Well, no parade and no fireworks, so we began our July 4th by visiting King's Cross station and having a group nerdfest at the site of Platform 9 3/4. A group photo was taken and all pretended that we had our owls packed up and ready to head off for Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. None were actually successful on making it through the wall, so we instead resigned ourselves to careers as muggle librarians and headed off to our appointment at the British Library.
The structure of the library is really interesting as the heart of the building is The King's Library, which is a 6 story tower consisting of the collection of George III. It is not only visually striking, but functional as it is utilized by librarians throughout the day to retrieve rare books and music.
One notable item on display here is the Klencke Atlas, from Amsterdam c. 1660, presented to Charles II, which stands 6 feet 1 inch tall and contains 41 printed wall maps. There are changing exhibits at the library as well; currently they are featuring "Poetry in Sound: The Music of Benjamin Britten." I've found in general here that there is a greater integration of books and music as 'literature' and music/composers are not so treated as an entirely different entity.
I had to detox the historical and literary centers of my brain that were positively buzzing by following the visit with some shopping. I found the biggest Topshop in London (where in addition to clothes and accessories one can purchase a full range of beauty services in their salon, or maybe eyebrow threading was on your shopping list? For a more alternative shopping experience Topshop also features a piercing studio and a tattoo parlour!) and I also visited the flagship Marks & Spencer, and rounded out the trip with Selfridges. Jeremy Piven was not present.