Gotta-Go Go-To Go-There(s) – WIF Travel

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Tourist Destinations

Made Famous

Through Pop Culture

Someone who is enjoying a book, a song, a movie, or a television show is enriching his or her inner world by imagining new physical, intellectual, and emotional possibilities. Sometimes, however, the world a person creates in his or her art isn’t imaginary at all. All of the places on this list are actual places that a tourist could visit. All of them have been popularized because of their associations with certain books, music, movies, and television shows.

10. Graceland (Home Of Elvis Presley)

When the King of Rock ‘n’ Roll, Elvis Presley, bought his Memphis estate, Graceland, in 1957 it was one of the most costly properties in the area. Unable to afford the expense of caring for the estate after Elvis’ death, Elvis’ former wife, Priscilla Presley, opened it to the public in 1982. Now, roughly 600,000 people visit Graceland each year to pay homage to their favorite rock and roll royalty.

Graceland is a tourist destination because of its sociocultural significance. Elvis spent 20 years of his life there. However, Graceland also has artistic significance, as it has served as a muse for successful songwriters. In “Walking In Memphis,” singer/songwriter Marc Cohn sings about seeing the ghost of Elvis Presley while touring Graceland. In “Graceland,” a song from an album of the same name, singer/songwriter Paul Simon sings about the creative and personal redemption he finds while visiting his idol’s home.

9. Lyme Park And Sudbury Hall (Pride And Prejudice)

Mr. Darcy, the hero of Jane Austen’s 1813 novel Pride and Prejudice, was mentioned more in 1995 than at any time since 1900. This is partially because when screen and teleplay writer Andrew Davies adapted the novel into a six hour miniseries for the BBC, he put a handsome face to the famous name.

When the novel’s heroine, Elizabeth Bennet (played by Jennifer Ehle in the miniseries) tours the estate of Mr. Darcy (played by Colin Firth), whose marriage proposal she has rejected because she thinks him haughty, she realizes that the man she has turned down is very well endowed… with property. His estate, Pemberley, consists of lush woodlands and a stately manor. When they unexpectedly meet at Pemberley, Elizabeth and Darcy better understand both each other and the nature of their own romantic feelings.

The Pemberley of the 1995 miniseries is actually two places. The exterior shots of Pemberley were filmed at Lyme Park in the Peak District in Cheshire. When the cast and crew were ready to film the interior shots for Pemberley, Lyme Park — which is open to the public — was no longer available. The interior shots for Pemberley, including the elegant, long gallery, were shot in Sudbury Hall, an estate in Derbyshire. Tour guide Maddy Hall says that when she takes tourists who are using P and P Tours to Lyme Hall, she doesn’t go inside herself. She wants to keep her vision of Pemberley (literally) intact. Says Hall, “In our minds we think we have seen Jennifer Ehle [as Elizabeth Bennet] looking out of the windows and seeing the lake [on the grounds of Pemberley] – but in fact it’s all down to skillful editing.”

8. Middle-earth (The Lord Of The Rings Trilogy)

While he was writing the The Lord of the Rings, British fantasy author J.R.R. Tolkien meticulously created the vivid details of Middle-earth, the setting for his trilogy. Tolkien produced a colorful, annotated map of Middle-earth, now housed in the Bodleian Libraries at Oxford University. Tolkien also made sketches of his fantasy realm.

When movie director Peter Jackson acquired the rights for his movies based on Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings trilogy, he knew exactly which location would best represent Middle-earth: Jackson’s homeland, New Zealand. Jackson used 150 locations in New Zealand during the making of his movies. Each movie in the trilogy grossed an average of $970 million, and the third film was the highest grossing film for 2003. New Zealand embraces its identity as Middle-earth in its tourism marketing. On its tourism website, it’s called “the perfect Middle-earth.” Many people must see New Zealand’s sloping hills, majestic mountains, and limpid bodies of water as the perfect features for Middle-earth. Roughly 47,000 Tolkien fans per year visit film locations in New Zealand.

