad year for commercials. I am not sure if any of these particularly stand out, other than to create some probably-unintended controversy.
A quiet and often overlooked area on the northwestern fringe of the City is the ancient burial ground, 'Bunhill Fields'. The name 'Bunhill' is derived from from 'Bonehill' and has been used for centuries for burials. Long ago and before London expanded, the area was open fields or fens, and it was a part of Fensbury (now spelt Finsbury), and the fen expanded to the village of Hoxton (now also an area of London).
Dried bones from St. Paul's chapel were regularly brought here in the 1500s to make more room in St. Paul's chapel, and these were covered with a thin layer of soil. Eventually, this created a small hill amongst the flat surrounding land, and three windmills were built here. Plague victims were later buried here, and the cemetery became a burial ground for Non-Conformists (any belief other than the Church of England). Many bodies were buried on top of each other with several in a grave. The last burial in the cemetery was in the mid-1850s.
Today, the burial ground is a quiet place to retreat from the bustling City. The burial ground is eerie with gravestones side-by-side. Some of the inscriptions and images on the stones are interesting to look at and to imagine the history and the lives of the people buried underneath the soil. Many more individuals do not have gravestones and have been lost to time.
The cemetery is also a thriving place for birds and animals. Pigeons and squirrels scurry about the stones. I visited Bunhill Fields in the autumn, and the leaves were beginning to fall and cover the ground. The crunching noise of the leaves when walking on them was eerie and it felt as though I was not alone. I was the only one in the cemetery at times during my visit; others used it as a walk-through.
The cemetery has many famous residents. These include John Bunyan, Daniel Defoe, members of the Cromwell family, Susanna Wesley, William Blake and his wife.
William Blake's gravestone
A Quaker Burial ground is next to Bunhill. Also across the road is Wesley's Chapel and home. John Wesley was the founder of the Methodist Church. Many Methodists and other Protestants were buried across the road in Bunhill Fields, including Susanna Wesley, John Wesley's mother.
Wesley's Chapel and entrance to Bunhill Fields
The cemetery is a nice place to visit to take a break from the busy City and crowds.
During my visit to Dublin last autumn, I snapped a few photographs of street art that I came across when I was exploring the city. Most of the street art was located in the Temple Bar area of Dublin, but some of it was further afield, in the vicinity of the Guinness Storeroom factory area. I was actually a little disappointed because I thought that Dublin would have more street art. Some older pieces, which I discovered online before I went to visit Dublin, had been covered up and tagged over, which was a disappointment. Nevertheless, I did manage to take quite a few photographs, including the below mural by artist Conor Harrington. (Read more about his work and see some photographs of his work in London here: Street Art: Conor Harrington.)
Conor Harrington in Dublin
The below quirky fantasy scene is a collaboration from several artists: Fri2, Dahleo, Novice, and KYLR.
Fri2, Dahleo, Novice, and KYLR
I also snapped a photograph of some large African-style masks that I saw in Dublin. These were located to the west of the main part of the centre of Dublin.
A couple colourful pieces below as from Marcamix.
I am not sure who painted the goth-style female characters, but I like the style. I saw a couple of these in Dublin.
Dublin goth girls
I also found somevarious pieces, such as a spray can and part of a soup can from Canvaz, lips from Solus, stencil work by Zlashing, and Dublin Wifi mosaics. The Wifi mosaics reminded me of Space Invader's work.
Various Dublin street art
There was also a large mural in progress on a side of a building in the Temple Bar area.
Painting in progress in Temple Bar
Additionally, check out the following unknown pieces. I like the workman on the side of the building. I'm not sure who the artists are for any of these, and getting photographs of some of them was difficult with vehicles in the way.
The below photographs were taken of the same building with various pieces of artwork on them.
Dublin's signal boxes also contained some artwork. Below are the ones I was able to locate to photograph. They are looking a little worn now.
Dublin signal boxes street art
I also discovered some artwork hanging on scaffolding on Upper O'Connell Street. I am not sure what it was all about, but there was a sign up describing it. I was waiting for the bus back to the airport right next to it, so I did not get time to look.
I hope that you have enjoyed my tour of Dublin's street art.
I was in Chinatown in London today, as were hundreds of others. The lunar new year took place on Friday, but the events in London to celebrate the Chinese New Year are taking place today and tomorrow. Chinatown was busy, and the Chinese restaurants were also proving to be popular as tourists and visitors were lining up outside the restaurants and witnessing the celebrations. New red lanterns hung everywhere; London's Chinatown always has red lanterns, but there were even more today.
Chinese lanterns on Wardour Street
Close-up of Chinese lanterns
A large group of lanterns hanging on Newport and Lisle Street
Crowds had gathered in Chinatown, and many had their cameras and mobile phones ready to snap photographs.
While walking through the middle of Chinatown (Gerrard Street), I heard a drumming and saw large and colourful creatures heading my way. I heard the same noise toward Charing Cross Road, but I was too far away and the crowd was too dense to check it out.
I had to do a little bit of research, but the colourful creatures are lions. (I originally thought that they were dragons.) The colourful lions were dancing in the street and taking lettuce leaves that had been hung up in the doorways of the restaurants. Taking the lettuce leaves is meant to bring good fortune on the families who leave it out. Spreading the lettuce leaves around means that good luck shall come to everyone in the vicinity. My photographs below show the colourful lions moving to the lettuce hanging in the restaurant doorway and taking it.
The lions continued to dance down the street, stopping at all of the buildings. As they danced their way down, a group of people banged on drums and tambourines to encourage the dance.
New year lion dance
The lion has a mirror on its nose so that evil spirits see their reflection and run away. The lion dance was attracting a large crowd.
Lion dance for the new year and good fortune
Each lion is made up of two people - one for each pair of legs.
On the way back to the station, I passed through Chinatown again and got some photographs of the lanterns lit up.
Happy new year to you, and good luck.