Shapes of Cities by Yoni Alter

A while ago I discovered some graphic art prints on Etsy, and because I can’t afford to buy them, I thought I’d blog about them instead!

Yoni Alter, the artist behind these gorgeous prints, is a designer and art director based in London. He says that his obsession with architecture comes from being the son of one, and a grandson of a structural engineer.

These prints combine some of my favourite things; cityscapes, fabulous architecture, and bright primary colours. The four that I have featured are my favourites, but Yoni has a number in his Shapes of Cities series, including Dallas, Chicago, Hong Kong, and Atlanta, and a number of other prints too.

These signed A3 prints are available from Designed By Yoni on Etsy, and cost £25.

Silent Opera

Have you ever been to a Silent Disco? I went to a few while I was at uni, and I loved them. Seriously, I got overexcited every time one came along, and when I realised that I would miss one when I was in America, I sulked about it.

So when I saw some people on the television at the weekend talking about a Silent Opera, I was amazed. The concept is similar to that of a Silent Disco; the audience is provided with wireless headphones, and the music is played directly into their ears! This then allows the audience to move around, following the story and choosing how they experience the opera.

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The first Silent Opera of 2013 is L’Orfeo by Monteverdi. I don’t know a lot about opera, having never been to see one, but it seems that L’Orfeo is amongst the very earliest of all operas. It tells the story of Orfeo, who travels to the underworld searching for his lost love, Eurydice.

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~ Photos by Oliver Hyde-Tetley, used with permission ~

I adore the idea of going to see an opera like this. It’s such a different way to experience something that probably feels really inaccessible to such a lot of people, including me. The artistic director, Daisy Evans, wishes to ‘move you, tell you unique stories and bring you new delights.’

Sadly, L’Orfeo is only on until 10th February at Trinity Buoy Wharf, so there isn’t much time left to get to see it. Tickets are £25 (£20 for IdeasTap members). There are plans for the company to stage two other Monteverdi operas over the next three years, so if you can’t make it to that one, keep an eye out for details of those; I know I will be!

Sunday Specials

1. F & F Tower in Panama City

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2. Yulia Brodskaya makes me want to take up quilling again

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3. Inception Inspiration

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4. Bow ties are cool

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5. Baby elephants to make you smile, instead of cry

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6. Step in Time

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7. Winter trees may be my favourites

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~ buy print here ~

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8. I <3 Awards Season

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9. These are the phone cases you are looking for

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10. A lovely (the best) place to be

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Visiting the London Dungeons

The London Dungeons is one of those places that I have been meaning to visit for ages. I’m a big fan of history; it’s my eternal regret that I didn’t study it at GCSE and went for Geography instead! I don’t know as much as I should about British history, having done a degree in American Studies I know about a lot of US history, but my British history knowledge is sadly a little lacking.

So the London Dungeon has always been on my unofficial list of things to do in London, and last week, I finally went! I didn’t really know what to expect from it, I knew it was kind of interactive, but I thought it was a lot more museum-like than it actually turned out to be.

I went with my nephew Robbie, who is fourteen. He’s currently in the process of choosing his own GCSE options, and I’m trying to encourage him to take history. It’s not necessarily that he’s going to pursue any sort of further education or career in that area, but he’s interested in history, and I think he’d enjoy it. He has also been wanting to visit the Dungeons, so we went together, and we both really enjoyed it!

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It’s really easy to get there for us, we got the train to Stratford, and then the Jubilee line got us straight to London Bridge. The Dungeons are situated right outside the tube station.

As I said, I didn’t really know what to expect, but it very quickly became clear that I was going to be petrified for the entire tour. We were led through a room in the dark, with people jumping out at us! Robbie, despite being a rather cool teenager, grabbed my arm and didn’t let it go until we got out into the sunshine! I am confident that he will never read this, so I don’t think there’s any danger of ruining his street cred!

The tour continued in much the same way, walking through various rooms with our little tour group, mostly in the near-dark, with people walking past you shouting things at you! Lots of British history was explored; the Bubonic Plague, the Great Fire of London, Jack the Ripper, and other various things like doctors chopping off limbs, torture methods and capital punishments. It takes about 90 minutes, and as you are led through and treated to various performances, there is no going back on yourselves.

My favourite bit of the entire tour was the Jack the Ripper part. Robbie didn’t know much about it, in fact he said that he wasn’t even aware that Jack the Ripper was real, I think he assumed he was an urban legend. I won’t spoil it by telling you exactly what happens, but I have to say that I screamed!

If you’re trying to think of things to do in London during your visit, you won’t go far wrong with a trip to the London Dungeons. The prices are really reasonable – £16 for adults and £10 for children if you book online, which includes priority entrance, so there’s no queuing! I think people of all ages would enjoy a day at the Dungeons, although it might be a bit scary for little ones! There are fourteen shows as you make your way through the tour, and three rides to have fun. And there’s a great gift shop at the end, which is always a must.

*I received complimentary tickets for review purposes, but all views are my own.