7. The Empire State Building (King Kong)

Since it opened in 1931, the Empire State Building has been featured in over 250 movies. One of the building’s earliest scene-stealing cameos was in the 1933 movie King Kong. In the film, the behemoth ape King Kong escapes from an exhibit and kidnaps the character portrayed by Fay Wray, with whom he is smitten. He carries her to the top of the Empire State Building, where she’s rescued when the gorilla is shot repeatedly by airplane gunners.

In 1933, the scene served as an homage to the sociocultural relevance of the (relatively new) Empire State Building. In 2019, the Empire State Building paid an homage to the film. As part of $165 million worth of renovations, designers built a gallery with interactive exhibits on the second floor of the world-famous tower. As visitors walk through a 1930s newsroom, King Kong’s fingers pierce the walls as he dangles from the rooftop, dodging airplanes. In another exhibit, visitors can step into King Kong’s arms.

6. The Iron Throne (Game Of Thrones)

A Song of Ice and Fire, the fantasy series author George R.R. Martin began writing in 1991, hasn’t been completed yet. The HBO series based on Martin’s books, however, premiered in 2011 and ended in 2019. The series earned 12 Emmy awards for its final season, the most wins for any individual show. The finale was watched by over 13 million viewers, the most viewers for any HBO show, according to The Wall Street Journal.

Since the show was filmed in 10 countries, fans of both the books and the miniseries have many tourist destinations from which to choose. Arguably, the most contested site in the series is King’s Landing, home of the Iron Throne that inspires the brutal succession “game” that gives the series its title. In 2019, HBO hid six Iron Thrones throughout the world and awarded prizes to fans who found them using clues posted on the Game of Thrones Twitter account. The scenes in King’s Landing featuring the “real” Iron Throne — the one built by the show’s set designers — were filmed in Dubrovnik, Croatia. In 2015, the mayor of Dubrovnik claimed HBO was gifting the Iron Throne to his city. HBO denied the mayor’s claim. Dubrovnik does not have the Iron Throne yet, but it does have a museum honoring Game of Thrones.

5. Llanddewi Brefi (Little Britain)

One of the recurring characters on Matt Lucas and David Walliams‘ 2003 BBC sketch comedy television series, Little Britain, is Daffyd (a misspelling of the Welsh “Dafydd”) Thomas, a flamboyant, inexperienced youth who doggedly insists he’s the only gay man in his village of Llanddewi Brefi, Wales.

The sketches are actually shot in Buckinghamshire, England. Still, the popularity of Lucas’ character has strengthened the tourism industry in Llanddewi Brefi. Shop owner Neil Driver, who owns Siop Brefi in partnership with his wife, Glesni, says tourists come to have their photos taken while they’re standing in front of the sign at the town’s entrance, and sometimes they steal the signs. In 2005, Driver told Wales News he had sold roughly 40 shirts with a line from one of Daffyd’s sketches on them to visiting tourists.

4. Highclere Castle (Downton Abbey)

Sam Wallaston, a television critic for the British newspaper The Guardian, called Julian Fellowes’ series Downton Abbey “a posh soap opera [but] a pretty bloody splendid posh soap opera.” The series dramatizes the interpersonal relationships of the Crawley family, the owners of the estate Downton Abbey, and the servants who attend the Crawleys. The Crawleys’ story also intersects with important sociocultural and sociopolitical events in England at the turn of the 20th century.

Highclere Castle is where the interior shots (most notably the dining hall, the entrance room, and the staircase) and the exterior shots for the series were filmed. In a way, Highclere Castle is the titular character, since the show is named for the Crawleys’ estate. The popularity of the show has increased the popularity of Highclere Castle, Downton Abbey’s real world counterpart. George “Geordie” Herbert, the eighth earl of Carnarvon and Lady Fiona Carnarvon, who own Highclere Castle, say the tourism created by the show has assisted them in paying for the castle’s necessary repairs. As of 2015, 1,250 tourists per day visited Highclere Castle. In 2019, Airbnb offered two sweepstakes winners an overnight stay in order to promote the newly released Downton Abbey movie.

