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Today's word on journalism

Friday, September 1, 2006

"[F]ew things are as much a part of our lives as the news. With the advent of sophisticated mass communication, the news has become a sort
of instant historical record of the pace, progress, problems, and the hopes of society. On the other hand--and here's the puzzle -- the news provides, at best, a superficial and distorted image of society. . . . The puzzle, simply put, is this: How can anything so superficial be so central to our lives?"

--W. Lance Bennett, political science professor, 1988

Guide to a local's London

By Kacey Thompson

May 3, 2006 | For many years London has been a major tourist destination. Sites like Big Ben, Westminster Abbey, St. Paul's Cathedral and Buckingham Palace draw throngs of tourist daily. But in a city the size of London there are many worthwhile, fasinating places to visit that tourists seldom find. It takes a true Londoner to give the inside scoop on the best places to see in London. Here are a few suggestions from people who know the city best.

The Wolseley

The Wolseley is a café and restaurant is located in Piccadilly Circus. To arrive there by the London Underground, use Piccadilly Line to Piccadilly Circus Station. The Wolseley is designed in baroque style with marble and mirrors. It opened three ago and quickly became very popular. The Wolseley is open Monday thru Friday 7.00am to midnight, Saturday 9.00 to midnight and Sunday 9.00am to 11.00pm. They offer an a la carte menu for lunch and dinner and many menus throughout the day such as Breakfast, Morning Pastries, Afternoon Tea and an all day menu of traditional European food. The Arlington Royale (an eggs Benedict variation with smoked salmon and a spoonful of caviar) is an especially great way to start the day.

Richmond Park

At 2,500 acres, Richmond Park is a the largest Royal Park. To use the Underground, ride the District Line to Richmond Station. This will get you within walking distance of the park. Richmond is a picturesque park with hills, woodlands, ponds, gardens, and grassland with horse trails, walkways, and cycling paths. The park provides a clear view all the way to St. Paul's Cathedral, 12 miles away. The park become a refuge for Charles I. He stayed there to escaped the plague that had taken over London and the park gave him a place for his deer to roam. The place continues to be the home for 650 free roaming deer. Beside the beautiful scenery, Richmond Park offers a broad range of facilities including a playground, a school for those with special needs, bathrooms and a selection of cafés and lodges. Also the park provides an excellent area for all kinds of sports, from horse riding to rugby. You can easily spend a day in Richmond Park.

Wimbledon Village

Not far from Richmond Park is Wimbledon Village. For visitors using the Underground, use the District Line until Wimbledon. There is much more to see in Wimbledon Village than world famous tennis courts. The Village has a golf course, shopping center, museum, war memorial, Buddhapadina temple, and many traditional English pubs. The High Street has a long-established bakery, delis, traditional fruit and vegetable stores. Wimbledon Village has something for everyone whether you want to shop, eat or ride a horse around the beautifully landscaped village.

British Library

After spending time in London's beautiful outdoors, try some of London's intellectual havens. The British Library is the national library of the United Kingdom and one of the world's greatest libraries. The Library is only a block away from King Cross Station, Victoria Line. The Library is open seven days a week and offers more than just books. There is a free exhibition gallery, a bookstore and several cafés and restaurants. Starting next month the exhibition is Front Page: Celebrating 100 Years of the British Newspaper 1906-2006. The exhibition will examine the growth and development of British newspapers in the last 100 years. The highlight will be an interactive virtual newsroom where visitors can experience the excitement of being a journalist. Visitors will be able to compile their own front page by selecting stories, headlines and images. Visitors may print out the front page and take it home as a souvenir. Guided tours of the British Library are available most days of the week for £6.00. Audio guides are also offered.

Sir John Soane's Museum

This museum is found on the north side of Lincoln's Inn Field, one of the oldest and largest garden squares in London. If traveling by tube, use the Piccadilly Line until Holborn. The museum is free. It is opened Tuesday thru Saturday 10am-5pm. The Sir John Soane's Museum has been open since the early 19th century. After being Professor of Architecture at the Royal Academy, Sir Soane wanted to open his house to students to allow them to use his books and models following his lectures at the Academy. In 1833, Soane negotiated an Act of Parliament to preserve the house and collection for the benefit of "amateurs and students." Upon his death in 1837, the Act came into effect. Ever since, Sir John Soane's Museum has been open to the public.

Leadenhall Market

This market is a beautiful area with its cobbled walkways and glass roofs. To get to Leadenhall Market, take the Central Line to Bank Station.Trivia for Harry Potter fans: In the Harry Potter films, this market was used as Diagon Alley and the Leaky Cauldron. Leadenhall Markey is located between Gracechurch Street and Lime Street. The market started as a meat and fish market in the 14th Century. In 1881, the city's architect designed the wrought iron and glass roof. Today, the market is a thriving retail center. It is a great place to shop, eat or just relax.

The British Museum

The British Museum is a wonderful collection with more artifacts than one people can see in a week. The museum is located near Russell Square Station, Piccadilly Line, on the opposite end of square. The museum is free to the public and is open from 10am-5.30pm. 90 minute guided tours are available everyday for £8.00. The museum also offers a array of audio tours for £3.50. Some of the current exhibitions at the British Museum are Michelangelo Drawings: Closer to the Master, Rembrandt: The Three Crosses, and The Sainsbury African Gallery. The museum is definitely worth a trip if you have any interest in history whatsoever.

The Royal Oak

If you are looking for a some authentic English food, try the Royal Oak. To get there, take the ZZZ line to ZZZ station. The Royal Oak is located on Tabard Street.This traditional English pub has won several London Pub of the Year awards. The pub is cozy and friendly and the food is tasty and reasonably priced. One of the best dishes is the sausage and mash (£4.95). Five Harvey's beer and a seasonal beer are available (£2.30- £2.70). The Royal Oak provides a good English meal and a chance to talk to some true Londoners.

Of course, the best part of visiting a new place is to discover your own favorite places to go to and see. Be sure to keep our eyes open as you travel around the great city of London. You just may find yourself a new favorite place.

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