070211.Cardiff, Underground

February 11, 2007 at 4:04 PM | Posted in Actors in Period Costumes, people, towns, Vaults | 11 Comments

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Cardiff has some wide, Soviet-styled streets that require these “subway tunnels.” Yesterday, on the day I came, it also had rain, a lot of it. Oh, and apparently this Welsh capital also has a thriving underground scene…and they all congregate in this one tunnel, which happens to be between the Welsh National History Museum, City Hall, the Law Courts and the main Cardiff Castle attraction. I don’t know if there was any event going on that would have attracted all of these people (over 200–these photos were taken after the rain stopped and the crowds died down) but they were indeed blocking the only tunnel between the main tourist attractions in the city centre. Most of these subculture adherent-wannabes appeared to be 15 years of age, and wearing the exact same clothes (which were all sold in a nearby store, which had a Welsh name that probably translated to “Hot Topic.”) I mean exact, exact (though the photos don’t evidence this.) I counted over 50 black dot earing pairs that stretch the earlobe for girls and boys, half that number for pink and black striped leg stockings worn from the wrist to the elbow, etc. And a plenitude of black clothes, eyeliner, etc., of course. The only reason I bring this up was that I thought it funny since this underground culture occupied that only connection between the city’s main attractions in the centre. When I was heading through one, a very formally dressed Englishman and his wife, both in their 70s, were going through in the opposite direction. The look on their faces showed they were beyond preturbed, and I heard the woman tell her husband that she had smelled they were “smoking the dope.” Some other “respectable” passerby commented that “the sewers must have been flooded.” (I will state again that most of these kids looked 15, or so, and appeared to have purchased their outfits nearby…perhaps for this occasion.) As with all my other trips to English (and now Welsh cities,) I didn’t see one police officer.
On a seperate occasion when I was on a tour of the Jutland peninsula in Denmark, one of the utopian housing co-ops we were visiting had been booked for a Marilyn Manson/goth-like society and our tourguide who had been pointing out areas of design we should be focusing on in the building decided to start hurling insults at this group. Overall, a very awkward sitation, though I’m not sure how this relates apart from the black clothes. But in the States, this sort of the thing would be relegated to the suburbs in some dying mall.

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