Thursday, September 3, 2015

Along the Jack the Ripper Trails

An utter fascination of mine, the mid-19th century mystery of Jack the Ripper, an unidentified serial killer believed to have committed London's most notorious unsolved murders. Ripper was believed to have committed the grotesque murders of five prostitutes in the then impoverished area of Whitechapel located in East London. The neighborhood was crime-filled and heavily populated by eastern European Jewish refugees, as well as Irish immigrants. A pub laden Commercial Street was an invitation for sex-workers, believed to be the main thoroughfare the victims traveled before their savagery deaths – presumed to have been committed by Jack the Ripper, also coined "the Whitechapel Murderer."

I began my journey at the Whitechapel Underground (Tube) station, traveling east along Whitechapel Road, a community densely populated by middle-eastern and muslin settlers with a host of landmarks, which includes the Royal London Hospital, East London Mosque and the London Ambassador College. An unassuming gentleman directed me to the heart of the Whitechapel murders, the epicenter of its history, a pub called the Ten Bells. A friendly bartender freely provided information on the murders, highlighting the connection between the Ten Bells and the notorious killings. I enjoyed a glass of white wine while I documented details.

Annie Chapman and Mary Jane Kelly, both Ripper's victims were said to have frequented the Ten Bells. It is believed to be the last place they were both seen before their gruesome deaths. A couple of murals depicting the mid-19th century eccentric dressed prostitutes draped the walls of the Ten Bells, a distinctive attraction for numerous curious onlookers who dipped in and out of the pub to take photos and selfies for memorabilia.

Later, I roamed the alleys where the canonical five were found dead. The experience was still quite daunting even after two centuries. Unburdened by my 3.2 pound camera hanging from my neck and my aching feet, I journeyed along my self-guided trails aided by a detailed map.

There are several Jack the Ripper nightly tours in Whitechapel for as little as £10. Most originate from the Aldgate and Liverpool Street Underground (Tube) station. However, there is a Free tour (donations only) at 8pm from the Tower Hill Underground (Tube) station. Just look for the tour guide with the orange umbrella when you exit the station. All tours take you to the murder locations of the canonical five, including the site where the first clue was discovered.

There are a number of fascinating things to see and do in London. If the Whitechapel murders happen to be one you fancy, an exhibit titled, Jack the Ripper and the East End will be on display at the Museum of London this Fall. Perhaps I may journey back to London for its historic unveiling. Until then...Cheers.

Copyright © 2015 Denrique Preudhomme. All Rights Reserved.

Friday, June 26, 2015

The Tactless Beggar

Riding a subway train early one morning when a drunken dude entered, "Hi everyone, I got hit by a drunk illegal immigrate who left me damaged, then, he left the country, go figure, so I’m asking for your contributions however small," he announced rapidly.

I wondered whether he was a tactless Republican running for office, in which case, he had a much better pitch that Mitt Romney. 

A commiserating chap offered the imbecile some change, while I wondered whether to offer him a piece of my mind. I opted to allow his ignorance to precede him, and his bigotry to become a realization for his circumstances. 

I contend that his phantom "illegal immigrate" is in mighty better shape than he; though his ignorance allowed him to assume superiority, based on differences. 

Go with God, Mr. Speaker, and do not let those train doors hit you, as I am certain Metro does not give a rat's behind about you or your fictitious tale.

Copyright© 2015 Denrique Preudhomme. All Rights Reserved.

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

He, Undocumented and Deceased

WASHINGTON, DC -- Preaching, pasting, praying for recognition in a city where power or politics dictates a man’s existent. Alienated and undocumented without concern, unwanted and unmasked, yet unashamed. The irony is, the U.S. Government seems to not care about "undocumented aliens" unless they are from foreign territories.

He braved his circumstances a little beyond three decades it would seem, but, the brutal winter – a winter of despair – masked his icy body and covered him with a blanket of death.

I did not know his name, or from whence he came. What I know is that he exuded a level of pride amidst his poverty, as he stood homeless below the NoMa metro train tracks.

Respectfully he preached, and often he waited in silence. Humbly, he accepted my support. I was unencumbered by his infrequent rants, but moved by his respect and lack of provocation. Now, I am extremely saddened by his death.

Copyright © 2015 Denrique Preudhomme. All Rights Reserved.

RIP. In memory of… Mr. He

Saturday, December 20, 2014

Holiday Image

Chivalry was at its best this morning when this teenaged looking young man tapped my handbag as I stood on the train. "Miss, would you like this seat?" he offered kindly, and I, extremely moved by his charm and gentle look—a look that contrasted his trendy urban attire and rugged exterior—obliged. It was distinctively the moment I felt the holiday spirit, despite the streaming sound of Josh Groban coming from my ipod. I marveled at the youngster's coy look each time we made eye contact, as he stood in his bad-boy apparel.

Perhaps, this youngster came from a stellar upbringing, a soldier of influence marching amidst his clique, a heart of compassion rebellious among his flock, an unassuming gentleman confused by his existence, an unmistakable messenger, a son, a brother, a human being who I might have inaccurately judged had he not offered me his seat.

Later, just before he departed the train, he flashed an impish smile and I returned a warm one.

How will you be judged this holiday season? For who you are? Or for who you are pretending to be?

Copyright 2014© Denrique Preudhomme. All Rights Reserved.