3. King’s Cross Station (Harry Potter)

In 2018, author J.K. Rowling’s seven book Harry Potter series became the bestselling book series in history. Rowling’s series has sold over five hundred million copies worldwide. Rowling’s work is appealing — especially for her most devoted fans — partially because of how deftly she depicts Hogwarts, the wizard training school where Harry seeks to master his craft.

In the book, Harry travels to Hogwarts by taking the train at platform 9 ¾ in King’s Cross Station. Boarders must reach the platform by running through a brick wall between platforms nine and ten. At the actual King’s Cross Station, platforms nine and ten are separated by tracks. Luckily for Harry Potter fans, there is still a platform 9 ¾… sort of. A luggage trolley is embedded in a wall in the station concourse. Above the trolley is a sign that says Platform 9 ¾. Tourists may have professional photos taken grasping the trolley. A nearby gift shop offers tourists the option to further personalize the photo by wearing a scarf in the Hogwarts house colors of their choice. The photo and the scarf are available for purchase. King’s Cross Station’s platform 9 ¾ welcomes over one million visitors each year. Rowling, for her part, said she immediately knew she would locate platform 9 ¾ at King’s Cross Station, because it has emotional significance for her. Her parents met on a trolley there.

2. The Hollywood Sign

In 1923, Los Angeles Times publisher Harry Chandler invested in an upscale housing development. The housing development was called Hollywoodland. In order to advertise, Chandler bought 45-foot high white letters that spelled out the name of his development, located on the south side of Mount Lee in the Hollywood Hills. He anchored the letters to telephone poles, and attached a total of 4,000 illuminated lights to his lettering.

The word “land” was removed from the sign in 1949, long after Hollywoodland had gone out of business. The sign has received regular maintenance checks since the 1970s, and its sociocultural significance continues to be confirmed. The Hollywood sign, or at least a studio set replica of it, has appeared in over a dozen movies.

1. Abbey Road (The Beatles)

When rock and roll’s most famous quartet, The Beatles, crossed Abbey Road in the cover photo for their 1969 album of the same name, they elevated the significance of their recording studio, Abbey Road Studios. Now linked inextricably with the success of a band ranked Number One in the 2010 Rolling Stone list “100 Greatest Artists,” Abbey Road is a symbolic home for any musical artist who desires creative freedom.

Sam Smith, Lady Gaga, and Adele, for example, have recently recorded at Abbey Road Studios. While Abbey Road Studios isn’t open for tours, Abbey Road Crossing — the crossing on The Beatles’ album cover — is usually crowded with tourists taking photographs.

Gotta-Go Go-To Go-There(s)

WIF Travel

WORLD WIDE WORDS Issue 873 – WIF Style

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Issue 873

Issue 873




Issue 873: Saturday 15 March 2014



1. Feedback, Notes and Comments.

2. Misanthrope.

3. Wordface.

4. Brown Windsor soup.

5. Sic!


Winkle out Several readers suggested that a much earlier example of the figurative sense appeared in Sense and Sensibility, by Jane Austen, published in 1811: “What sort of man is he, Miss Dashwood? Is he butcher, baker, candlestick-maker? I shall winkle it out of you somehow, you know!” Unfortunately for word sleuths, this appears only in the 1995 film and was an invention of the scriptwriter, Emma Thompson, who is thereby condemned to ceremonial hissing and booing for historical linguistic inaccuracy.

Many people noted that I might also have mentioned winklepickers, shoes with a long pointed toe. These were favoured by stylishly dressed young British men (and some women) of the late 1950s and early 1960s.

