Eurotrip Part 16: The ultimate pen

My final night in Europe for a while will be spent in the fancy Mayfair District.  I found a nifty deal online and when I arrived, the check-in clerk made a comment that seemed to imply that I may not have deserved to stay there if that was all I was paying.  This is a rather ritzy area of London, such that it occupies the same spot as Boardwalk on the UK version of the Monopoly board.

How ritzy is this area?  This Ritz-y:

Compared to those fancy hotels, mine wasn’t terrible, as part of a mid-tier chain.  I would not have stayed there if I had to pay the regular rate, as it was old and run down, perhaps slacking off and depending on people being unwilling to splurge for the luxury hotels in the area.  Fortunately, I only needed a clean bed and bathroom, though the bathroom was borderline tolerable (one level above acceptable).

The usual walking and wandering took up the rest of the afternoon and evening, passing through Piccadilly Circus (photosphere) and Regent Street, whose holiday decorations were still up, and the Royal Academy (courtyard photosphere) for some intellectual inspiration.  I was sad to find out that the Ho-Panda! shop I saw in 2011 was nothing more than a redundant souvenir shop.

Regent Street panorama:

Ho-Panda then, in mid-2011:
 

Now, in early 2013 (probably from 2012, you can even see the poor job of sign removal):

On my way to legendary comic book store Forbidden Planet (along Shaftesbury Avenue), I stopped in Leicester Square for a really disappointing cheeseburger for dinner.  I had an ok fish and chips at this particular restaurant chain before, so I guessed they would be at least average at everything.

I had consulted a map so I knew how to get there, but didn’t notice that London’s Chinatown was a couple of blocks away.  No doubt I would have been able to find a much better meal (cheaper as well) had I walked another 10 minutes, but as mentioned many times, when I travel, I skip food (often lunch) until hunger desperation leaves me no choice. I’ve tried Chinese food in most of the countries I have traveled, some good (multiple cities in Australia and Canada), some decent (Panama), and some poor (Bermuda).  I missed out in London, Italy, Puerto Rico, Tahiti, and I don’t count Stockholm because I knew going in that the odds were not in their favor.

I didn’t buy anything at any of the comic shops I visited in Europe (three, to be exact), but did get a nice haul of DVDs.  I would have bought more titles, especially television series, but with them all still making more series (called seasons in the US), I would rather buy them in one large box set when the program ends.

Illuminated signs of Piccadilly Circus at 1:38pm:

Illuminated signs of Piccadilly Circus at 5:17pm (3:39 later, not bad for a cameraphone):

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