Thursday, August 9, 2012

Oxford Street!

I started off today at 6:45 am to have some breakfast and tea in Zandra’s kitchen while I listened to what sounded like British NPR. After breakfast it was down to start work a bit early because I was eager to get these sequins done which is what I spent most of my time doing today, because when I got done with my piece of fabric I was given another one to complete. The dress I am doing this for has black patterned fabric with gold sequence detailing. I was told the woman who buys them buys lots of clothing  from Zandra on a regular bases and whenever she comes to pick up one of her custom garments she orders one of these black gold sequins dresses.
Towards the end of the day I got a short break from the sea of sequins I had been starting at to help with a red silk printed dress. I was in the process of using a seam ripper to take out the seams so that they could make some alterations when someone mentioned the price tag of 3,000 pounds. I had to stop and look at it in shock and think about how much american money that is (its roughly 4,725 American dollars.) I was suddenly very happy I had been being as carful as I was not to damage the fabric when seam ripping. 
After work I headed to Oxford Street to have a look at the shops. I took the Picidilly tube to Bond Street stop (which drops you on Oxford street) and then went left. I spent about three hours going in and out of stores and ended up buying the COOLEST jacket.  
I also went into Selfridges which is a GIANT department store. This store had an entire high end alcohol section which I walked around for a bit (simply because alcohol section in a department store is a CRAZY thing to me.) I then went to walk into the luxury food section but a little alcove FILLED with colored liquids caught my eye and I had to check it out These colored liquids were in a display of corked bottles that stacked. At first I thought they were alcohol mixers but upon talking with the sales woman I was informed that they were not just mixers, they were also the alcohols themselves. When I turned around I sew a whole wall of large round containers with spikiest filled with the same colorful liquids. Beneath this, there were all sorts of empty bottles in different shapes and sizes.The sales woman explained, you pick and buy a bottle, then you fill it with the alcohol of your choice! They alcohol's were priced by the 100ml plus the bottle its self, and the bottles were labeled how much liquid they held. For example I ended up getting the only free bottle they had, (not because it was free but because it was the only bottle with a twist cap, I don't trust corked anything in my check-in luggage,) then I filled it with peach alcohol which ended up being 7.20 pounds. Before I has decided on the peach I did a bit of tasting JUST to make sure it was the correct taste worth bringing back to the states. It was!

Finally, at around 9:30pm I went back to the tube to go home. The shops are open late right now because of the olympics so I can shop until 10 if I choose, but I am really trying to feel out the safety of the city, so each night I stay out about 30-45 min later then the night prior. Before coming here I was under the impression it would stay light until around midnight, but it gets dark around 9pm because its so late in the summer. So by the time I was walking home it was quite dark, however, the places I have walked through in the evening have all been really safe and filled with people. The woman at Zandra’s told me that people go to the pubs after work, the pubs let out at about midnight, so as long as I am home around 11 there will still be lots of people walking around and I should be fine. 
One of the wonderful things about walking home in London in the dark is how the city lights up. Once my dad and I were walking, (i think it was in the florida keys,) and he pointed out how much more beautiful the street would is they hired someone to professionally light everything. As it turns out London must have done just that. When going under bridges you will notice the entire top of it is lit with lights that transition into different colors 24/7. When walking down the street it is clear lighting has been strategically placed to artistically enhance an average street. Great lighting is so subtle that if you weren’t looking for it, you would see a scenery and say “I am not sure why but this street is BEAUTIFUL!” Thats the genius of lighting done well, its subconscious. The more I walk around London the more I am pleasantly surprised at these small details because they make the mood after a long day when all one can think abound is collapsing in bed.

PS- I wanted to let everyone know I found out why there are different monster statues all over London, the monster is London's Olympic mascot, they are on basically every block and they might even be on a marked path to the Olympic park (not sure.) Anyway they are all slightly different and really adorable. Just thought I would clarify that because I know the concept is a bit odd!

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