Dickinson College Humanities Program in Norwich

"We make a living by what we get, we make a life by what we give."

August 26th, 2009 · No Comments

The man who spoke these words has been criticized, revered, idolized, and forever memorialized in Britain and throughout the world. His contributions (and faults) are integral to history books and will remain as such so long as people study the twentieth century in any capacity. This man was Winston Churchill. His life and legacy, traced by the recently opened Churchill Museum (located in the equally significant Cabinet War Rooms), was one among many stops on today’s venture out to the city.

What a fascinating life this man led. Certainly, many know him as the Prime Minister who essentially led Britain through WWII. The years of his (first) term in office were some of his finest and most recognized moments. I’ve studied Churchill before stepping foot in the Museum (If you haven’t seen it, you must go – it’s worth every pence) and knew that he led an illustrious career in the British government throughout the early 1900s. Throughout his life he wrote books and articles, he painted, and he traveled. He went on to serve as Prime Minister once more in the 1950s but soon retired due to his declining health. The life he led was unconventional but provocative enough to grab the spotlight as one of the most influential leaders of the last century. I certainly agree with Kelley (“All Around Westminster”) that all politicians have their faults and not-so-proud moments, and Churchill is no exception. I do not and will not idolize Churchill, but, admittedly, just his persona alone demands your attention.


"Cheer up! They will forget _you_ but they will remember _me_ always."

This museum, attached to the Cabinet War Rooms, gave such a profound impression of life for government officials during the Second World War. Moreover, if Winston Churchill had to crawl through these narrow halls for meetings underground during bomb raids, one can’t even imagine what it was like to be stuck above ground (or at least above the thick slab of concrete and steel that guarded the War Rooms). As a student endlessly fascinated by culture, politics, and leadership of Britain, Europe, and the United States (few among a growing list) during the twentieth century, this museum gave me some new perspective on Britain during the war.

I feel I would be doing the Westminster Abbey and St. James Park some injustice if I failed to mention how astounded I was when I saw them. The architecture of the Abbey and the awe-inspiring space it occupies could make anyone feel small and insignificant. The tombs and busts of individuals line every wall and, to add some eerie sense to the building, every walkway. The eroded stone of tombstones embedded in the floor felt sacrilegious; take, for instance, standing on the grave of Charles Dickens, which felt powerful and odd at the same time. The hundreds of people in the Abbey had headsets stuck to their ear, which, at the time made sense. After some reflection, one could have wandered without tour guides or headsets and have had a similarly profound experience.

St. James, too, had some remarkable qualities. The most striking is it’s sheer size. A pond cuts through the middle of the park and stretches far into the distance. At one point, you couldn’t hear or see anything but the park. The people, too, add an interesting flavor to the area. No one sat in the hundreds of chairs in the space (and rightfully so – you must pay to sit down in the chairs, apparently), so they opted for lying down in the grass. Some were loud businesspeople eating their lunch, some were on a run, and others seemed dazed and confused as they wandered. It definitely attracts a variety of people, but, as already noted below in Audrey’s post “Peace out from the park,” the open gates of the park may be limiting other people given its location, among other reasons.


How did we possibly manage to fit all of this in one day?

Tags: Brandon

All aboard the HMS Belfast!

August 26th, 2009 · 1 Comment


DSC04866   After spending our morning at Westminster Abbey we decided to head to the Tower of London… but needed to get some lunch first. We stopped at a small Italian restaurant and were immediately attended to by a petite, efficient waitress who moved at an abrupt pace and appeared to serve ten tables at a time. She rushed us into ordering food and drinks while ending each sentence in “Please, thank you.” To make our long story short, by the end of our quick yet delicious meal we were stressed to the point of no return. Attempting to escape our stressful waitress we headed to the Waterloo tube Station.   

   We took the train that lead us to the London Bridge stop instead of Tower Hill Station, a simple mistake on our part. Leaving the station, we walked through the “Queen’s Walk” and came upon the HMS Belfast Battleship, immediately we thought this would be an interesting excursion. Having just an audio guide and our digital cameras we proceeded to board the ship and explore this historical landmark. On our self-guided tour we struggled as we made our way through narrow stairs, pipe filled boiler rooms and the inescapable smell of gun powder in the weapon filled rooms.  

