• London,  Music

    An evening at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden

    The Sleeping Beauty by the Royal Ballet on 11 January 2020, 7:30pm The lively Covent Garden district has many theatres, restaurants and shops, and whenever I visit this place, it’s always full of people. This is one of my favourite areas to just walk around, watch street acts or music at the square with the Market in the centre, go to Whittard’s to get some favourite English tea in pretty tins, and I am always curious to see what’s on at the Royal Opera House on the northeast corner of this vibrant market piazza ( the main entrance at Bow Street) The present building dates from 1858 after a fire…

  • London

    A walk through South bank ; the Southwark

    Walking is the best way to explore a city. This was my first time staying at a hotel in the south bank and it was nice to discover the area I didn’t know well. Usually when I visit London, I stay at hotels in my favourite area of Kensington, near the Royal Albert Hall, the Victoria and Albert Museum and Hyde Park, but finding myself on the south bank of the Thames this time was a surprisingly enjoyable experience.  It was amazingly easy and quick to get to central London on one of the many buses that stop right at the door step of my hotel. And there were three…

  • London,  Art

    Mark Rothko Room at Tate Modern

    The artist Mark Rothko (1903–1970) was born in Dvinsk, Russia (now Daugavpils, Latvia) as Markus Yakovlevich Rothkowitz. He was of Lithuanian Jewish descent, emigrated to the USA in 1913, and from 1925 lived and worked in New York until he committed suicide in February,1970. His life was dramatic, immigrating at such a young age, having to deal with antisemitism and poverty in early life.   Seeing these works, shown as the artist intended, in reduced light and in a compact space, is very special. The subtlety of the layered surfaces slowly emerges, revealing their solemn and meditative character. Mark Rothko saw these paintings as objects of contemplation, demanding the viewer’s complete absorption.  …

  • London,  Theatre

    An evening at the Globe Theatre

    Richard III ( a play by William Shakespeare written in 1593 ) @ Sam Wanamaker Playhouse, 10 January 2020 , 7:30 pm performed by the excellent Globe Ensemble, featuring the superb acting of Sophie Russell in the role of Richard III. It was my first visit to this charming little theatre. The theatre itself is all made of wood and built according to the plans of the English architect Inigo Jones in the 1600’s for a Jacobean theatre that was never built. This building is part of the Globe Theatre complex. The Globe theatre itself is a 1997 recreation of the original Globe Theatre from 1599 where many of Shakespeare’s…

  • London

    London view from Primrose Hill

    A walk from Camden Town along the Regent’s Canal to the chic Primrose Hill Camden Town in the northern part of London has street markets, food stalls, live music and is always crowded with tourists. It’s a popular neighbourhood. Just a short walk along the Regent’s Canal westwards brings you to a surprisingly different and posh area: Primrose Hill. Like nearby Regent’s Park, Primrose Hill was once part of a great chase appropriated by Henry VIII. In 1841, it became Crown property and in 1842 the land became public open space. From the top of the hill ( 65m high) in the middle of this lovely park, one can enjoy…

  • London

    Guildhall and the surroundings

    A Lecture evening of Gresham College @ the Old Library of Guildhall; 9-1-2020 “City of London-Culture, Creativity & the Culture Mile” The reason I ended up in the financial district of London was to attend a lecture at the beautiful old library of Guildhall.The founder of Gresham College (1597) , Sir Thomas Gresham left money in his will to establish a College to bring the “new learning” to the public through lectures that would be free for all to attend. It is a fantastic opportunity for everyone to be able to attend lectures on wide range of topics ( from art, music, history, literature, to law, business, medicine, environment, astronomy….)…

  • London

    London in January

    Wandering through the streets of London in the beginning of 2020 brought me to the idea of writing about what I have seen, heard, experienced and felt in this wonderful, multi-faceted city. My first visit to London was over 35 years ago when I just moved to Amsterdam as a student. I immediately fell in love with the very lively exciting city which reminded me of Tokyo. Over the years, I went back regularly and saw the gradual changes in the society just like anywhere else in the world. It became more multicultural and globalised, yet it kept a strong identity. The various historic and diverse cultural influences that came…