Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Academic Day 2: Stratford-Upon-Avon, The home of William Shakespeare

Day 2: Stratford-Upon-Avon This glorious village has done very well for itself within the realm of cultural heritage tourism. While maintaining its medieval charm, by capitalizing on William Shakespeare, it thrives with multitudes of shops and services. The Shakespeare theme has been a wonderful bandwagon to jump on for the villagers. Theatre and the arts is a medium that has no bounds, therefore, the sky is the limit to the imaginative industriousness of entrepreneurs. Next to Shakespeare's birthplace house is an all-Shakespeare gift shop, with fine quality items for sale at a bit high, but worth it, prices. Possibly the only Andrew Carnegie-funded historic restoration library structure is here. A Medieval structure of Tudor beam and whitewashed waddle-and-daub construction, the modern rehab is strictly interior based, with a cleanly linear design along with cleaverly exemplified historic details scattered throughout, such as windows, doors, and exposed beams.
Outside View of Stratford-Upon-Avon's Unique Retrofitted and Restored Historic Carnegie Library Structure
Carnegie Library interior blend of old and new...a novel preservation project when it comes to The Carnegie Trust. When searching for a shirt of Shakespearean significance for my brother, I came across a most peculiar shop run by a silver-haired husband and wife team. Upon entering, the lovely seniors began informing me of their wares...many original types of print art, and others that had been transferred onto shirt fabric. As I began hunting for my brother's perfect shirt, we found one of Richard III, complete with highly intricate Shakespearean symbolism. The couple's son creates all the drawings and artwork. We began speaking about the relatively recent discovery of the former king's bones being found under a parking lot, and led to by a psychic. When the couple found out that I was in a MLIS BSP, the husband quickly told me that no matter what scholar I asked, no one could tell me the truth about what goes on in Stratford-Upon-Avon...he says to me, "there's been a war going on here for decades, just underground in the miles of caves beneath the town!" "Pray-tell more", I implored. "These caves are attached to every building in town, that is, only if they have food in them", he continued. Thespians and Pirates fight back and forth in an epic struggle. Eventually, the man pulled a colorfully quaint and diaphragmatically spasmodic hilarious children's book for all ages out and began explaining in further detail the adventures of a certain Shakespearean mouse throughout the environs of the village. It then came to light that he had written said book, hoping to sell enough to create a sequal, with a trilogy in mind. After buying a signed copy for my home library, I left feeling great, having experienced such nice and interesting people. After eating at a picturesque outdoor cafe, I found the church where William Shakespeare is lain. I did not go inside to see his tomb, but did enjoy the gorgeous and ancient reliquaries of tombstones in the churchyard. A quick walk up the River Avon, which was one of the most beautiful sights I've ever experienced, I made it to the Royal Shakespeare House, a restored ornate 19th Century structure with attached 21st Century modern, yet historically-blended complex.
Royal Shakespearean Theatre Building with new section on left, melded to the older section on right

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