Friday, July 21, 2017

Roger Ebert's Favorite London spots from his memoir Life Itself

Roger Ebert's Favorite London spots from his memoir "Life Itself" 
(Except for the floating Chinese restaurant, Fengshang Princess, which I thought was cool.)

I very much enjoyed the London Perambulating and Eyrie Mansion chapters. I don't know if I'll ever make it to London, and since I'm in a wheelchair many sites will be off limits to me so I loved exploring vicariously through the google images and websites I found on these places. (FYI, the order of the photos are necessarily in the correct order of his walk. All images are from google images results.)


Belsize Tube Stop

Keats House, Hampstead, London (
John Keats (1795 - 1821), is one of the main figures of the second generation of Romantic poets, along with Lord Byron.   By the end of the 19th century, he had become one of the most beloved of all English poets. The poetry of Keats is characterised by sensual imagery, most notably in the series of odes. This is typical of romantic poets, as they aimed to accentuate extreme emotion through the emphasis of natural imagery. Some of the greatest works of Keats are "I Stood Tip-toe Upon a Little Hill", "Sleep and Poetry", and the famous sonnet "On First Looking into Chapman's Homer".

Parliament Hill

Kenwood House (
Kenwood House (also known as the Iveagh Bequest) is a former stately home, in Hampstead, London, on the northern boundary of Hampstead Heath. It served as a seat for the aristocratic Murray and Guinness families and had various tenants before it was left to the nation under the care of English Heritage.

Spaniards Inn (
The Spaniards Inn, built around 1585, is a historic pub on Spaniards Road between Hampstead and Highgate in London, England. Dick Turpin is thought to have been a regular at the Inn; and highwaymen frequented this area and likely used the Inn to watch the road. The pub has a great literary heritage. Not only has it been mentioned in Dickens’ The Pickwick Papers and Bram Stoker’s Dracula, but Byron and Keats were frequenters with Keats allegedly writing his Ode to a Nightingale in the gardens.

Blackfriar Bridge and Pub
Built around 1875, the Black Friar took its name from the Dominican Friary that existed in the area between c1278 and c1538. Located on a triangular site across the road from Blackfriars tube station, the pub underwent a art nouveau decor remodelling in 1905.

Highgate Cemetery (
Created in 1832 as part of an effort to move burials out of the City of London in response to the twin pressures of the health concerns about overcrowded church yard cemeteries, and desires for build-able land in the rapidly expanding city. The West Highgate section, which is the most overgrown, can only be visited on a guided tour. The East Highgate section, however, including the grave of Karl Marx, can be explored on your own.

St. Michael’s Church Highgate (
Buried here is Samuel Taylor Coleridge (1772 - 1834), an English poet, literary critic, philosopher and theologian who, with his friend William Wordsworth, was a founder of the Romantic Movement in England and a member of the Lake Poets.

Eyrie Mansion aka 22 Jermyn Street (Now Gone)

Bates Gentelmen's Hatter (21 Jermyn Street) Store now Gone. (
Bates, the tinyworld famous hatter, had a presence on London’s Jermyn Street since 1898, and supplied stylish hats and caps to discerning gentlemen from their enchanting Jermyn Street shop. The swing sign above the shop, in the form of a giant grey topper with black band and bold block lettering, was internationally recognised, as was the glass case containing Binks – the stuffed cat who once upon a time had been very much alive.

Piccadilly Arcade
The Piccadilly Arcade runs between Piccadilly and Jermyn Street in central London. It was opened in 1909, having been designed by Thrale Jell, and is a Grade II listed building.The main entrance is on the south side of Piccadilly between Fortnum & Mason and The Ritz, directly opposite The Royal Academy. The Piccadilly Arcade contains sixteen high class shops, Piccadilly Vaults, an antique jewellery emporium, being the most notable.

The Tate Britain

Fengshang Princess floating Chinese restaurant (Not Ebert's pick. I thought it was interesting.)

The Roebuck Pub

St. James Park


The Mason’s Arms (Devonshire St.)

Sun in Splendour Pub in Notting Hill

Fortnum & Mason (
Located at 181 Piccadilly, where it was established in 1707 by William Fortnum and Hugh Mason. The store’s history is interesting. 

