Richmond's Own (but unowned) Website

Today I woke up a little late – but it was alright, since we had a 10am start! I had a muffin and nectarine for breakfast before going to class, which was led by Stephen again.  Today’s session was on markets, and we had quite a lively discussion. I thought it was very interesting, talking about our view on the role of markets in society, and the role of the public sphere. We also discussed the role of markets in spheres like education and drugs, and how it may or may not contribute to ideas of citizenship.  We had a long discussion, and I wish we were able to have a longer discussion, but we had to go to lunch.
Lunch was quite good today! Ahren, Tom, and I had the kung po chicken with rice and prawn crackers, which was cooked right in front of us! We talked to the chef a little bit, who talked about how he really enjoyed doing the live cooking, and while he didn’t get to over the school year, he got to do it now since there were less people working.
City of London, where the banks are
After lunch, we met Stephen at the Barnes Station and went into the city, to the bank district, where the Bank of England was, since we were talking about markets. He compared it to Wall Street as a financial district, and spoke of how the bank sent monetary policy.  We walked around a bit, seeing the neoclassical architecture – you could practically be in Rome as Stephen said. We spent the afternoon in the City of London – the original square city.  They have a “wall street” as well, London Wall, where the original wall of the city used to be hundreds of years ago; the city obviously has spread out beyond that border.  However, there was a piece of the original wall remains, and you can see it in brick – it looks quite ancient! The original wall dates back to the Romans.

London Wall
Diorama of the first bridge over the Thames
Victorian bike!
It was very hot today! We spent most of the afternoon in the Museum of London (there was AC too!) – looking at London from before there was London, with ancient animals and early humans, to the rule of the Romans, Normans, Anglos, and the various monarchs, through the middle ages and the Renaissance, the Victorian ages and up to today. There was a lot in the museum, I felt like we had to go through pretty fast to get through – it would have been wonderful to spend more time! The museum had a nice set up in regards to making you go through an order corresponding with a timeline (though you could go your own way too if you wanted) – sort of like an Ikea. I loved looking at all the little dioramas – of the Roman city, of the Globe, and more. The museum had a lot of fun interactives – touch panels using projectors, as well as films. It’s interesting to note that the city has gone through quite a few fires and plagues – but somehow has always been able to recover and regrow. At the end, we sat and had some tea, before Stephen had to go.
Hyde Park
Tall grass!
We ended going to Hyde Park as it was a nice day – it is enormous! Probably as large as the City of London! I went with Alexis, Adam, Katie, Kevin, and Sophia, while Brendan, Stephanie, Ahren and Tom played football (soccer!), and Kelsey and Nicole explored too. We went by a lake, and found a statue of Peter Pan (which Alexis really wanted to see), and ran into some Americans from Tennessee.  They also had a lot of tall grass! I love tall grass – I took the opportunity to run through it, feeling like something out of a movie! If only I had a camera crane for a nice pan of me running through it…I took some interesting footage running my camera through the grass though.  I love the feeling of long grass though – Sophia and Kevin skipped through it too! They did have plenty of mowed grass as well, for people to sit. One thing we’ve noticed is that PDA seems to happen a lot more often in London, and that people don’t seem to mind to much – there have been a lot of things we’ve seen that would probably elicit some stares if done in America, but people walk right past here – interesting to see how some of the cultural norms differ. On the way out, we passed the Princess Diana Playground – which looked like a playground fit for royalty! There was a large pirate ship and I’m sure there was more, but you couldn’t get in without a child! It certainly surpassed any playground I’d ever been to!

Getting back was a bit crowded (evening rush hour), and we missed the first train by about 30 seconds (I guess we could have made it if we all ran, but we elected to take the second one), but everything worked out in the end! On the train I was reading the Evening Standard (it’s a free paper in the evenings – there’s a free morning paper too – I’ve heard that they’re not super great, but they have a huge readership – they’re handed out at train stations (and maybe other places too) every morning and evening). Anyways, I read an editorial about stem cell food - – which also poked fun at Americans. Interesting to read it from that point of view – I wonder if this view (for better or worse) is representative of how Americans are viewed on the world stage. 



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