Saturday, July 14, 2012

London Part 2

This part of my journal starts with Hyde Park, after having gone to the British museum I had walked down Oxford street, a very posh, clothing store laden part of London which completely overwhelmed me with people and colors, but underwhelmed me in the sense of architecture. I did not take pictures of oxford street because I was too busy trying to figure out current fashions and how I will never dress like that mannequin..or that one..or oh god why is she wearing a cotton candy wig and too many ruffles? Once escaping Oxford street I found the Marble arch and Hyde Park, which is quite beautiful with several wonderful rose gardens and walks, and in the middle in the Serpentine, do you recognize those chairs from any paintings? I spent the afternoon there walking, reading, and getting some sun.

Once finished with lallygagging about the park I continued my walking until I stumbled across the Royal Mews and Buckingham Palace itself. The queens gallery had a DaVinci show on, but no photographs were allow, it was phenomenal, if you are in London this summer check that and the Damien Hirst exhibitions out, as well as the Peter Paul Reuben hall at the National gallery, but more on that later.The royal Mews were where the Monarchs Horses, horse grooms, etc where kept alongside of the royal carriage. The Golden carriage weighs something ridiculous like a ton, and the stables were once the finest place for horses, but not suitable to actually live in day in and day out, so the horses actually live else where now.

From Buckingham Palace, for which the pictures are being funky and not uploading, I managed to find myself in Chinatown. Which smelled delicious and was not nearly as crowded as the Chinatown in San Fransisco I visited last year with my sister. It was lovely, and I had to restrain myself from getting more lucky cats and/or dragons.

Over the course of the next couple of days I walked back through china town in a very roundabout route to go see Parliament, Big Ben, Westminster Abbey and several other embankment gems. I really did the Mega-tourist tour of the city.The London eye was a pretty neat contraption, it hangs out over the river Thames and probably has some amazing views of the city, but for 30 euro and long wait I decided to keep walking to the beautiful, imposing building of Parliament. The spires reminded me of spun sugar, it would have been neat to see the inside of the building.
Not Parliament, but a beautiful building in its own right.

West Minster Abbey did not allow you to take photographs inside, but the out side of it was quite amazing. In case you were wondering, the difference between a Cathedral (like St. Paul's) and an Abbey is the different roles the buildings play in the religious order. A cathedral is usually the larger of the two and houses the eepiscopal throne, where an abbey was once part f a convent or monastery.

The next day I found myself at the Tate Britain, which housed several of John Singer Sergeants paintings, yes I have a favorite painter and yes it is him. I spent a while in its halls thinking about how painting is done, and how wonderful it is, and what not.

 I'm a terrible art student and forgot to record these artists down when I took photographs of their work! One is a Reuben, the white grey one in the guilded frame and the flowers were a dutch still life painter. The following day I found my way to the Natural History museum after getting horrendously turned around in Chealsea, it was the one moment during the entire trip where I rued my decision for refusing public transport, I got lost for about three hours and ended up  in a very fancy part of town. When I got to the museum it was pretty coool, but spoiled by the years I spent in the Boston Museum of science, so the exhibits where to easy to understand and thus pass by. There were a lot of neat exotic stuffed animals and bones though.

Since I had more daylight to kill I went next door from the Natural History Museum to the Victoria and Albert museum, which was filled with enormous Reuben Canvases, plaster casts of hundreds of famous monuments and statues, hundreds of little bronzes casts and all of them were from the Romanesque periods and Gothic, as well as a few ancient high crosses. In other words, something akin to sculptural heaven for me.

This. This is one of Da Vincis Codex's!

Albrecht Durer

And this ends part Two out of hopefully three blog posts. I cannot handle how much art I saw and had to respond to. It was a veritable playground for thought and creativity, and I am starting to feel that all serious art students either need to study near these institutions or make regular pilgrimage to them, these museums were breathe taking.