We learned that the ship is part of the Imperial War Museum and was first launched on St Patrick’s Day of 1938; it played a vital role in the Second World War. During our tour we discovered that Belfast was the leader behind the destruction of the German battlecruiserScharnhorst during the Battle of North Cape. 
   Although, as a collective we are promoters of peace, we couldn’t help but to be impressed by the ship’s weaponry infrastructure. There were two identical shell rooms with machines that were capable of launching eight shells per minute which led Jack Frost (crew member of HMS Belfast) to describe the ship as a “floating gun plot.” Members of the crew had specific job titles ranging from weapon handling, chefs, dentists, and even surgeons!  We had fun interacting with the wax figures which were placed throughout the ship to represent actual crew members. After attempting to climb out of the lower chambers of the ship, we were happy to inhale fresh air. 
   We took a short break, and headed towards the Tower Bridge. We crossed the bridge and felt a sense of accomplishment as this is one of the most famous bridges in London’s history. By this point our feet were aching so we decided that it was in our best interest to head back to the hotel. 

Tags: Anthony · Flow · Jeyla · Museums

Brushes with Royalty

August 26th, 2009 · 2 Comments

Sometimes I wonder why I didn’t start a major in social anthropology: I’m utterly fascinated by the tiny, perhaps insignificant intricacies of the way people live in Britain today. What interests me most is not necessarily the greater consequences of large immigrant populations or the history of the development of the city, but the subtle differences between British and American dialects of English and the life of a British school child.

After touring Westminster Abbey and the Tower of London today, I found myself wondering about the contemporary relationship between the British population and the Royal Family and nobles. From what I can gather, the main function of the Royal Family these days is to supply the tabloid newspapers with more scandals and fashion reports, and the real importance of the monarchy remains in the past. However, the fact that the monarchy doesn’t have any political role these days doesn’t keep the pomp and circumstance in check: there were millions of pounds of jewels and gold in the Tower of London which are still used today for official ceremonies. Of course, many of these jewels are from an earlier time, so it’s not as if there are thousands of British taxpayer pounds put into a Royal jewelry fund each year (I assume), though I do wonder what the average Brit thinks of all this formality that seems merely left over from an earlier time. Stereotypically, the Brits seem to have a reputation of being reserved, and the behavior I can see on the Tube, for example, confirms this. Yet the tremendous amount of money, glitz, commemoration, and ceremony put into these old traditions doesn’t seem to equate to the British stereotype. Every case in the Tower of London Jewel House sparkled and every inch of the wall and floor of Westminster Abbey was covered with inscriptions and monuments to royals, nobles, and academics passed. The British seem to like their preservation of history, which is all well and good, but I wonder about the origins of their apparent love of ceremony and honor as well, and how these traditions from ages past fit into the lives and minds of contemporary Londoners.

Tags: Chelsea · Churches and Cathedrals · Museums

War and Peace

August 26th, 2009 · No Comments


The Tympanum

It’s amazing how much our group has accomplished within one week, and how much we manage to pack into each day. Today was no different in that respect. We walked down towards Westminster Abbey from Trafalgar Square at 9am. When Westminster came into view, I found myself staring up at one of the most beautiful Gothic churches I have ever seen. Everything from the tympanum (recessed triangular space over a door between the lintel and the arch) to the immense flying buttresses to the highest nave in Great Britain was elegant and stately. We met our tour guide, John, and he immediately began to educate us on the Abbey’s impressive history. Westminster Abbey, or the Collegiate Church of St. Peter in Westminster, was first built in 1042 during the reign of Edward the Confessor. The Abbey in existence today was built around 1216 during the reign of King Henry III. Henry wanted a place where he could be buried, where his ancestors could be crowned and a place dedicated to the piety of Edward the Confessor.

            Westminster is the final resting place of over three thousand people, from Queen “Bloody Mary” to Charles Darwin. However, among the many Kings and Queens the grave that I admired most belonged to the  Unknown Warrior. The man who lies in that grave gave his life for England and that spot has come to be the place of mourning for all who lost someone during World War I. The Unknown Warrior was retrieved from a battlefield in Northern France and was placed in the Abbey in 1920. He was posthumously awarded both the Victoria Cross and the Congressional Medal of Honor. Unlike the other graves that lie under the stones of Westminster, no one is allowed to walk over the grave of the Unknown Warrior. Coming from a family with a strong military background, I have a great deal of respect for all that serve in the armed forces and give their lives to protect their country. The treatment of the Unknown Warrior tells me that I share this trait with the people of Britain. Walking through the nave and the individual chapels is like stepping back into time. The graves of the House of Tudor were especially impressive. The Henry VII chapel’s contains the largest collection of Tudor statues and is also the mother church of the distinguished Order of the Bath. The united roses of Lancaster and York were also prominently featured in this section. I thoroughly enjoyed my visit to Westminster and I would definitely like to go back for an Evensong service to hear the choir.