Clubbing The majority response to Ted MacKinney’s query last week about clubs hands is that the phrase isn’t colloquial American English and so must be an unconscious blend of club together and join hands with. However, Harry Campbell found that the phrase clubbing hands with does appear online in several sources, all of them from India, where it may be an accepted expression. He also discovered an American example from a book of 1874, Forgiveness and Law, “To make sure against him, he undertakes to strengthen himself by clubbing hands with his great public enemy!” This may be set aside as an accidental one-off creation.

2. Misanthrope

A misanthrope dislikes the human race and avoids human society as far as possible. He — most are male — isn’t an easy person to get along with, and he would greatly prefer you didn’t try.

Misanthrope is from the classical Greek misanthropos. It shares with misogyny and a few other words a beginning from misein, to hate. The second part is from anthropos, a human being, which we also have in words such as anthropology. From the same source, philanthropy is the opposite of misanthropy, literally a love of mankind that expresses itself in active efforts to help other people.

Plato holding Court

History and fiction record many misanthropes. The best-known fictional one is Alceste, in Molière’s comedy Le Misanthrope of 1666, which helped to popularise the word. The most famous real person was Timon, though strictly speaking we have to take the word of a couple of classical Greek writers that he actually existed. He is said to have lived in Athens in the fifth century BC and became known as Timon Misanthropos because he turned against people after he lost his fortune through being too generous to his friends and had to earn a living as an agricultural labourer. His story was taken up by William Shakespeare; around 1606, in collaboration with Thomas Middleton, he wrote what is probably his least popular play, Timon of Athens:

I am Misanthropos, and hate mankind,
For thy part, I do wish thou wert a dog,
That I might love thee something.

3. Wordface

Pedal power A reader’s comment attached to a Guardian story online attracted Bill Edmonds’s attention: on your bike. This was clearly intended in a literally dismissive sense of go away or clear off and he wondered where it came from. It’s British and dates — so far as anybody can tell — from the 1960s, though it might be as old as the Second World War (some connect it with the actor Jack Warner in the days before he became PC Dixon of Dock Green). It’s probably Cockney, often as on yer bike, rude but not obscene, a rephrasing of the older push off. On your bike become much more widely known in the 1980s following a speech at the Conservative Party Conference in 1981 by the then Employment Secretary, Norman Tebbit, in which he said that his father hadn’t rioted in the 1930s when unemployed, but had “got on his bike and looked for work”. It became a catch phrase urging somebody to get a move on or make an effort.

Chicken run Dennis Vandenberg used the expression Nobody here but us chickens but, when challenged, couldn’t explain where it came from. About a decade ago, an American phrase finder, Sam Clements, unearthed an example in a 1909 issue of the Daily Northwestern of Oshkosh, Wisconsin, which showed it to be in origin a racist joke. A farmer, on hearing a noise in his chicken house, called out “who’s there?” to which came the reply, “Nobody here but us chickens, massa.” Another version appeared in Everybody’s Magazine the previous year with the punchline, “Deed, sah, day ain’t nobody hyah ’ceptin’ us chickens”. It must surely be even older. The expression was widely popularised by the 1946 number-one hit single, Ain’t Nobody Here But Us Chickens, by Louis Jordan and His Tympany Five.

Deadline time Barry Rein asked about a comment in the Economist of 6 March that Prime Minister David Cameron has been called the essay crisis prime minister for his tendency to take decisions at the last minute. It’s been applied to him a number of times, at least as early as the Independent on Sunday in October 2011: “He is an ‘essay crisis’ prime minister, best at make-or-break time”. The term has been around for decades among students faced with the panic-inducing realisation that carefree procrastination has left them needing to produce thousands of words of relevant prose in next to no time.

4. Brown Windsor soup

Subscriber David Procter recently alerted me to a curious culinary and linguistic conundrum.

