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15 Jul 04

day 11: tate modern, sir john soane museum and simon and garfunkel in hyde park

on the advice of many, i headed down to the millenium bridge area of the south bank today to check out the tate modern. i don’t pretend to be an art connoisseur, but i enjoyed the tate on the whole more than the national gallery – perhaps it’s due to a distinct lack of jesus paintings at the tate. the building itself is quite cool – it used to be a power station and it was converted into a gallery. i took a few photos when i was able to, but, like most places, i wasn’t able to take many inside. anyway, i was able to see works by monet, picasso, cezanne, matisse, pollock, warhol, and a million people i’ve never heard of. i especially liked sam taylor-wood’s “still life 2001” – a dvd video of a time lapse fruit bowl as it decays over time. another standout was michael landy’s “scrapheap services” – a roomsized multimedia exhibit of a number of garbage collection devices (one dubbed “the vulture” – essentially a grinder), and little people-shaped papers littering the floor, accompanied by a video playing explaining that scrapheap services will clean up people who “no longer play a useful role in life”. pretty cool.

after spending a couple hours at the tate, i headed to sir john soane’s museum. i only had a couple more hours before i was to meet jo, and i didn’t wanna do a whirlwind tour of a larger museum, so i elected to go to this smaller place. sir john soane was a pretty famous architect and essentially a packrat. his house is full of a million little curiosities, and is pretty fun to look around at – it’s apparently been restored to exactly how it was when he had it open as a museum in the 1800s. the only downside was that part of it was closed for renovation (i.e. the part that sounded most interesting), but i can’t really complain for an admission price of free.

i went to dinner at the gourmet burger kitchen with jo and andrea (on andrea’s recommendation) and had an enormous hamburger. unlike the other two, i didn’t have a garlic mayo burger, and as such i was not responsible for the odours for the rest of the night. we headed to hyde park after dinner in time to catch simon and garfunkel’s sold out show for free. we couldn’t see the actual stage, but we could hear everything clearly, and could see the video screen. andrea’s friend craig provided the wine, and it was a fun night overall. we then fought our way into the tube, and i left jo to the insane mob heading east. i went west with substantially fewer people, but i ended up at a transfer point where trains only come every 15 mins or so, which kinda sucked.

when i got back to earl’s court i immediately called my mom. anne msned andrea and told her that peterborough is apparently in a state of emergency because of flooding – crazy! my mom’s house is relatively unscathed (save for some flooding in the laundry room) but her drive to work sounded pretty precarious. i didn’t get wet again today (nor did i have any allergies for the 3rd straight day), so i think london is winning at the moment.

tube observations from the last two days:
a) last night i was seated beside a guy who kept picking things out of his ear. i swear at one point he was up to his elbow in his ear, pulling out wax etc. and staring intently at it. when he started picking off scabs and staring at them intently, i stood up and moved to the other side of the train.
b) tonight i was sitting across from a guy who was plucking his eyebrows between earl’s court and hyde park corner…and quite frankly, his eyebrows looked as though the subway is the only time he ever plucks them. a few minutes later he began applying eye make up, so i guess that’s mystery solved. oh, and the best part of his look was his very very lazy eye. eep.

other randomness:
a) wow, everyone smokes here. and a LOT of people roll their own cigarettes.
b) i find it interesting that when people give their phone numbers, they often say “call me on 020 780 2422” instead of “at”. crazy brits.
c) a couple nights ago a woman in this internet cafe spent ten minutes screaming loudly at the clerk because her internet session ended before she could save two hours of work, and she swore she got no warning. i can’t imagine being that public with my annoyance about anything.
d) why do americans flaunt their americanness? it’s so bizarre – i guess they seriously have no clue that other countries really don’t like americans. they really do stick out like a sore thumb, in a city with a zillion cultures.

and now the internet cafe guy is kicking me out assertively. time to post.

6 Responses to “day 11: tate modern, sir john soane museum and simon and garfunkel in hyde park”

  1. 1
    andrea Says:

    craig brough the wine? oh, ok…i thought it was eric.

  2. 2
    pager Says:

    weird, i have NO idea where craig came from. i thought eric and typed craig.

  3. 3
    anne... Says:

    i am also no art connoisseur, but last night robin & i were near the power plant museum at harbourfront & i saw a neat piece of installation art… a HUGE ferris wheel. but instead of seats, it had platforms for 4 cars. you could pay $5 to take a spin, but i’m more of an appreciator than anything else.

  4. 4
    mitch Says:

    that is the coolest ferris wheel ever!

    on another note, i was going to e-mail about the peterborough state of emergency, but obviously you’re in the know now. i think it was supposed to rain more there today… crazy ontario weather. on that note, the sky suddenly went from pale grey-blue to dark black outside my window. maybe that’s my super power: weather by suggestion.

  5. 5
    el scotto Says:

    i was supposed to go for my g license test on thursday, but i guess with almost a foot of water in front of the mto building, there would be a problem with getting everyone out for their tests.

    of all the things i was worried about for my drivers test, a biblical flood was not one of them.

  6. 6
    pager Says:

    that biblical flood comment was the funniest thing i’ve read in a while.

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Date: 1883

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