World's First "High Definition" Television Service

Trip Start Sep 07, 2010
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Trip End Aug 21, 2011


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Flag of United Kingdom  , England,
Sunday, October 10, 2010

In order to make full use of my newly purchased mode of transportation (my bicycle), I decided to head to some local sights in the London Borough of Heringey, just north of Islington.

On my way through Islington on my way to Heringey, I finally realized why people's eyes light up when I tell them I live in Islington.  The more northern part of the borough is quite upscale, and it get more and more upscale as you pass into Heringey.  The western part of Heringey is one of the most well-to-do areas of London, specifically Muswell Hill.  Google Maps, however, failed to brief me on the altitude change from lower Islington to Alexandra Palace which was quite a steep grade.  By the time I made it to Alexandra Palace, I was ready to relax and enjoy the view.

Alexandra Palace sits in Alexandra Park (chicken or the egg??) which is atop one of the highest points in London.  It was named after Alexandra of Denmark who Prince Edward had recently married before the palace was constructed.  Alexandra Palace was built in 1873 to serve as a Crystal Palace (which was in South London) in North London.  The Crystal Palace originally stood in Hyde Park and was constructed for the Great Exhibition in 1851 (which would later evolve into the World Expo).  After the Exhibition, the Crystal Palace was relocated to a hill in South London, where, in 1936, it burned down.  However, the Alexandra Palace remains. 

Not to say that the Alexandra Palace didn’t see its struggles.  It, too, burned down (like virtually everything in London) 16 days after it opened, but was immediately rebuilt.  The building as served a variety of entertainment purposes since its creation.  Notably, the television station inside, operated by the BBC, was the first regular public "high definition" television service.  Certainly, this isn’t the same HD we know and love today.  Over the years, parts of the palace have been used as a theater, refugee camp during WWII, concert hall, ice hockey, library, museum, art galleries, and much more.

I wasn’t allowed inside, of course, because there was some sort of convention that had rented out the facility, but perhaps I will be able to next time.  For whatever reason, the way home on my bike was significantly more complicated than the way there, and I ended up “visiting” some of the worst parts of London.  While some of the richest people live in the western part of Heringey, the poorest individuals live in the eastern part.  Unfortunately, I don’t have any pictures (nor was I going to slow down to take the time) of this area.  You will just have to settle for the beautiful Alexandra Palace pictures.
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