Saturday, April 14, 2012
I spent all day yesterday out with Marilyn and Jason. We went to Greenwich -- they were wary of going themselves, because the route demands a few transfers on the tube and light rail systems, which can seem daunting. So I tagged along, and we went to the Maritime Museum, the Royal Observatory and the old naval college.
It was a day of unexpected surprises and absurdities. We stumbled onto a huge movie set at the naval college, with extras wandering around in military costumes suited to Revolutionary France. Someone asked what was going on, and one of the extras said they were filming "Les Miserables." So keep an eye out for the movie -- and if you see a bald guy wandering around in the background wearing jeans and a lime green Merrill jacket, that's me. (I was prohibited from photographing the movie set, alas. It included a huge statue of an elephant, which left us very perplexed.)
Then, in Canary Wharf, we saw this gigantic tow-truck (above) preparing to load this tiny, tiny car. Overkill!
We spotted this mysterious street sign, and wondered whether it was a special crossing for some bizarre species of waterbird. Only via Google did I learn that a pelican crossing is just one of several kinds of street crossings in England named after animals. I'd heard of zebra crossings, which involve stripes painted on the street and so are self-explanatory. Pelican, on the other hand, is a clumsy acronym for "pedestrian light-controlled crossing," which just means a crossing with a stoplight. And humped just means that, in this case, the crossing is on top of a speed hump.
A colorful name for something very, well, pedestrian.
After all our wandering in Greenwich we met Dave here, at the Mayflower pub in Rotherhithe, where we had a few pints and dinner. The Mayflower bills itself as the oldest pub on the Thames, dating back to the 17th century. It has great atmosphere with views right on the river, and the ales were good. (Not that I'm an ale expert.)
Today Marilyn and Jason are stopping by for brunch before heading out to the airport and home to New Jersey.