Sunday, November 04, 2007

The South Bank

(This is another repost of the entry I made a while ago - I guess Blogger was having some problems with photos, but hopefully that's all worked out now!)

This starts the series of posts I'll have about my past weekend in London - prepare for a lot of new pictures!

I took the opportunity to travel down to the South Bank of the Thames at the beginning of my trip. I had traveled down from Grantham at and arrived near noon. A quick trip via the Underground and I was at London Bridge. A little wandering brought me to the above: the Borough Market. I hadn't had the opportunity to browse through any of London's famous markets quite yet, so I wandered in to check it out. This shot doesn't do the place justice - it was literally a series of gymnasium-sized rooms absolutely FILLED with people, products and produce. There were vendors of every possible food - organics, ales, ciders, venison, sandwiches, jams, etc. etc. etc. I grabbed a salami/pepperoni sandwich with some aeoli and munched it on my way out and about!I decided I'd head over to the Tate Modern to get my first experience with Modern Art (I had some fears, let me tell you!) and along the way I happened upon... The World Headquarters for the Financial Times!!! I wish I could have gotten the full name in this picture, but what can you do... Yay for being a nerd!

OK, on to the Tate Modern. They're featuring a Louis Bourgeois gallery or something (didn't go in) so they have one of his massive sculptures out in the front courtyard. The title is the french word for Mother, and he said the sculpture was meant to represent his mother - powerful, productive, efficient, and protective. I prefer to think he had some other less-kosher issues with his mother... Anyway, it was an awesome statue - it's about 30 ft. tall and has an even wider leg-span...

The museum was neat - saw my first Pollack, Monet and Picasso works, which was cool. But you tend to bump into some of the most eclectic/coolest people ever in museums, don't you? I won't pretend that I understood or even enjoyed all of the art I came across, but it was a good experience because I found a painting that I really really liked. I don't know if it was a combination of being in the artsy environment, or if I was tired, or if the piece just really affected me that much, but I was nearly brought to tears by this one 10 ft. x 15 ft. weird thing called Spitz by Bernard Frize. If you Google Image you only get little versions, so it's a little different - but I'm a firm believer in the notion that there are pieces of art out there that can, do, and will have this affect on you. There aren't many, but they're out there. This was one of them for me... Salvador Dali's space elephants one is also one of my favorites... Do you have any?

And the final installment for this part -- Street Performers! It was a Friday afternoon by the time I got to wandering around this area of town, but they were everywhere! I saw a tin man, a wizard, a pirate, a frog/lizard thing, a king/queen set - and this guy! He's wearing a mask, but everything is painted in such a way that he was the most realistic-looking statue guy out on the plaza. They all stand stark still until you throw a coin in their hat/bucket thing, but this guy had a neat little trick where he'd drop some feed from his pocket or something and pigeons would all come flock around him -- some sat on his head, his shoulders, one would rest right there on his hand - it was very cool! So I definitely recommend wandering around this area to check out the performers at some point if you can!
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