Brexit Or Not, London Gets European Christmas Markets

Christmas Markets came late to the UK.  It’s not that the UK didn’t celebrate Christmas.  Since Victoria’s Albert brought the Christmas tree to England the Brits have done it up in grand style.  Before Christmas markets, in the European fashion, came to the UK there was always Covent Garden with its stalls and decorations and Regent Street moving out from Piccadilly Circus. (Below are some … Continue reading Brexit Or Not, London Gets European Christmas Markets

Covent Garden, London, 2014

Christmas Markets started in Central Europe, Austria and Southern Germany, and have moved up and down the Danube and spread out from that waterway across the continent.  London has always had great Christmas decorations and shopping, but the European style Christmas Market crossed the Channel only in the 1980s.  Today there are Christmas Markets, Fairs and Faires, throughout England, with the big one in Hyde … Continue reading Covent Garden, London, 2014

St. Pancras International Railway Station

When the St. Pancras railway station opened in 1868 its wrought iron and glass train shed, designed by Henry Barlow, was the largest single structure roof in the world.  It was 689 feet long, 240 feet wide and 100 feet high.  The station was the pride of the Midland Railway and was fronted by a Victorian gothic revival hotel, The Midland Grand, designed by George … Continue reading St. Pancras International Railway Station

Iron and Glass, Flowers and Trains

May 11, 2010 Dear Friends, On Friday afternoons I would go to my grandparents’ flat in Jersey City while my parents had their night out.  Grandpa Brew would tell me stories.  He was raised in Ireland, ran away to sea at 13 and developed a love of travel, ships, Ireland and America.    He introduced me to Democratic politics.  He also told a good story.  But … Continue reading Iron and Glass, Flowers and Trains

Jersey

May 7. 2013 Dear Friends. The signs looked familiar, “Welcome to Jersey”, “Grand Jersey”. “Jersey Shores,” even some of the names clicked with recognition, Carteret for instance.  But this Jersey is the real thing and an anomaly, as is nearby Guernsey.  Suzi and I met up with our college friends Dave and Carol Lam, who live in Brussels, for a few days to explore the … Continue reading Jersey