Dickinson College Humanities Program in Norwich

Entries Tagged as 'Audrey'


August 21st, 2009 · No Comments

My senior year of high school allowed me the opportunity of taking a course entitled The Lost Generation in which we studied American artists that fled to Europe in the 1920s. Those that were in America left quite an impression on the Greenwich Village now found in New York City. Ever since studying about Greenwich Village in that course, I have had a special desire to see Greenwich over in England. On our second day in London (the first that my jet lagged self was actually feeling a bit normal) that wish was granted and I was not in the slightest disappointed.

The day started with us making our way to the Embankment on the Thames River. Starting the day off right, we pulled out the Dickinson Banner and snapped a few shots. We then boarded a boat that took us through the city on the river. What a way to see the city! To see the mixed architectural styles really brought to actuality just how much diversity is to be found in London. The view from the Royal Observatory only emphasized this point. As you take in the panoramic view, you see the Millenium Dome just a hop, skip, and a jump (though maybe a long one) away from Greenwich University. Two different architectural phenomenons are difficult to find, and yet, there they are not only in the same city but also basically right across the river from one another. I, personally, could have stayed on top of the observation hill for hours but (thankfully I’ll admit) Professor Qualls had more on the schedule for the day.

As we journeyed down the hill and passed through a beautiful garden that the Queen had graciously opened to public access (even though few that did not equal her status ever had time to afford to devote to leisure), not only did we realize the diversity of the city but also its hidden secrets. Yes, London is a city full of beauty and power; but it also is one of garbage trucks that smell to the highest of the heavens, old factories that are less than pleasing to the eye, and domes that are built to astonish the world for a day (maybe even a year) and then serve absolutely no purpose after that time is over. It’s a city that blares the Red Hot Chili Peppers in a local pub that is situated right next to the Greenwich Market. In short, it’s a city that puts such opposite ends of the spectrum together and let’s you try to make sense of it. Well, maybe it doesn’t let you- it forces you. Either way, it’s definitely noticeable and demands reflection.

view from the Royal Observatory

Tags: Audrey · Museums

Andrew and Audrey's Amazing and Astounding Adventure to High Street Kensington

August 21st, 2009 · No Comments

To get to High Street Kensington, we took the Underground (fondly referred to as the Tube) on the Central Line from the Tottenham Court Road station west to Notting Hill Gate where we switched to the Circle District Line to get to our desired High Street Kensington destination. This jaunt was approximately thirty minutes in duration and was made confusing by the indecisiveness of directional walking. Does one stay to the left or to the right when walking through crowds? Apparently no one knows! The locals like to stick to the left but when one finds oneself in more tourist filled locations the rules are discarded completely.

We came out of the station to find a busy street full of shops of all sorts and bustling with people. To get our bearings a bit, we ducked into an alley way that led to a quaint garden and church. Thinking this was where we had to go, we spent time looking around the cemetery, school, park, etc around there. Europe at its finest. You couldn’t even hear the busy street literally right on the other side of the buildings. This was an area in the middle of London that had a true small town feel to it. When we reflected on why we were sent to that area, we realized that we were looking at something that had nothing to do with the name Kensington at all. So, we pulled out our London A-Z maps and discovered that if we continued to walk a block or so we would arrive at Kensington Palace and Gardens. Righto. Still, this microcosm, we think, is representative of London itself. You find this encompassing environment but if you take a step back you find that that very environment is composed of smaller factions that are just as enveloping as the larger one.

Now onto the Kensington we were supposed to find! The station seems to be in place to allow for the public to have access to the gardens. The governing body appears to be Kensington. Never have I seen a prettier place full of not only plants and beautiful vegetation but also just people enjoying themselves in a most relaxed and respectful fashion. People from every race and age were present including the wealthy and those sleeping on benches but we saw mostly young people out enjoying a beautiful day in the garden.
We strolled around what could have been an entire park but truly was only a small fraction of the area. Some of the many sights we saw included Kensington Palace, William the II’s Palace (now a busy tea shop), a statue of Victoria R., and George Frederick Watt’s statue of Physical Motion. Attracted to a shiny, gold something in the distance, we headed to what we later found to be the Albert Memorial across from the Royal Albert Hall. This beacon was truly breathtaking! Prince Albert was the husband of Queen Victoria. A social activist and a financier of the arts and sciences, the hall and this statue are dedicated to his memory as well as Victorian achievement. Perched around a sitting Albert are representations of Africa, America, Europe and Asia, all of which were in some way connected to British imperialism. Above him rest figures of farming, engineering, manufacturing, and commerce. Then at the top of the memorial stand virtuous angels. The monument as a whole is also an acknowledgement of the many artisans that Albert had worked fiercely to promote. Prince Albert not only purchased the land of South Kensington as a means to create an educational and cultural institution, but he also worked to have the Great Exhibition of 1851 in Hyde Park. Both these events may have led him to be memorialized at Kensington Garden. People memorialized King Albert by sitting around the base of his statue smoking (a commercial endeavor indeed!). Mostly middle class people were around the statue and on the street; that is, those who had time to spend on a Thursday afternoon lounging around a statue and park. Tourists were around the more famous locations in the garden but as you ventured further away from statues and palaces, the local people used the gardens for their function as a recreational park.

As we were on Kensington Street, we thought the best way to return to the Arran House would be to either take the Tube or a bus. Confused by which side of the street we had to be on to take the bus, we opted for the former. Taking a different route this time, we took the Circle District line to Glouchester where we transferred onto the Piccadilly Line and went up to Leicester Square. From there we went up the North Line to Nottingham Court Road where we proceeded by foot to the Arran House. We might mention, we were a might bit late. The Central Line proved to have top marks in efficiency that day.

Tube stop

Tube stop

the happy accident

the happy accident

Albert Memorial

Tags: Andrew R · Audrey · Churches and Cathedrals

May 22nd, 2009 · 1 Comment

Truly, I find it difficult to pinpoint what exactly I’m most looking forward to in the upcoming year. Things that jump to mind are traveling, an increased sense of independence, constantly embarking on new experiences, and studying Renaissance authors in their land. Most pressing though is my desire for it all to begin. I find the dreams and excitements as well as the fears and anxieties to be a tad overwhelming. My hope is that once I’m across the ocean and in England, all of those feelings of uncertainty will go away and I’ll just be able to experience everything instead of just think about it. I’m hoping to learn the history of England as a whole but specifically Norwich and the cities that the authors that I will be studying lived in. To make sure that that happens, I’m planning on continuing my habit of living in the library and reading as much as possible but I am hoping to learn more from the city itself. My plan is to never just be sitting in the flat but to be out and about experiencing all that Norwich has to offer. Of course, I’m quite nervous about getting lost and even more nervous about the large span of time that I won’t be able to see my family and friends here. While those fears are certainly real, I’m more excited than anything else just to be in an entirely new surrounding with the opportunity to do everything that I want to do.

Tags: Audrey