Thursday, February 2, 2012

Abbey Road

Last night, I was going through some of the pictures from our trip to Europe as I'm want to do whenever I want to relive those fun filled days. Teen Angel and I are still on a bit of a London/Paris high. She bought red current jam the other night because it reminded her of our breakfasts in London, and I keep listening to Duffy and David Gray on Pandora. Sigh. Anyway, I thought I'd share one of the more fun things we did on our trip. Among all of the historical sites and museums we visited, we made time on our last afternoon in London to take the Tube over to the neighborhood where Abbey Road Studios is. It seemed a bit low brow, given all of the historical sites we'd been too, but heck, we're pretty low brow, so off we toddled to that end of town. And I'm glad we did, because it was a hoot.

I thought it might be a little hard to find because it's in a residential neighborhood nowhere near downtown London, but it wasn't difficult at all. We just followed all of the other folks on foot, trucking to the same place. Apparently, we weren't the only ones who packed Sharpies in our luggage for a visit to that little corner.

It has become tradition for visitors to sign their name on the concrete wall and gates in front of Abbey Road. And thousands do every week.

I've read that they repaint that fence every few weeks, providing a clean white pallet for the next round of tourists. There were few clean spaces in the paint when we were there, but we found room to scratch our names among all of the others.

Teen Angel also wrote the name of her cousin who died in 2000 and the name of a friend of hers who is a HUGE John Lennon fan.  And we doodled a few other messages.

It was great fun, and all around were people doing the same thing. I'm normally opposed to graffiti, but there was something about this that just seemed so appropriately Beatle-like. And it is great fun to read all of the messages and signatures by people from all over the world. Beatle fans apparently come from all parts of the globe.

And what about the iconic crosswalk? Well, we had plans to photograph ourselves in the crosswalk. In fact, I wanted a photo so I could PhotoShop our heads into a picture of the White album cover, but we realized as soon as we got there that wasn't going to happen because that intersection? Busy. Extremely busy. The traffic through there is steady and fast, and you literally have to risk life and limb to get that shot.

Some people tried.

But few really succeeded. This group came close.

They were lucky enough to catch a bit of a gap between cars, but not without making some drivers mad. The people who live and work in that area understandably get frustrated with all of the tourists plugging up the works in that intersection all day long, so they don't have much patience with picture takers. We saw cars come dangerously close to a couple of folks, so we didn't risk it. But we sure enjoyed watching others do it.

I'm glad we made the trek to Abbey Road. It may not be as historically significant as the Tower of London or Tower Bridge, but it sure is a cool piece of pop culture. And we can say we left a little piece of us in London. Including our hearts. Seriously, somebody pass the jam. I need a British fix.


Liz said...

Oh my!! This brings back memories of my trip to UK and Europe in 2010. We actually managed to get a decent shot walking across the crossing (Beatles style) with just my parents and I (hubby took the pic). The taxi drivers were getting a little annoyed after so many of us did it. Fun though!!

J.G. said...

Yep, something so fitting about this bit of rule-breaking!

Too bad the drivers don't have much sense of goodwill about the crosswalk anymore. Remember all the speculation about the "clues" in the original picture?

melifaif said...

How fun!?! I, myself, relish in graffiti done well. Great memories...