Washington crossing the Thames

Nothing says America’s Birthday like a riverboat party on the Thames. That’s London, in case you didn’t know.

Jason and Drexel undergrads greet me as I board. Laughs and catch-up talk. Meet the yanks. As the shadows lengthen, we see the landmarks and cameras flicker as hastily-posed snapshots become universally fashionable.

The symbols, of course, are slightly conflicted. American Independence in Britain’s capital. Signs and relics of the Empire surround us as our nasal, North American brogues pierce the evening air. Its the fourth of July, but our ship is flying the flag of her Majesty’s Navy. I feel like Nelson. Or maybe, John Paul Jones.

In the dusk hours, raffle tickets, and their holders. Still-sober hands grip coloured bits of paper – a one-pound shot in the dark, a chance for glory and escapism. Win a holiday. Win a prize.

And as the sun sets, the dancing begins. The lower deck clearly wasn’t designed to hold 200 screaming yanks and their drinks. No drinks on the dance floor? Yea right. Try to keep your trousers cuffs out of the sludge! Not quite as bad as frat house basement, but nearly there.

Everyone is smiling. Everyone is having fun. Forget your troubles, forget the drama, forget your latitude and just enjoy the night.

Afterward, to Haymarket for a bit of afterpartying at student night at the Sports Bar. Baseball on the tube, Born in the USA playing far too loud, boatloads of yankee students, in London for the summer.

Oh, by the way, I won a 9-day European Tour! #428, baby.

[side note: there were A LOT of women out on this night. I can’t make sense of it, really. I guess if you have to be beautiful to get a work visa in Britain.]

And a few photos taken after swing dancing Monday night. Got on the wrong bus, wound up near Bank tube station. Took a few shots.

04

Jul 2006

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