Friday, July 13, 2007

London Trip

I haven't written in quite some time, which is blasphemous. The days fly by quickly here but here's a tribute to tempus fugit.

After class yesterday a few friends and I jumped on a train and headed off through the green countryside into London. The train is a little quicker than the bus, and it was nice to ride on a traditional passenger train (besides a subway and vehicles like that) for the first time in my life.

After the subway we headed over to the Tate Modern, a free museum of modern art. The building is ginormous. (As a side note, normally I would never use the word ginormous. But I recently read an article about words that have just been added to the Webster's dictionary and ginormous happens to be one of them. I thought I would employ it once to see how it feels but I can't embrace the word yet). The ceilings are incredibly tall and much of the building seems unfinished and industrial. That's not to say it's not beautiful though. It's just nontraditional, which I suppose you could expect from a museum of modern art. You go in and feel miniscule compared to the building's dimensions. We didn't have time to conquer the entire museum (I think I could spend weeks there simply because I like to watch every complimentary video and read every informational plaque offered). We saw an excellent surrealist exhibit but I was particularly taken with an exhibit on cities.

I was moved by the fact that every hour 45 people are added to the Mumbai population and 31 people are added to the Shanghai population. The displays were pretty shocking and put a lot of urgency on the importance of changing the way we live so our world and cities can accommodate a growing population. My only beef was that there was little, if any information on the people who are acting progressively to fix the apparent issues. It didn't honor pioneers or those attempting to make changes already. But the museum certainly raised awareness, and for that I'm grateful. We walked around the exhibits until the museum staff started filing us out of the place. I'm going to have to go back, but I thought I'd offer a quick recap for now.

The Tate Modern logo.

After leaving the Tate we headed over to the Golden Jubilee pedestrian bridge. On the bridge we could look at the London bridge, which one of my friends said is actually in Arizona. I haven't fact checked this so don't quote me, but apparently some rich person bought the original London Bridge and the one we saw yesterday was a remake. Nevertheless, the metal pedestrian Golden Jubilee bridge seems quite narrow and somewhat dangerous. The sides secure people with metal wires and supports that go up to my chest. I wouldn't be afraid of falling off much, but someone with the intent of falling definitely could. Even then, with the wind I was holding onto my belongings with dear life. It would have been easy for something to simply blow away into the water. The bridge was beautiful though, and it was quite an experience.

The Golden Jubilee Pedestrian Bridge.

After crossing the bridge one of my friends had received a recommendation from another friend who had traveled Europe and found an excellent organic and inexpensive restaurant in London. Called Leon's (exterior pictured below), we all had excellent flatbread wraps with unbelievably crisp lettuce.

After the Tate and Leon's we capped off the night with a Marnie Stern concert and train ride home. It was an excellent evening, mixed with discovery and experience. Today is more of a relaxing get-myself-together with homework and workout day, but I thought I'd take a few minutes to recap the latest developments.

As always, thanks for reading and I'm off...

Currently listening to: Steel Train - "Blown Away"


Jaclyn Muns said...

you know steel train?! that's amazing - i was so in love with them my senior year of college! such great taste you have :)