View from the bathing hut at the Miami Beach Surf Club (1946)

            After a comical lunch at an Italian restaurant, a few of us went to the Churchill Museum and Cabinet War Rooms. I was really looking forward to this site because I love World War II military history and Churchill has always been such a mythic figure in my mind that I wanted to learn more about his life. First of all, I now understand why he often went to the rooftops to watch the German planes bomb the city… I couldn’t stand being cooped up underground for such a long time. I think I would go mad if I couldn’t see the sky or feel fresh air on my face. The Museum was a combination of a tour of the underground bunker and an exhibit on the life of Sir Winston Churchill. I leaned some more intimate details about the man behind the cigar. For example, he loved his velvet ‘romper’ suits, the pet name he used for his wife Clementine was ‘Kat,’ and he always took an afternoon nap at 6pm. The one piece of information that really caught me by surprise was Churchill’s love of painting. He said that painting helped him through his bouts of depression, what he called his “black dogs” or “brown days.” His work is mostly landscape and is reminiscent of early modern painters, like Cezanne. I never would have guessed that this wartime PM and “bulldog” would have such a hobby…Shame on me for jumping to conclusions. He often painted while he was abroad in between his scheduled meetings. I can understand why Churchill is idolized in British history, his strong personality and leadership helped boost morale amongst soldiers on the battlefields and citizens on the home front. Undoubtedly, the resilience and determination of the people living through the Blitz was Britain’s “finest hour.”           


Today was full of new experiences for me. Walking through Westminster Abbey took me through thousands of years of history and power, and the Cabinet War Rooms reminded me of the importance of a strong leader in troubled times. London constantly reminds us of Britain’s strong military history in its public squares, monuments and churches. Throughout the city ‘War’ and ‘Peace’ coexist. The Unknown Warrior has found peace for an entire nation within the walls of the Abbey and Churchill’s annex can remain frozen in time as a reminder of the cost of war.

Tags: Grace · Uncategorized

Pigeons, Expensive Lawn Chairs and St. James' Park

August 26th, 2009 · 4 Comments

After the highly informative Westminster Abbey tour, we decided to economize and out outside rather than pay extra to sit in.  Unfortunately, we decided on the wrong park.  Completely unbeknownst to us unwitting Americans, the British government is not content with simply extorting us at restuarants.  Instead, they have decided to charge individuals for the “right” to sit in lawn chairs in the parks surrounding London.  Though to be fair, we do not know if this is entirely true because this incident just occured at the wonderful St. James’ Park.  While asthetically pleasing, the man walking around with a pence machine was very disconcerting.  Being the crass Americans we are, instead of paying this man representing the greedy British government, we resevered our right to sit freely on the grass (despite his several attempts to swindle us).  After suggesting that this incident reminded us of the rediciously “tea tax” placed on British imports to America in the 18th Century, we considered throwing our lawn chairs in the River Thames just to prove a point.  Though after careful consideration and debate, we decided against this plan of action.

Instead, we rebelled by giving the local pigeon population the remains of our lunches.  To our shock, we were unexpectedly surrounded but what seemed to be the entire pigeon population of London.  Nevertheless, this did not deter us.  Upon luring this savage creatures as close as possible and feeding them scrapes of bread, Amy decided to charge through the mass of beasts only to have one nearly miss Maddy and promoting the other people around us to duck for cover.  With the pigeons well fed, the rebellion spread to some British children.  We can only hope this incident will spark civil war among the park goers of London.

These are just a few differences between the American and British way of life.

Tags: Andrew F · Campbell

All Around Westminster

August 26th, 2009 · 2 Comments

I am constantly finding myself in awe of something new in or about London.  This morning’s subject of choice; statues.  London has more statues than any other city I’ve ever been in, and I’ve visited my fair share.  It’s not just the free-standing statues of Abraham Lincoln, Nelson Mandela, Winston Churchill, or General Montgomery that I saw just this morning, but also the finely-carved monuments and memorials to the Women of World War II, the Guard’s Memorial, and the Cenotaph.  However, the greatest haven to carving in the British Isles I’ve encountered yet is Westminster Abbey

