Monday, January 17, 2011

Covent Garden, Apple Store, & Lion King

Covent Garden is an area of London, and also a specific piazza that's full of special shops, street performers (musicians, magicians, etc.), and cafes. Above, a quintet performs for a patio and balcony audience.

These people raise money for charities, visit and entertain at rest homes. Covered with pearl buttons, they're called the Pearly Kings & Queens Society. 

The Apple Store at Covent Garden. Very impressive. Appeared to be the most popular place on the piazza.

Inside the Apple Store. Memo to Steve Jobs: This layout would work well on the Santa Fe Plaza.

Portal and front entrance area of the Apple Store.

From Covent Garden we took the short walk to the Lyceum Theatre to see The Lion King, which has been playing at the Lyceum since 1999. The theatre was rebuilt after a fire destroyed it and re-opened in 1834. It closed in 1986 and opened again in 1996.

Unfortunately they don't allow photos. Now I want to see the original Disney version.

On the way to the Covent Garden Station, around noon, I saw an amazing thing: empty Underground passageways. It looked like Sunday must be a slow day in the subway. 

Empty stairways and passageways.

However, by the time we left the theater the Tube was more crowded than I've seen it so far. People were stacked up so deep waiting for elevators at Convent Station that a Tube employee directed us to the stairs (clue: when a Tube station provides multiple, large elevators, the platform is deep underground). As we walked down the stairs we heard an announcement warning passengers that the stairs were equivalent to a 15-story building (you don't see frail elderly people on the subway, they prefer the bus system -- less walking and climbing). Thankfully, we were going down instead of up. When we got to our Tube platform, the trains were packed to the doors, but we found a less crowed car at the very end of the train. Transportation is a big part of the fun here.