Before twitter there were fan letters: Dear Mr. Redford

November 12, 1973 Dear Bob  Mr. Redford,I just had to write to tell you how hot and sexy talented, I think you are.  Laura and I bickered over who was more desirable — Robert Redford or Clint Eastwood — with as much fervor as we girls once debated who our favorite Beatle was, Paul or John, George or Ringo. Laura's mother, tiny Corky, curled up in her easy chair with a ciggie and a cup of tea, pronounced both actors 'tall drinks of water'. This was so long before  water became such a desirable commodity that we actually had to buy it by the bottle, back in the seventies when water was still free even in the once desert lands of Los Angeles, that I never quite understood the praise. But yes, Redford could put his shoes under my bed any time, as our mothers might have said, mostly about men whose paths they would likely never cross. I had it so bad for Robert Redford after seeing The Way We Were ; wishing I were Barbara Streisand with her impossibly long eleg

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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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