Streets of London

Calvin and I stumbled across Hyde Park after leaving Harrod’s and rented bikes to see the scenes. It had been probably a decade since I’ve been on a two wheeler, so it took me a while to get the hang out if at first.

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A thing that Calvin and I thought was weird was the huge rollerblade & rollerskate following. There were a bunch of groups spread through the park that would blast music, set up cones and then skate through the mini obstacles while doing a few tricks here and there. It was almost like a revival of the 90s~

After that, we walked over the Buckingham Palace. We missed the changing of the guards, but the palace is still pretty to look at, am I right?

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The really cool picture I took of Calvin

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Versus the really terrible picture he took of me (DIDN’T EVEN NOTICE I WAS BLURRY)

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If you want to see all of the pictures in one place, here is the set on Flickr!

Harrods

One of the super touristy things we did in London was go to Harrods, which is a huge department store (think Bergdorf Goodman for anyone who has been to New York). Except, in addition to being a giant department store, they also have restaurants in there, a Laduree, a pantry food section, a giant chocolate shop, electronics, furniture, ancient maps(?!?!) and probably a billion more things we didn’t see.

Of course, not being able to afford anything (except chocolates and a box of biscuits/cookies), we just did a lot of window shopping. Calvin, being the ever-so-”YOLO”-preacher, stumbled upon a champagne bar and convinced me to join him in the pretentiousness of tasting champagne in a pretentious department store (more like a mall, really).

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First round.

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Second round. (Uncultured-me didn’t know that “roset” stood for the color of the champagne and not that the champagne tastes like roses ;__;)

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On the top floor of Harrods we found a bubble tea place called Bubbleology. It was a cute gimmicky chain but the bubble tea was pretty watered down and disappointing compared to the ones I’ve had in Virginia. (I mean, they aren’t very secretive about using powder instead of fresh fruit.)

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I think I have one more post about London and then I’ll be moving on to pictures in France :]

Jiro Dreams of Sushi

Taking a quick break from pictures of my trip to talk about Jiro Dreams of Sushi. If you haven’t heard of it, its a documentary about the “best sushi restaurant in the world” (according to Anthony Bourdain). Not only that, but Sukiyabashi Jiro is the first sushi restaurant to receive three Michelin stars and Chef Jiro Ono is the oldest chef to receive three stars.

Here’s the trailer in case you’re interested:

I just got home from watching it and, even though my friends and I were 30 minutes late, it was a really good documentary! I love food, documentaries and Japan so it was a perfect combo. The storyline itself was really touching and extremely inspirational. To love something so much that even after 75 years, you’ll still love doing it. The art of crafting sushi to selling fish to cooking rice. Its a really interesting and different world from the one I live in and I definitely would recommend this movie to anyone who has it showing in a nearby theatre. I mean, I don’t want to say too much without spoiling anything for everyone, so just go watch it!

As for execution, I got a tiny bit annoyed at a few scenes because they’d be interviewing someone straight on and totally cut part of their head off, or the camera will be shaky. Haha, I guess its just my OCD acting up, or because I’ve been helping my friend, Kevin, with a lot of videos so I’m starting to notice these things more than usual. The transitioning from topic to topic was a bit rough too. But I’m not a professional, so I guess I can’t say too much. Although, I’d definitely love to film documentaries like this in the future with Kevin. Aside from that, I thought it was beautifully filmed and wonderfully edited.

According to the restaurant itself, the chef’s tasting menu is about ¥30,000 ($370 USD), but I’d definitely pay that much for amazing sushi. I’ve read that its a pretty quick meal since Chef Ono times it to make sure that the meal is finished within 30 minutes. I hope that I’ll be able to eat there one day (it only has 10 seats, less than the restaurant that I work at!), but Chef Ono is in his mid to late 80s so by the time I get around to going, his son may have become the head chef by then. But I’d still be excited since I’m sure the quality will stay the same.

And yes, I will definitely have to go watch it again since I missed so much at the beginning~