Westminster Abbey
Westminster Abbey

Westminster Abbey is stuffed to the gills with statues and monuments to famous dead Britons.  Sure, it’s kind of neat to see and praise the wonders of gravity at Sir Isaac Newton’s monstrous memorial, but is it really necessary for him to have such a large grave in a church full of other important people?  On the flip-side to Newton’s tomb, Charles Dickens was buried in a very simple plot of ground… erm, church floor… that only recorded his name, date of birth, and date of death.  Plain and simple, but did he really have any good reason for being buried in Westminster Abbey other than being a famous author?  I was confused as to why these people, albeit extremely important in their own rights, would be buried in a place where they would have little-to-no affiliation with the Kings, Queens, and other nobles interred or no real connection to the Anglican faith.  On that note, I also couldn’t help but wonder if any of the people buried at Westminster before the formation of the Church of England would be appalled to know their permanent resting place changed faiths on them!  (Random thought, I know.)

After leaving Westminster, a group of us decided to go explore St James’s Park.  As this was my first London park, I don’t have very much to compare it to.  There were people everywhere posing for pictures, feeding the birds, chattering on in their native languages, and relaxing on park benches.  The thing that struck me most about St James’s Park was the landscaping of gorgeous, brightly coloured flowers.  They were so well tended-to and made the experience of strolling along extremely pleasant!  There were also ponds with numerous types of water fowl and educational signs that showed pictures of what animals are indigenous of the area.  However, due to the close proximity of Buckingham Palace and the Diana, Princess of Wales Memorial Walk located in the area, St James’s Park is definitely a bustling tourist attraction. 

Flowers from St James's Park

Flowers from St James's Park

Diana, Princess of Wales Memorial Walk

Diana, Princess of Wales Memorial Walk

Just off of St James’s Park is the Churchill Museum and Cabinet War Rooms.   I am a big fan of the history of Britain during World War II and the Blitz, so I was really looking forward to climbing into the depths of Churchill and the Cabinet’s own bunker.  Thankfully, I was not disappointed!  There was something very surreal about walking through the rooms with the provided audio guide and standing just feet away from where some of the most influential and comforting speeches of WWII were made by Winston Churchill. 

However, the entire experience was not all sunshine and daisies.  I had a big issue with the part of the bunker devoted to the Churchill Museum.  Churchill was not a saint, please do not make him out to be one.  There was little-to-no information provided on Churchill’s faults throughout the entire museum.  I like Churchill as a historical figure and find much of what he accomplished in his various offices simply incredible, but he screwed up on more than one occasion.  I was particularly frustrated with the portrayal of Churchill during the Dardanelles campaign during World War I.  Churchill was the First Lord of the British Admiralty and in an attempt to “bring an end to the war quickly,” he sent Anzacs into battle poorly equipped and with incorrect maps.  Although Churchill did resign in the aftermath, the museum would lead you to believe that the entire catastrophe that led to the loss of so many Anzac lives was not at all Churchill’s fault.  (I also would have liked any information on Churchill’s relations with Ireland at the time of the Blitz, but alas, apparently it was not deemed as important.)

My day went from a fascination with statues in Westminster Abbey to walking in a building encased with steel and concrete.  Although these things seem to be quite different on the surface, there is something that connects them; Churchill.  They were Winston Churchill’s War Rooms and the Abbey bears a plaque commemorating Churchill.  There is more than just this surface comparison, though.  In times of great need, people turned to Churchill and to their church for reassurance.

Tags: Kelley

An Artists Paradise: A Day at the National Gallery

August 26th, 2009 · 1 Comment


After a morning class discussion on Ethnic London, I headed with some friends to Trafalgar Square to spend the afternoon in the National Gallery. As an artist and art lover, visiting the National Gallery has been on my high priority list. Not only is it a very large museum, but the collection spans over several centuries. It includes work by some of my favorite artists, Jan Van Eyck and Botticelli, and it is nicely spread out over well organized and numbered rooms.

Tourist pose by the lion

Tourist pose by the lion

As soon as I entered the museum, I knew there was no way I would finish it all in a day. I was overwhelmed just looking at the interior architecture! I picked up one of the museum’s detailed colored coordinated and numbered maps, decided on left, and entered paradise.  Yes, I was one of those people who stood right up against the barrier, nearly put my face in the paint, and twisted my head into awkward angles so I could “see the quality of the paint.” Having just finished my Fundaments of (Oil) Painting class at Dickinson, I was completely engrossed and fascinated with the brightness and sharpness of the paint when the artists painted on wood.

