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June 9, 2006


On Wednesday night, I was seated next to dance researcher Stephanie Jordan, who asked me as a greeting, “Are you based here now?” It made me smile; I guess I’ve been there a reasonable amount. We sat in the orchestra stalls; I’m only seated there as press infrequently. Generally I am in the Stalls Circles. The view is slightly different; one main difference is that one can’t see the ceiling, which is Wedgwood blue with gold trim. From the Stalls Circle, one’s impression of the house is entirely red velvet and gold.

My friend John once said his travel was based on people rather than buildings. Mine is mostly based on dance, but what he said is also truer for me than I once realized. At present, the three cities I return to most often (London, Toronto and San Francisco) are as much for friends and family as for dance. Each has a strong ballet company, but taken equally with no other claims of friendship, London is the one that would prompt a dance aficionado to travel the greatest distance.

This trip has given me even more familiarity with the city. There are still things I don’t get. Crossing the street will probably always be harrowing; I rely on the “LOOK LEFT – LOOK RIGHT” signs they paint in the center of London for tourists from places where traffic flows on the right. But I better understand the layout of city; coming from a city mostly on a grid, it was once was an opaque jumble of streets. I’m starting to know where the main thoroughfares (Oxford Street, Euston Road, Knightsbridge and others) where they go – and what names they have in different sections. Like 9th Avenue becoming Columbus Avenue, streets change names here – but they do it more often.

Posted by Leigh Witchel at June 9, 2006 4:17 AM

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I had the "which way to look" problem in New Zealand -- almost got flattened a couple of times.

Posted by: sandi k at June 10, 2006 5:32 PM

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