Greetings everyone! I’m out and about visiting my lovely Rachel in London as she pursues her Masters in Public Health. Her study schedule has given me ample time to explore the nooks, crannies and intricacies of this ancient metropolis. So far it has vastly surpassed my expectations and every hour out in the streets has overwhelmed my curiosity. I will try to put out a daily set of photos and (if I can commit to writing fast enough) explore some of the storylines that make this place so unique. Here, the Chinese New year! Just click on any image to start the caption.
Entrance to the China gate which was constructed in 1987. In part to promote its multi-ethnic identity London began holding large Chinese New Year celebrations in 1997.
Lanterns at the base of the gate. Like many cities, Chinatown has shifted to many different parts of the city over time, only landing in Soho in the 1970s. (Before it seemed to be a run-down neighborhood). The first Chinatown was started in East London sometime in the late 19th century, catering to the Chinese sailors involved with the opium trade.
What appears to be a dragon dance down the main drag. Men in costume performed fluid dances and a series of bows as they entered many of the restaurants and shops. The idea (as I understand it) is to ward off evil spirits from the building while honoring with good luck, wisdom and long life.
A close up of the dragon dance. The longer the tail the more lucky the charm. The dance is set to the beat of a drum.
Yes… this is what you think it is. Rather than exert effort navigating the narrow stairs to the bottom floor. Simply write your order and send it down the elevator (called a Dumb Waiter) at Waxy’s little Sister Pub near the China Gate.
Lanterns over Slugs and Lettuce, a chain restaurant serving fresh food.
Plantings on the second floor balcony of Waxy’s Little Sister to the background of the gate.
Sign marking the entrance to a dental clinic in Chinatown.
Lanterns hang all across Lisle and Gerard St.
The stairwell at Minalima, a renovated house/museum built by the graphic artists (Husband and Wife) who did the vast amount of graphic art required for the movies. It’s pretty much four floors of awesome! And I can’t do it justice with one picture.