Thursday, March 17, 2005

Brighton Beach Memoir

On the drive to Brighton we could see the white, chalky cliffs along the southern coast. Not the famous white cliffs of Dover, mind you, but still nice to see. A cold, heavy fog descended on Brighton just before we arrived and obscured out view of the English Channel.

The main attraction in Brighton was the Royal Pavilion built for the Prince Regent who would become George IV over the period 1815-1823. It’s one of the stranger buildings I’ve seen. On the outside it looks like it’s got Indian influence and on the inside it’s Chinese. That’s right—an Indian/Chinese palace in Brighton. And it looks as out of place as it sounds. Our guide told us either we would love it or hate it, and I’m one of those in the second category. The music room had motifs with snakes and dragons, which our guide told us brings bad luck according to Chinese feng shui. I have no idea if that’s true, but the building has suffered a number of mishaps. The roof started leaking within 10 years of completion. In 1975 a fire bomb was thrown into the music room, causing major damage. It took years to repair. Then in 1987 a storm knocked down one of the heavy domes and it toppled, crashing through the roof into the music room and embedding itself in the floor. But if a building exists for hundreds of years, hey, these things will happen. Um, right?

Parts of Vanity Fair were filmed in Brighton.


At 6:33 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The Royal Pavilion should have been called the Tacky Pavilion, but I suppose that just a matter of opinion. It would have been nice to walk along the English Channel, but it was just to foggy to see anything.



Post a Comment

<< Home