8282OT - To Morris - Oxford: A Nice Place To Park Your Car
- Oct 8, 2004Dear Morris,
I would like to tell you a little about my home town. Firstly
we are fortunate that Sri Chinmoy has visited Oxford nine times.
This has included several lectures and two concerts. Oxford has a
unique history and is home to one of the greatest Universities in
the World. The other great Universities being The Sorbonne, Yale,
Harvard and the University of East Anglia.
The Romans made Oxford a centre for pottery. But the main city
was founded by the Saxon princess Frideswide who founded a religious
community on the site of Oxford's Cathedral and the Main crossing of
the river (Oxenford).
Teaching at Oxford started to evolve in the 11th Century.
However by the 13th Century rioting between Town and Gown (townspeople
and students) led to the establishment of halls of residence and the
first University colleges. Rioting is no longer commonplace but there
is still a good natured rivalry between the locals and the students.
Oxford has been the scene of many great intellectual
debates. In 1860 the new University museum was the scene of a famous
debate between Thomas Huxley (champion of evolution) and Bishop
Wilberforce. In the 1930s the Oxford Union shocked the country by
passing a motion that " This house would not fight for King and Country"
Oxford is famed for its beautiful buildings and dreaming
spires. From certain vantage points there are beautiful panoramic
vistas of the town. However not all buildings are beautiful. In the
1960s the general consensus of the planners was "We have quite a few
beautiful buildings lets build a few ugly ones for a change." Hence we
have a great concrete monstrosity which is the town's multi storey
car park. Nestled amongst the dreaming spires we also have our fair
share of McDonalds, Starbucks e.t.c
Oxford has a strong literary history. Writers include Lewis Carroll,
Tolkien and C.S.Lewis. It was in Oxford that the imaginary worlds of
Narnia land, Middle Earth and Alice's Wonderland were invented. Even
the recent Harry Potter film was partly filmed in Christ Church
Cathedral. For this and many other reasons, Oxford in summer, is
flooded with Tourists.
However if your lucky an American will ask you
"So where's the University?".
Of course the great joke for locals is that there is no actual Oxford
University building, only several different colleges.
Apart from the University, Oxford is also home to a large car factory
which specialises in producing the British classic car, The Mini.
Whatever Cambridge may say about their town; they haven't got a car
factory. (Not that we compete with Cambridge in anyway)
Oxford has also witnessed many notable sporting successes.
Most famously Roger Bannister ran the first sub 4 minute mile on the
University track in 1954. Ashrita (2001) was to later break the 1 mile
pogo stick world record on the same track. A little less prestigious
maybe, but it was still good fun to watch.
However a true Oxonian will tell you that Oxford's greatest
sporting triumph came in the mid 1980s when Oxford United FC (backed
by the now disgraced tycoon Robert Maxwell) won the prestigious Milk Cup
Morris you are always most welcome to visit my home town. I
shall take you to visit the dreaming spires, or if you prefer the Mini
factory. But not Starbucks. I won't take you there. (Chidabhas will
Actually Oxford isn't my home town.
I moved here when I came to University aged 18.
My home town is a place in Yorkshire called Menston. However nothing
has ever happened in Menston - ever.
Also if I wrote about Yorkshire I would end up telling you things like
" Aye lad , we was just lucky to `ave a roof over us hed. Ohh we
used to dream of livin in a 'ouse"
As you can see I had better stop before the AM bans Yorkshire English.
--- In Sri_Chinmoy_Inspiration@yahoogroups.com, morrisklein27
> It looks like the students of Sri Chinmoy are among the most well-
> travelled people in the world. I've read a lot of beautiful
> descriptions of many famous places on this site- Stonehenge, the
> beaches of Bali and Dover, Kamakura, etc.
> Now I want to hear about your hometown, be it New York City or some
> backwater in the Ozarks. Why should I visit your village or city?
> What stupendous but well-kept secret does your town possess? What's
> the best place to stay or the best restaurant to eat at? What does
> your city have in terms of art or architecture. Also I want to hear
> weird random factoids- have there been any recent alien abductions?
> Do toilets flush up in your part of the world? Do you live in a
> climate that's very hot or very cold which forces people to adapt in
> interesting ways?
> I live in Queens, but I'll be writing an article about my hometown of
> R. in Pennsylvania. Maybe a native of Queens can write something
> about growing up here.
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