Brown Windsor is a British soup that rarely appears on menus these days, though chefs such as Jamie Oliver have reinterpreted it for a new generation. Some recent books and foodie websites salute it as a grand old traditional dish which fuelled the nineteenth-century middle classes and sustained the British Empire. This is one:

This hearty soup was both nourishing and popular during the Victorian and Edwardian periods. In fact, Queen Victoria was fond of this soup, and it was often served at royal banquets.
The Unofficial Downton Abbey Cookbook, by Emily Ansara Baines, 2012.

Downton Abbey

The problem is that nobody has found any mention of brown Windsor soup before this:

After queuing for a quarter of an hour for a seat, he shared a table with a woman whose idea of a suitable four o’clock meal was brown Windsor soup followed by prunes and custard.
The Fancy, by Monica Dickens, 1943.

If it was so significant a dish, why isn’t it in published Victorian menus and why isn’t it mentioned in any cookery book or newspaper of the period?

The name brown Windsor soup may have been a mashup of several other terms. A Windsor soup is known from the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries and appeared on many menus, one classic recipe requiring chopped beef, veal and bacon. White Windsor soup also existed, a vegetable soup which a recipe of 1911 says was made from white stock, mashed potato and sago. Some writers have used Windsor soup for calves’ feet soup, a food for invalids said to have been served to Queen Victoria in childbed. A few very early recipes for Windsor soup say it should include Windsor beans, presumably the source of the name (despite one claim online, there’s no connection with the British royal family, which changed its name from Saxe-Coburg-Gotha to Windsor only in 1917). In Victorian times dinners might begin with a choice of brown or white soup, so named. The former was a meat soup whose recipes broadly match those of the meat form of Windsor soup.

Another possible constituent of the linguistic melange is the very similarly named brown Windsor soap. Its first appearance was in an advertisement in the Times in 1818 and it seems to have had an excellent reputation. It is said to have been a mixture of olive oil and ox suet, coloured with burnt sugar or umber. It’s possible that people could have unconsciously conflated brown soup and brown Windsor soap.

Alternatively, and more plausibly, the two names might have been put together to make a humorous put-down of an inferior version of brown soup during the austerity of the Second World War.

And I can remember — which of my generation can’t? — the particular culinary horrors of war: Woolton pie, composed of vegetables and sausage meat more crumb than sausage, and brown Windsor soup which tasted of gravy browning. … Woolton pie and brown Windsor soup featured largely on the menu of the British Restaurants set up under the aegis of the Ministry of Food to provide inexpensive and healthy meals.
Time to be in Earnest, by P D James, 1999. Woolton Pie commemorates Lord Woolton, Minister of Food in 1940.

Whatever its origins, references to brown Windsor soup are common after the Second World War, often in horrified descriptions of the then dreadful state of British cooking in pretentious restaurants and on trains and ferries. It became shorthand for awful food; comics only had to mention it to get a laugh.

But as we’ve seen, in some quarters brown Windsor soup is now held up as an example of excellent nineteenth-century British fare. To explain the change probably needs a culinary expert or a folklorist rather than an etymologist.

5. Sic!

• George Watson found this in the rules of the Twiggy competition in the 25 February issue of the British publication Women’s Weekly: “The winner will be selected at random from all correct entries received after the closing date.”

We now know, via John Donlevy, that the Australian Spectator wrote on 8 March about a Friday night lock-in at a former pub in Melbourne: “If you wanted to get in after the doors were shut, all you had to do was throw pebbles at an upstairs widow from the car park next door.”

• Kate Schubart was also amused by a missing letter, in a column in the Washington Post on 10 March: “Half of the money will come from his fortune as a former hedge-fun manager.”

• In a piece of 6 March, Norman C Berns noted, the gossip site TMZ reported: “David told TMZ Live he got [Michael Jackson’s] dental impression from a Beverly Hills doctor that he got at an auction.”

• Acquisition fever knows no bounds, Lisa Robinton learned in the 18 December issue of an e-newsletter from “After being acquired by Google, the world was waiting to see what Motorola would come up with.”