Friday, June 15, 2007

London

Everyone sounds like they're from Monty Python.[1]

Rachel and I went different ways. She went to the library and the Sacred expedition and so on with our friend (Aviva Deutch), and then shopping for food for shabbat.

I started in Notting Hill and the Portabello Market. Lovely. I stopped by numerous used books, records, and other items, including some wonderful old metal signs, aqnd bought some delicious blackberries for £1. I took pictures, but you'll have to wait.

Then I made my way to a large mall-like store near Bond station. I can never remember the name of the damn place, but it has some kosher product in the food court. But first I had to find it.

To do that, I asked in the Kabbalah center near Bond station. Interestingly, from outside the center, the only thing you can see in it is a line of books about sex. I guess kabbalah sex, or something. In any case, they were able to point me in the right direction, in any case.

Outside the center I also met a nice haredi man, who was pleased as punch to shake hands with a Jerusalemite and speak Hebrew.

The unnamed store is a horrid mall-like experience. At least in a mall, there is a wall between each shop; in this place, it's one huge department store, but all competing hawkers and contrasting music at loud levels. I found my food, lingered over some natural root beer, and left.

After that I heard that there were lovely things to see on Strand near Charing Cross, but I couldn't see anything from the top of the street, so I went into Trafalgar square, past the statues and pigeons, and into the National Gallery.

The gallery has four sections divided by time period. I made it through the most modern (Monet, Renoir, etc) at a reasonable pace. Then I went through the earlier period (Rembrant, etc.) at a quicker pace. Then I felt that I was running out of time, so I skipped the rest. Maybe I'll try to come back.

My sense from what I saw is that I have a lot more respect for the earlier painters than from the later ones. Yeah, there's something exciting and fresh about Monet and Renoir, but it doesn't really hold a candle, for me, to the awesome technique of the classic painters.

This is probably a long discussion about art, so I'll leave off for now.

Next I crossed to the Thames, over the bridge crossing the Thames, and over to the ferris wheel. Where I decided not to stand in line for a very long time to pay £14.50 for a ride, and also not to pay £16.50 for the Star Wars exhibit nearby. Shame. But London is very, very expensive, and I need to save my already dwindling supply of money.

Then north to Queens Gardens station around where I'm staying for shabbat. Then shopping for vegetables.

Now it's almost shabbat. The place where we're staying has an internet connection, as you can see. So I'll probably see you on the other side of shabbat, as well. I'm still hoping to get away from the Internet entirely next week. We shall see.

Yehuda

[1] I'm sure I'm not the first one to have said this.

4 comments:

Fellonmyhead said...

You did the best thing - every time I go to London I steer clear of the Eye and the more expensive exhibitions. I mean, it's just a big wheel; why the expense?

I can recommend the Tate Modern 9if you get time); most of it is free (it only costs for any current exhibitions they have running along with the normal exhibition).

One day I'll get to browse round Portabello, but for some reason we always end up somewhere else (Camden Lock, usually).

andyl said...

That's both of you (and shame on you fellonmyhead you should know better). It is Portobello Market nor Portabello. Its not like there isn't a game with the same name or anything.

BTW Yehuda it is also the Strand not just Strand - you obviously haven't played the British version of Monopoly. London is weird in that some places are always referred to with the definite article. So you have The Strand, and the Mall for example and never Strand or Mall.

I'm not going to add to things to see as there are probably too many for your tight timescales.

Pleader said...

Ah, holidays! A total break from internet sounds good. I'd take the opportunity...

Fellonmyhead said...

Yeah, shame on me; maybe it's because I am NOT a Londoner!