On the morning of Tuesday August 19th I had an appointment at Bloomberg London with the fellow who directs their internship programs. I'd been introduced to him via email and he had been receptive to offering me a tour of Bloomberg's fancy digs in Finsbury Square in the Islington Borough, just north of the central part of the city. I dressed up in the work clothes I'd brought for the occasion and headed out early on the tube along with the other commuters, feeling like a real Londoner.
|Bloomberg's London Office in Finsbury Square|
Bloomberg's London office was a very impressive place. It rivals every tech company I have been to in California for its pizzaz and perks (an open cafeteria, large open work spaces that were clean and high tech). It's design scheme was centered around massive fishtanks full of exotic fish. I was able to catch Bloomberg's newscast delivered live from their news floor and I left with a better sense of what type of journalism school students make best candidates for their jobs and internships; altogether, a great learning experience for me.
After my appointment in Islington, I wandered over to Leicester Square and got myself a ticket to a London musical. My guidebook pointed out a kiosk in the square where one could get deep discounts. I don't think I got much of a price break, but I wasn't complaining. The choices were the same as I'd expect to see in New York: Lion King, Phantom of the Opera, The Book of Mormon, Cats. I chose Billy Elliot both because I loved the movie and especially its dancing, but also because the story is set in the U.K.. The show was scheduled for 7:00pm, so I had the rest of the day to wander the city.
Soho felt a bit like Berkeley, a community that clearly liked being a bit "off the grid", and counter culture. Soho once had a reputation for sex shops as well as night life and film industry, but I found it to be very upscale. There was a fabulous bookstore called Foyles, a full 5 floors of new books and reading spaces, with a cafe on the top floor. From the looks of Foyles, I'd say the book industry is alive and well in London.
The problem was, I felt sorry for the young men in those red uniforms. Tourists swarmed them and shot selfies with cell phones, and they worked hard to keep their poses. I couldn't bear to do the same. So, I shot this picture from a distance and went on my way.
Here's a quick video of my bus ride around the city.
By this point it was 4:30 and I was cold and tired, but I was NOT going to miss the theater show. So, I found a Mark & Spencer mini-market across the street from the Victoria Theater that had a seating area on its second floor, bought a salad, and sat down with a free daily newspaper to catch up on the news. Soon enough, it was time for the show.
Billy Elliot Musical at the Victoria Theater
Take a look at this trailer to get a picture of what I saw that night. It was a really dynamic performance and I loved the music. By it's end, I'd been on the move for 14 hours. I headed on home on the tube and collapsed on to my bed. One last day to go.