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12 April 2005

the scars of years

i've been in london a week now and i'm really enjoying the city. here are some random thoughts:

. the full windsor is the knot of choice for 99% of london businessmen. pinstripe suits are very popular.

. i've found several websites claiming the thames is one of the cleanest metropolitan rivers in the world. right. i don't think the sunlight penetrates more than a foot, er... more than a third of a meter... into the murky brown water.

. i'm still looking the wrong way when crossing the street. although these signs appear at almost every intersection, they really don't help me. for some reason, i find myself looking at the upside down writing on the far side of the intersection which tells me to look the _wrong_ direction. it's really throwing me off.

. i'm not over the taste of coke here. it's almost like diet coke. and skittles... they don't taste the same either. black currant? twix... same story. not that i've been sustaining myself on coke and candy bars or anything, but... worth a mention.

. my gps has _really_ come in handy with navigation. with all of the london detail maps loaded, the gps identifies all points of interest.

end of random thoughts...

today i visited westminster abbey and the tate modern. the abbey, founded in the 10th century, has been the site of coronation for every monarach since the coronation of william i in 1066. it also houses the coronation chair that has been used at every coronation since 1308 as well as the tombs of approximately 3300 people, including kings, queens, important political leaders, and famous poets, musicians, and scientists. the history here is staggering. similar to that in the tower of london, even the graffiti is interesting. for a long while the coronation chair was accessible to the public and as such bears the scars of years of graffiti; i noted some carvings with dates in the early 1700's. i sought out two tombs in the abbey... that of sir isaac newton (1642-1727) and that of charles darwin (1809-1882). rip, gentlemen.

had a great time at the tate modern. i've never been into visiting art museums, but i really enjoyed the tate modern and spent a considerable amount of time there checking out all of the exhibits. in turbine hall on the bottom floor of the tate modern, bruce nauman's auditory exhibit called raw materials creates a collage of sound using a series of speakers hung on the walls. the sound samples are spoken word excerpts from existing texts set over an eery drone. the speakers are hung in pairs, creating 'bands of sound' and as you walk up and down the hall, you're able to pick out different sounds and conversations. great introduction to the museum.

another cool exhibit in the tate modern centered around a cabinet which held various artifacts recovered in an archaeological dig from each bank of the thames. in 1999, mark dion and a team of vounteers found all sorts of items including animal bones, pottery, nails, dolls, shells... you can imagine what might be recovered from a river next to a two thousand year old city. all of these items are on display in the drawers and on the shelves of the cabinet, all meticulously sorted into various categories. very interesting stuff.

posted by paul on Tue 12 Apr 2005 at 22:30:11 est (-05:00)


You should check out the Taint-Shredder museum in South London. It blows Tate Modern away.
Lot's of amazing taint exhibits ...

posted by Gendreau on Fri 15 Apr 2005 at 10:44:19 est (-05:00)

when i was there, i imagined i would meet my early demise in a crosswalk, with my head turned to the left.

posted by donna on Fri 15 Apr 2005 at 10:45:23 est (-05:00)

Hey whats up Paul, got word of the blog and suffice to say its been keeping me sane on those long law school days. Anyways, I'd recommend checking out Camden town market on Sunday morning/afternoon--real funky place, you'd probably enjoy it.

posted by Eric Finkelstein on Fri 15 Apr 2005 at 21:11:06 est (-05:00)

donna: i've come close.

gendreau and finkelstein: glad to see you guys tuned in. gendreau, i'm sorry, i won't be able to check out the taint shredder. sa-NAP.

posted by paul recon on Sat 16 Apr 2005 at 06:39:38 est (-05:00)

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