Sunday, January 15, 2017

At dawn, when you have trouble getting out of bed, tell yourself: “I have to go to work — as a human being. What do I have to complain of, if I’m going to do what I was born for — the things I was brought into the world to do? Or is this what I was created for? To huddle under the blankets and stay warm?”
So you were born to feel “nice”? Instead of doing things and experiencing them? Don’t you see the plants, the birds, the ants and spiders and bees going about their individual tasks, putting the world in order, as best they can? And you’re not willing to do your job as a human being? Why aren’t you running to do what your nature demands?
You don’t love yourself enough. Or you’d love your nature too, and what it demands of you.

-Marcus Aurelius, Meditations

Thursday, October 6, 2016

Artist: RS Connett

It's hard to pick just one, but here's one of my favorites:

Sea Creature Coincidence. 

Long story but I was google image searching for a mermaid throne and although that was tough to find, many other amazing artworks showed up in the search. Mermaids led to sea creatures which lead to sea creatures that are taking down ships. I’m so blown away by the talent of so many artists. It’s also amazing how some of the images really made me feel scared!! Ok, so the coincidence part is that next day I came across a story that is a hoax about a giant octopus who sunk a Staten Island ferry. An artist made up this story to tell his nephew and he decided to turn it into a larger art project by creating a monument, a website and mockumentary. Because it seems so “official” people are actually wondering if this could be real!

Thursday, September 29, 2016

Tiki Match Collection:

Sam's Seafood and Hawaiian Village
Huntington Beach, CA

Opened in 1923. Rebuilt as Tiki-themed in 1957 after a fire.
Closed in 2007
Reopened as Kona, closed
Reopened as Don the Beachcomber in 2009 - current as of September 2016

Sam's was originally a seafood restaurant but not Tiki themed however when a fire burned the building down in 1959 the family who owned it decided to rebuild with the Tiki theme. So glad they did!

I love pictures of tiki drink menus that show the drink prices back in the good ol' days!!

Photo from critiki

Photo from critiki
These are photos from critiki of Don the Beachcombers Tiki mug collection. It looks amaaaazing. Gotta see it for myself!

Tiki mug collection photo by Codman on critiki 
Tiki mug collection photo by Robin on critiki 
This Hula Girls article from sometime in 2015, which is filled with lots of in-depth information (thank you!), makes it sound like the people who own the land that this restaurant is on are hoping to demolish and redevelop but based on Hula Girls gig calendar it has them performing at Don's throughout December 2016. Let's hope this place stays open.

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Tiki Match Collection:

Mai Tai Restaurant (Rum Runner bar inside)
Excelsior, Minnesota

Here's a fun story Dusty Cajun added to the website:

"The Mai Tai was a wonderful big restaurant, on the water, with very Polynesian/Hawaiian architecture and a South Pacific cuisine. We docked Sunshine and went in for a grand dinner. My very favorite dish was called the “Flaming Hawaiian Feast”. It was a wok dish with lobster, crab, shrimp, beef, pork, chicken, pineapple, celery, and other veggies and fruits that I don’t remember. They poured brandy over it and served it flaming. It was offered as a dinner for two but it was easily enough for three of us. They also offered the very best scorpion I ever drank, but you had to drink it when you got there so you would be sober enough to drive when you left. "

Based on comments, it was established in the mid 70s


from Dusty Cajun on 
from Dusty Cajun on

Photos are mine unless noted otherwise.

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Favorite Art Styles: Folk Art

Came across an article about a compound in Georgia painted in folk art. When I saw the photo I was like, yes!, folk art is my jam. I do like so many different art styles and get a little frustrated with myself for not having one style I really gravitate to, but folk art makes me happy and perhaps my home is a little bit folk art in that it has a mishmash of items and colors. 

I absolutely love House of Blues decor.
Every wall has something of interest even the ceiling!

Here are some links to artist websites

The photos I've posted are from various sites on the web, not my own.

Friday, September 16, 2016

Am so happy to learn about Sister Corita Kent. I can't figure out why I haven't heard of her before. Very inspiring details about her life but I'll just share my favorite pieces of hers here.