I only made it through the 16th and some of the 17th century works, which tend to be of a more religious nature. So many paintings depicting the life and death of Christ, or the various Saints, reminds me not only of the political nature of those time periods, but also the importance of religion. So much of England’s history and beauty steams from the country’s religious roots. People flock to the churches of England as tourist attractions, forgetting that they were once places of worship. People stare at paintings of Christ, forgetting the meaning and significance tied to the image.

Hanging out by the National Gallery

Hanging out by the National Gallery

While I hope at least most people appreciate these works for there aesthetic beauty, mastery of skill, and creative perspectives, I hope that every once and a while, we all think about the mindset of the artist. What is this a painting of? For whom and why? What does this image mean? I try to ask myself these questions with every work of art I look at, in hopes I will appreciate it a little more.

To view a slideshow of photos from my time at The National Gallery, Westminster Abbey, and the South Bank please click here.

Tags: Megan · Museums

It's All in the Details…

August 26th, 2009 · 1 Comment

So I’m beginning to realize that “free days” actually don’t mean that you get to relax any more than on “non-free days”. Yesterday Sarah, Chelsea and I decided to museum it up and we went to both the National Gallery and the British Museum (part 1). Since I am a history major and was considering art school before choosing colleges, I absolutely love observing all the details about paintings and artifacts in museums. History has taught me to look beyond the surface, so I am advising you to do the same because you’ll be surprised by the information you will discover!

I love looking at older paintings because they tell so much about the period and the people in them. For example, I was observing a portrait of a beautiful 18th century woman, and if I did not read further information about the woman, the painting would have lost so much meaning. The woman in the portrait, Manon Balletti, was actually one of the many lovers of the famous Casanova. Around the time this portrait was being painted, Casanova had declared his love for Manon, but she a few months later got married to another. On the surface, this woman looks demure and captivating, but with further research I now view this portrait differently.

Since I love learning about the every-day person and their lifestyle, paintings offer hints into things such as what people ate, what status a person is if a certain object is placed in the picture, how people wore certain types of clothing, etc. Being a historical reenactor as well, observing these paintings are one of the best research methods for a certain period of time. Who would have know that drinking hot chocolate would have been a status symbol in the 1700s? I had known this before, but apparently if a person was painted drinking or pouring a cup of chocolate, it showed that they were wealthy enough to afford such a luxury. Nowadays, we wouldn’t think twice before making ourselves a packet of powedery hot chocolate mix.

Portrait of a Woman of the Hofer Family, 1470, showed that it is always worthwhile to pay attention to details. If you only walked by and glanced as this painting you would miss the underlying symbolisim behind parts of the painting. In her hands she is holding flowers, symbolicly Forget-Me-Nots, which often signify rememberance. In the left corner of the woman’s headress there is a small fly made to look real. Oftentimes a fly could represent mortality or could just be used to show the artist’s skill of perception. I also noticed that in this painting, and in others from the period, some women wore rings on both of the joints on their fingers (which I think would be awfully uncomfortable!). I have never seen this before in paintings and in this one, if you look at the woman’s pinky finger on her left hand, you can see that she is wearing two rings. Perhaps eventually I will discover why it was fashionable to wear rings like that. It was probably one of those crazy fashion trends of the century.

So the next time you rush by an old painting in a gallery or museum, stop and observe it. Ok, so maybe you can’t get past the “funny” headdress the woman is wearing, or the fact that men are wearing bright colored tights, but you can learn so much by looking beyond that. Perhaps you may even discover some parallels to a certain person or time period, such as people for centuries had portraits with their prized pets painted next to them, just like you might have your picture taken wih your favorite pet.

Tags: Alli · Museums

Westminster and the Unknown Warrior

August 26th, 2009 · No Comments

I won’t beat around the bush, Westminster Abbey is gorgeous. Stunning. Spectacular. The fact that it was built by mere human hands and some scaffolding is astounding. While the architecture and decor are breathtaking, it is the symbolism represented on the walls outside the church as well as the shrines within that truly captivated me throughout my visit.

Amongst the first aspects of the cathedral discussed by our cheerful, humorous, and incredibly informative tour guide, John, was the sculptures adorning the front exterior wall. There are statues standing imposingly on the ledge above and around the entrance. The sculptures are martyrs of contemporary times, both Christian and secular. The Christian figures represent those who died in the name of their faith from places such as Nazi Germany and Apartheid-era South Africa.