Sunday, March 10, 2013

Parking Ticket Blues

In a recent survey I conducted, I asked 100 people (50 men and 50 women) the following two questions:
Question 1) If a friend offers to give you a lift to and from an event and after the event discovers that he/she (the driver) received a parking ticket, would you:
(a)    Sympathize with your friend and offer to pay half of the ticket?
(b)    Sympathize with your friend and offer to pay all of the ticket?
(c)    Sympathize with your friend and not offer to pay any of the ticket?

Question 2) If you were the driver of the vehicle and the passenger (a friend) offers to pay half or all of the parking ticket, would you:
(a)    Thank him/her and accept the offer for half of the ticket?
(b)    Thank him/her and accept the offer for all of the ticket?
(c)    Thank him/her and decline the entire offer?

Here are my findings:
Question 1
60% of women vs. 46% of men said if they were a passenger and their friend (the driver) got a parking ticket they would offer to pay half of the ticket.

37% of men vs. 20% of women said they would offer to pay the full ticket.

20% of women felt, while they would sympathize with their friend over a parking ticket, they would not offer to pay any of the expense. 17% of men felt the same with one male citing that he would not sympathize with negligence, as it is a driver’s responsibility to be cognizant of parking rules and regulations.
A greater 54% of both men and women said they would offer to pay half of the ticket, 28% said they would offer to pay the full ticket, and 18% said they would not offer to pay any of the ticket.

Question 2
23% of men vs. 17% of women said if they were the driver of a vehicle who received a parking ticket after an event in which they offered to take a friend, they would accept their friend’s offer to pay half of the ticket (most men stated, only if the friend were male. If female, they would not accept any offer).

10% of women vs. 7% of men said they would accept an offer for the full cost of the ticket, while 73% of women vs. 70% of men said they would decline all offers.
An overwhelming 72% of both men and women said they would decline any offer to defray the cost of a parking ticket, 8% said they would accept a full offer, and 12% said they would accept an offer for only half of the ticket.  

Most Popular Combined Answers
35% of both men and women who said they would offer to pay half of the parking ticket, also said they would decline any offer made. 18% of both men and women who said they would not offer to pay any of the parking ticket, also said they would not accept any money offered. 17% of both men and women who said they would offer to pay the full cost of the parking ticket, also said they would not accept any money offered. 30% felt otherwise.

General Responses
Although explanations for answers were not required, most people cited that it is the driver’s responsibility to ensure that he/she parks according to parking rules and regulations; therefore, no one should have to contribute to his/her own negligence. However, others believed that in keeping with general etiquette, it is polite to sympathize and offer to pay for some or all of the parking ticket. In the same token—in keeping with general etiquette—most believed that while an offer would be a courteous gesture, they would not accept a single dollar for their own negligence. One male pointed out that due to his cultural norms and practice, his response could only be two things Q1. offer to pay the entire ticket, and Q2. decline the entire offer.

I purposely refrained from rendering any of my opinions in this statistical report, simply because I would rather leave the floor open to hear yours. Please feel free to share your thoughts/comments on my findings.

Thanks to those of you who participated in the survey!
Copyright © 2013 Denrique Preudhomme. All Rights Reserved.

Monday, June 4, 2012

Susan G. Komen for Support

Perfect! is the way I would describe the weather on June 2, 2012, the morning of the Susan G. Komen Global Race for The Cure in Washington, DC, an event that was established because of a promise Nancy Brinker, founder of the Susan G. Komen for The Cure® (formerly Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation®), made almost thirty years ago to her dying sister, Susan G. Komen, who was battling breast cancer. Komen was only thirty-six when she died.

The Komen organization is known as the world’s largest grassroots network of breast cancer survivors and activists. The organization continues to provide cumulative knowledge and awareness to, not only women, but everyone, to work together to save lives, empower people, ensure quality care for all and energize science to find a cure.

Unfortunately, according to the Associated Press, due to the controversy earlier this year—the Komen organization’s decision to withdraw breast-examination funding from Planned Parenthood—registration for the race was down 36 percent, despite the decision being quickly reversed to continue to fund Planned Parenthood.

As a 12-year supporter of the Susan G. Komen for The Cure®, my interest lies in my commitment to help save lives and not in the politics of the organization. I hope that the organization’s partners, sponsors and other supporters would put politics aside and continue their contributions to help the organization fight against breast cancer and continue to save lives.  

Copyright© 2012 Denrique Preudhomme. All Rights Reserved.

RIP: Essle Davidson and Hazel Rogers-Dick

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Hurricane Cheney

After Hurricane Irene swept the East Coast leaving minimal damage but massive floods, residence were left to deal with reptiles, including snakes in their homes and backyards. Among those adversaries was former Vice President, Dick Cheney who apparently caught the Republicans without a sand bag to fend against his fierce tongue-lashing commentary.

Cheney released his biography this month title, The Life and Times of Dick Cheney. Within two days of its release, the political chronicle sparked more controversy than a Lady Gaga outfit. In his stormy, self-complimenting memoir, Cheney takes a stab at his Grand Old Party, lampooning everyone including his former partner in The-War-in-Iraq crime, G. W. Bush—who he previously had a [public] relationship dismantle with. Frankly, I am sure none of it comes as a surprise to the GOP, since Cheney in used to shooting friends in the neck.

In an ABC interview earlier this week, Cheney also took a stab at President Obama. He expressed skepticism in Obama’s confidence to steer America out of its current economic recession and added that Hillary Clinton is the most formidable candidate to succeed him.

The question is: Will Cheney’s attacks help steer the course of the 2012 Presidential election, or will it die quickly resulting in minimal damage just like Hurricane Irene?

Copyright © Denrique Preudhomme. All Rights Reserved.