Sunday, September 17, 2006

London Day one

The view and the multiple train tracks just outide my hotel window

I woke up today to a brightly lit yellow room. Things seemed to look a bit better as far as the hotel room goes. Upon closer inspection of the bug squish marks on the wall they looked more like dry marker. That or mold. I can't really tell. But no bugs! Hurray!
Looking outside there's four sets of train tracks which explains why I heard all the trains last night. I noticed the room also has a small TV, a sink with hot and cold running water and four power outlets. This means I don't have to buy a power bar. Again, yea!

Just outside my room is the front desk or more like a hole in the wall with a person in it. The person sitting there today was the hotel manager. I talked to him about any mail that may have arrived for me. This included my media pass for fashion week. Without that there would be no way to shoot anything so not having it would prove a bit stressful.

The last few weeks have been a bit of a hellish nightmare with regards to contacting and getting confirmation from the British Fashion Council (the BFC). Over a month ago I applied online. I didn't hear anything from them so I figured I'd call back after a week past just to make sure they got my form.

Turns out they didn't receive anything. The internet server ate my form so to speak. The main contact at the BFC emailed me a few pages to fill in and FAX back. I filled them out and FAXed them back later on that day. Another week would go by and still no feedback. Upon calling them, again a week later, I found that yes they had my form and would contact me if something were missing.

About a week and a half went by when I called them back to see what was going on. It turns out I was accredited but no one called or emailed me to confirm. I found this out on monday september 11th. The media badge would be mailed to my hotel or I could pick it up at the event itself. Now the problem with finding this out so late is that I still had to contact all the designers to get permission to shoot their catwalk shows as it wasn't made clear which catwalks could be shot with just the BFC pass.

There are 49 designers on the BFC list. I attempted to call all the designers I was interested in shooting, the rest I emailled. The phone bill next month will probably be huge. ugh. Not surprisingly a bunch of designers emailed me back saying that I missed the deadline to apply for shooting their catwalk.

Talking to the hotel manager revealed that nothing had come for me by mail. No invites, no media badge, nothing. It looked like I was going to be going to the fashion tent to pick it up. Thank godness we arrived a day early to sort all this stuff out.

The London phone booth

The fashion tent was only a fifteen minute walk away from the hotel. I showed up only to be told that registration wasn't happening until 1pm. After having lunch at Andrew and Josie's, a hotel room only five minutes away, I wondered back to the fashion tent to get all this badge stuff out of the way.

a London cab

It was around 1:30 or so and there were a bunch of other photographers in a bunch waiting around. The people dealing with the press, although under considerable stress from being unorganized, were pretty rude. They seemed pissed off that we were even there to ask about our badges. As it turns out I was not the only photographer that had failed to get accreditation before today. It seemed like all international press got hosed.

If they had any smarts the BFC should have had a sign up saying who to get accreditation from and when they were available. Instead we, as photographers, were yelled at and told there would be no accreditation today. Sheesh.

Andrew on the patio just outside their room

I rejoined Andrew and Josie to visit the Train museum. It was closed for the season so we made our way to the Thames river. There we got caught in some kind of festival, sort of like a mini Caribana, with Thai and Indian food mixed in.

The train museum from the outside

A sign on the tube

Some glass building we walked by

a local ice cream truck

Balloons for sale

Bunny ears for sale

Some flower girl display


The Thames Festival poster

A sword fish sandwich

We walked along the river in the festival for a few hours and ended up at a restaurant called Fish!. It was there that I had a swordfish sandwich. The swordfish was battered and deep fried. It was a bit spicy and tasted great. I've never had swordfsh before. It's a tougher fish than say halibut.After eating it was back to the hotel and some sleep. Tomorrow is going to be a very busy day.

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