Sixty Joyless De-Britished Uncrowned Commonpoor Years (1949-2009)

Elizabeth II Vice-Regal Saint: Remembering Paul Comtois (1895–1966), Lt.-Governor of Québec
Britannic Inheritance: Britain's proud legacy. What legacy will America leave?
English Debate: Daniel Hannan revels in making mince meat of Gordon Brown
Crazy Canucks: British MP banned from Canada on national security grounds
Happy St. Patrick's: Will Ireland ever return to the Commonwealth?
Voyage Through the Commonwealth: World cruise around the faded bits of pink.
No Queen for the Green: The Green Party of Canada votes to dispense with monarchy.
"Sir Edward Kennedy": The Queen has awarded the senator an honorary Knighthood.
President Obama: Hates Britain, but is keen to meet the Queen?
The Princess Royal: Princess Anne "outstanding" in Australia.
H.M.S. Victory: In 1744, 1000 sailors went down with a cargo of gold.
Queen's Commonwealth: Britain is letting the Commonwealth die.
Justice Kirby: His support for monarchy almost lost him appointment to High Court
Royal Military Academy: Sandhurst abolishes the Apostles' Creed.
Air Marshal Alec Maisner, R.I.P. Half Polish, half German and 100% British.
Cherie Blair: Not a vain, self regarding, shallow thinking viper after all.
Harry Potter: Celebrated rich kid thinks the Royals should not be celebrated
The Royal Jelly: A new king has been coronated, and his subjects are in a merry mood
Victoria Cross: Australian TROOPER MARK DONALDSON awarded the VC
Godless Buses: Royal Navy veteran, Ron Heather, refuses to drive his bus
Labour's Class War: To expunge those with the slightest pretensions to gentility
100 Top English Novels of All Time: The Essential Fictional Library
BIG BEN: Celebrating 150 Years of the Clock Tower

Monday, 30 July 2007

The British Empire Building

I was in New York City during the past week, enjoying the traditional Catholic festivities of a rich friend's wedding. (I like how the rich live - I like how I live when I'm with them). It was quite literally (and figuratively) a moveable feast in the vicinity of Manhattan's midtown, where hundreds of us were chaperoned from location to location on coaches equipped with porters and champagne.

It was on the way to this moveable feast and the opulent Cathedral Mass that preceded it, when I happenstanced across the British Empire Building, which was established in 1933 to showcase the culture, commerce and industries of the British Commonwealth. I was quite startled to come across it, as there's no evidence of anglophilia in the area to prepare the passerby, just the upscale shops of 5th Avenue.

By the way, if you are ever in New York, be sure to have lunch at The Boathouse in Central Park where you can wine the afternoon hours away watching the Gondolas and row boats float by. Whatever you do, don't deprive yourself of your dignity and be a tourist. Do what I do and pretend you're a New Yorker. Go to all the best bars and lounges. Take the subway everywhere. Go to St. Patrick's on Sunday. Take in the history, the great monuments and the fabulous museums, but make it look like you're visiting for the umpteenth time. Even offer to provide directions to people who look lost and stupid. I'm proud to say that looking lost and stupid only happened to me once while in New York - it was when I passed the British Empire Building.

4 comments:

Young Fogey said...

The tinctures of the Scottish quarter of the Royal Arms have been counterchanged and the encircling Garter has been rendered Gules rather than Azure but, nevertheless, it is comforting to know that the Royal Arms are in good condition and sit prominently in such an important location. I note that the Arms are flanked by two flagpoles. It is a shame that one does not fly the Union Flag!

Beaverbrook said...

Good eye, Young Fogey. I think it a shame that the Arms are not flanked by two Union Flags. The Stars and Stripes should be all along 5th Avenue, just not on the BEB.

Splendor Sine Occasu said...

One of the flags should be the Grand Union Flag !

cato author of www.toryheaven.com said...

What a gem of a symbol of the Crown tucked away amongst its commercial surroundings. You have a good eye for spotting ensigns armorial Beaverbrook!