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Monday, March 1, 2010

THE LONDON EYE




The sun is shining in London. First time I've seen so much in two weeks. Now I know why people in Hawaii are happier. Something about the sun lifts your spirits. I caught the Picadilly Line of the Underground (also called Tube) to Leicester Square. About $11 for an all-day pass. This line, incidentally, is mostly above ground into the city.

I was planning to have a meal at Hakkason, the #36 restaurant in the top 50, and, of all the things, a Chinese restaurant. So I looked around if there was a theater nearby, and the Dominion was half a block away. Playing there was "We Will Rock You," so I bought a half-price ticket for about $40. I had missed breakfast just so I could feast today.

I then found my way to the London Eye. It was now 10:30AM. The cost was almost about $25 for what they call a flight. Built for the new millennium, in 1999 it was the largest ferris wheel in the world, at 443 feet high. China and Singapore (Flyer is 541 feet high) now have larger ones. This is the Eiffel Tower equivalent for the city, and originally planned to be operated only for 5 years, it is now a permanent tourist attraction.

The experience begins with an Imax type 3D film about London. The Wheel can hold 25 people each in 32 cabins, or 800, but this is not a busy period, so only about a dozen were placed in my bubble. The wheel does not stop. You need to walk on and off while it is moving. The trip lasted a bit more than half an hour and was spectacular, especially on this sparkling day.

For lunch, I was advised to go to Seashell of Lisson Grove. I got there at 1PM, still not having eaten anything...and it was closed. Boarded up. Now what? So I found my way to Hakkason, which I read also serves lunch from Monday to Friday, and might thus be easier to get a table. It was closed for the day. It was now 1:45, so I stopped at Itsu, self-serve sushi and oriental soup "healthy" restaurant. It is a chain, and a good concept.

Only 879 days to the London Summer Olympics, and of all the things, sustainability is the theme. The next Winter Olympics, in 2014, will be held in Sochi, Russia. Of course, President Medvedev will no doubt fire or seek the resignation of the current officials, so you can bet Russia will do well in 2014. Regarding Vancouver, the U.S. received the most medals awarded ever, and won for the first time since 1932, when we hosted the Lake Placid Olympics. Canada not only gained its first gold medal as a host, but the most ever, at 12.

We Will Rock You was a stage show that has been around for nearly eight years now, and has a weak futuristic plot around the music of Queen. Something closer to the life of Freddy Mercury would have been more appropriate.

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The Dow Jones Industrials looks up so far.
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