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#11 BEACH MUSIC: A time of tans, blonds and hot pants

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IT WAS A TIME OF TANS, BLONDS AND HOT PANTS, WHEN THE ENDLESS SUMMER WAS JUST A SHORT WALK DOWN A HOT SIDEWALK
Beach Music, an On the Street Where I Livestories is really a tale of two cities; San Juan, Puerto Rico and Santa Monica, California. It was originally published in the LA Times Sunday Magazine.


Beach Music We came to California from Canada, with a detour to Puerto Rico that lasted one endless summer of a year. A year in which I turned 15, and my hair turned blond from living in the sun. “Psst,” the boys and men would call after me in the blue-cobbled streets of San Juan. “Psst! Hey, blondie. Psst! Hey, cutie pie.” I was devastated when my parents said we had to go, that it was time to leave the island so that my older brother, Russell, could get a first rate education. The plan was to drive cross country from Miami and settle in San Francisco so that my brother could finish high school before going on to UC Berkeley. But, once we got there in the fall of 1968, we found that …

Above Ground on the London Underground: Back to Piccadilly Circus


One of the places I was most looking forward to seeing in London was Piccadilly Circus. I'd written about here for the Above Ground on the London Underground tour in 7 Things You Need to Know about Piccadilly Circus and touched on it in From the Ritz to Piccadilly Circus. I was excited to show the Circus to my husband, telling him we needed to save it for one of our nighttime activities. All those amazing advertising billboards had to be seen lit up at night.






Little did I know that the lighted patchwork Piccadilly is famous for is undergoing a change. The existing patchwork was taken down this spring and will be replaced by one large screen. In the meantime, this temporary fix looked large but ordinary, paper adverts lit up from above, not from behind. 

Of course the Circus is still a major tourist attraction but for us at least, it didn't quite have that magical glow. It's disappointing to travel, to have expectations, whether it's an idea or an image, that the reality doesn't quite live up to. It's best to be open-hearted and flexible, ready for changes that life brings us every day. While Piccadilly Circus wasn't quite what I was expecting it still felt wonderful to be there with my husband, to see it together with our own eyes. And while I've been thinking of our trip—a month in Europe—as a once in a lifetime experience, we've already started talking about places we'd like to go back to, to spend more time in.
Maybe next time, the lights will be working. 




After all, this is still quite lovely.
Do you have destinations that didn't quite live up to the dream?

Connecting to Joy Weese Moll for British Isles Friday


Comments

  1. I thought I would feel something in the standing stone circle at Avebury. Maybe it was jet lag. Or maybe I'm not as in touch with the spirit of the past as I'd like to be. Or maybe I am and resist it because that's kind of scary when I think about it too much.

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