I thought I’d leave something little before I’m out and about exploring this weekend. My sore throat is nearly gone and I’ve been taking it easy. Tuesday involved a bit of class, but I left after lunch, rented a graphic novel from the library and took it to Gail’s, a local bakery and café we like to frequent. The weather has been exceptional this week so sitting on the patio was necessary. I have never read a graphic novel before, but due to a recommendation from a good friend and an upcoming essay over gender and ethnicity in graphic novels, I thought I should start now with Art Spiegelman’s Maus and Maus II. It’s heavily based on the Holocaust, which makes me anxious for my trip to Germany next month. I quite enjoyed it and threw the three hundred pages down in a day and a half.
I went to the Museum of London on Wednesday with class. The whole place is interactive and compelling. Though we must move quickly through the exhibits, I understand a bit more of London’s long and wild history. America seems like an infant in comparison, yet we have entire courses dedicated to American history alone. Entire degrees, even. It’s a lot to soak up here.
If you haven’t seen London at night, you haven’t seen it at its best. One of my social program outings involved a pub walk on Wednesday night. We started at Blackfriars Bridge, stopped at the Doggett, walked the bank past Tate Modern, The Globe Theatre and found our way into The Anchor, a lovely “authentic” pub. The walk ended near London Bridge at St. George’s and I traced my way back home. This wasn’t anything I hadn’t seen yet, but the guide added a little history which is always welcome and I got to see London in her glory hours.
I thought I would become homesick in March. I remember sitting with my flatmates our first week, thinking that March will probably be the hardest. But I’m still kicking and though I’m losing memory of tacos, queso, spicy foods, pancakes, real peanut butter and homecooked meals, I don’t find myself being tugged back by any means. Thursday was the first day of Spring in London, I promise. It’s early, which I applaud. On my walk to class, I saw buds on the twigs and there are daffodils appearing in unusual places. Tulips are blooming and London’s awakening from it’s slumber. I’m ready to see this transformation in the next few weeks, yet it pains me that March is moving so swiftly already. I don’t want to go home in May. I cringe often at the calendar and try to shake the feeling of May from my bones. I don’t have to go home, right?
Thursday was my first official deadline and I wasn’t phased by it. My proposal was done long before. My next task to create a book so stay tuned. I rushed home from class, threw in my backpack and walked to the east side for London’s First Thursday Gallery Tour. This first Thursday of each month, over a hundred galleries open their doors to the public, offering installations, art and free booze. I ended up walking around with my two program directors who took me to six different galleries. I’ve spent so little time exploring Hoxton, Shoreditch and Brick Lane, but this gallery adventure gives me more reason to return. We popped into large galleries and ones that required you to enter through a hole in the wall down a dark alley in Brick Lane where men jump out of walls to get you into their curry establishment. They must distinguish themselves from the other fifty-three (I kid you not) curry restaurants on the same stretch of road. I was introduced to Beigel Bakery where I’ll be back to indulge in a Salt Beef Beigel. The queue is always out the door, a helpful indicator of its quality. One of our unplanned stops was at a trendy diner where Mr. H (Bill Cosby as Mr. Huxtable) was on exhibit. I even ate a cupcake with his face.
You’ll have to excuse the photography this week, I didn’t shlep around my camera at all. I’ll make up for it this weekend in Barcelona! I’m off bright and early, too early probably, but I can’t bear the thought of missing my flight.