What really stunned me were the representations of what I’ve always believed the church would find oxymoronic: secular martyrs. Saint Elizabeth of Russia was killed by the Bolsheviks for helping the poor. German theologian Dietrich Bonhoeffer was murdered by the Nazis in a concentration camp for his prolific works of poetry and music. Most famously, Dr. Martin Luther King was the voice of the American civil rights movement in the 60s. He was assassinated as well. These people are not known for their contributions to the church or for their faith in Jesus. They were faithful to their noble causes, and they died for them. For Westminster to honor these heroes by placing their visages on the entryway to one of the most famous and important churches in the world is marvelous.modern martyrs

St. Elizabeth, Dr. King, Bonhoeffer

Luwum, Elizabeth, King, Romero, Bonhoeffer

Once we got inside, the cavernous space was overwhelming. Unfortunately, photography was strictly verboten, so I will post whatever pictures of the interior the Internet has to offer.

After the initial shock from being in the structure wore off, I listened carefully to what John had to say. The tomb of the Unknown Warrior really stirred me. After World War I, parliament was considering placing a memorial dedicated to the memory of British lives lost during the war inside the abbey.  There was major debate as to how to accomplish this, however. In 1920, Rev. David Railton, chaplain on the western front suggested that a few bodies be disinterred from battlefront graves and placed in a tomb dedicated to the “unknown warrior,” the common British soldier not commemorated for his service to the Queen. After much debate, this idea was decided on and action began. Four to six bodies were exhumed and brought to France where they were covered with a Union Jack. Brigadier General LJ Wyatt was blindfolded and picked one soldier. The body was placed in a coffin and transferred back to England where it was buried in Westminster and covered with a commemorative slate. The other bodies were placed back in their original resting places. The tomb is an emotional reminder of the value of life, regardless of social class or heroism. Every life is sacred. War destroys lives and throws families into despair. Overall, my experience in Westminster was extremely powerful, especially because of this memorial.

Of all the hundreds of graves in Westminster, this is the only one not allowed to be stepped upon

Of all the hundreds of graves in Westminster, this is the only one not allowed to be stepped upon

Tags: Andrew B

Peace out from the Park

August 26th, 2009 · No Comments

St. James’ Park is incredibly beautiful. This shouldn’t come as a surprise as absolutely every park if not every tourist attraction in London could be classified in this way. Entering right across from the Cabinet Warrooms, I instantly spotted my next home. The most picturesque cottage sits on the edge of the park- one for which I instantly began planning wallpaper schemes. That’s the feeling you get at St. James’ Park though; that is, a feeling of being at home (or at least wanting it to be your home). Past the cottage, a garden of perfection leads you towards a pond that is as lovely as everything else surrounding it. Parks like these always make me grateful of those that decide to give the people of a busy city a place to go to escape the hustle, bustle, and overpriced world that engulfs them everyday to a place of peace and tranquility. Truly, St. James’ Park accomplishes that in a spot on fashion.

St. James' Park

St. James' Park

Still, something doesn’t quite feel right in saying that all Londoners enjoy peace at St. James’ Park or in saying that the park succeeds in offering peace to everyone in the city. A quick glance around seems to show a wide range of people enjoying the tranquility. A more observant look though shows that tourists and businessmen and women are the only people in the park.

People enjoying the park

People enjoying the park

Of course this makes sense. The park is situated in between Trafalgar Square, Big Ben, Westminster Abbey, and Buckingham Palace. No tourist is able to avoid going to these locations. In a similar regard, those places are in business because businessmen and women work in them. So, when they are hoping to take a break, what better place is there than a beautiful park? But where are the parks where the people protesting for more conscientious government involvement in Iraq can rest? Where are the parks for the black man and the man from South Asia who got in a fist-fight to sit and find peace? Where are the parks for those who are fully wrapped up in the energy of the city to enjoy some respite? Yes, I walked in shoes that were too small for my feet today and certainly enjoyed a break from the fast-paced striding through the sidewalks but I recognize that my need for the park pales in comparison to the aforementioned people. It just struck me that the park which has so much beauty to offer is only enjoyed by a select few- and a select few that might not be the most ‘deserving’ or the most ‘desiring’ at that. That being said, there is no guard at the gates denying anyone entrance (at least, not that I saw). It’s just some food for thought. While I snapped picture upon picture of this pretty flower and that pretty tree, others who certainly could use some time to stop and smell the roses were probably picking up their bullhorns to ask for a government official to bring peace to the world. Hopefully if and when that happens, it can be enjoyed by all.

Tags: Audrey