Having recently relinquished his position as a BBC radio host following a crude on-air caper, an incident which occurred shortly after infuriating Twilight fans by interrupting the movie’s romantic lead Robert Pattinson at the VMAs, UK comedian Russell Brand seemed to have found solace from the recent scandals as he boarded a ferry for Alcatraz, where he strolled among the cells which once held some of history’s most notorious criminals.
A site silenced by time, today the former federal prison is a National Historic landmark, an architectural skeleton whose story is passed on to the visitors listening to an audio tour complete with inmates testimonies of life at “the Rock.”
Now enjoying its new life as a top tourist attraction, Alcatraz’s haunting history is slowly being reclaimed by nature’s beauty. Outside the walls which once held George “Machine Gun” Kelly, the “Birdman of Alcatraz” and Al Capone, a garden once planted by the families of the corrections officers now runs free on the land, serving as a home for over 25 species of birds. The grounds also welcome diverse Native American tribes each years as stirring sunrise ceremonies are conducted.
Not long after his sojourn to San Francisco, Russell Brand will be boarding a flight headed for the big island of Hawaii as filming gets underway on the cinematic retelling of Shakespeare’s The Tempest.