Friday, September 30, 2011

In London, thinking about Wall Street.

It feels kind of funny, being so far from my home country when stuff really hits the news.

I don't pretend to know if Occupy Wall Street will go down in the books, maybe, maybe not. And I haven't pulled my head out of the sands of London long enough to actually formulate an opinion on the event itself.

Well, I sort of have.

I think that I would much rather people take action on what they see going wrong than sit around in front of TV.

If you disagree, take (peaceful, please) opposing action.
Looking at the list of cities organizing similar protests is.....what? Not frightening, certainly. Not surprising, since economic conditions, and therefore the conditions in which we live, have been unstable, scary, difficult, angering, so on, for awhile now.

Yeah, yeah, I know it could be worse. But that is no reason to let it get worse.
Answering my own previous question, then, about the spread of protests, it is reassuring to me, I think. It....ahh I'm not sure how to say this. Whether or not I entirely agree with the protests, (and I do agree on some levels), it's good to know people have some spark in them, some fire, a lack of passivity.

That's all.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Just some wanderings about.

This is basically me running around with a camera. Enjoy. There will be many, many more posts like this. I am beginning to realize that updating this will probably happen at least once a week, twice if we're lucky. It will depend on the week....
And if you ever come to London, here is a snippet of anecdotal advice about transport...

There was a combination moment today.. It was the combination of a good dubstep remix of Pink Floyd’s Brain Damage, the top of a double decker bus, being curled up in the front corner seat, and the sunshine on the spires and graffiti.

The tube is great, yeah, it’s got personality, it’s got stories, it’s the most prime place for people-watching evah, it’s quick. But…’s UNDERGROUND.

If you want to look at London, not just see it.... top of the double-decker, every time.

Other anecdotes, then some pictures.

on that same bus ride, I saw a man standing at a crosswalk, wearing a red shirt, green skinny jeans, and no shoes. No socks neither. And I wanted to say to him "Sir, if you are trying to represent Christmas, wear shoes." and then I realized that was hypocritical because I wanted to go barefoot too. But there's too much litter around for that.

There is a different ethic regarding litter here, because they have street-sweepers. It is acceptable to leave litter in the following places: on top of rubbish bins (NO LOGIC, WHATSOEVER), in telephone booths, on ledges, on the tube, on top of newspaper dispensers, basically any flat surface or corner.

Also I was trying to get to class last Saturday, and the tube stop was closed, and so Jessica and I were being all independent and figuring out the buses, and being late, when I saw a man on the corner wearing a gorilla suit. I giggled internally and thought no more of it. Not five minutes later, on the correct bus, finally, TWO MORE GORILLAS. walking down the street chatting. At 10 am on a Saturday.

what is this i don't even.
just london being london.

another bus ride. abandoned markers on top of bus shelters, creeping on people, feet on dashboard that isn't dashboard (note: the very best seat on a double decker is the right corner seat all the way in the front.)

and I had a class near the Camden antiques market, which is cute, and so expensive my wallet hurts just walking in all those adorable little boutiques. Miss Weideman. you would have died. There is a ladybug on the top of my computer screen, now he flew away.

and here are some candlesticks.

And then on Sunday I betook myself to Brick Lane again. Here is something I wrote that day: "I went a-marketing this morning, to Brick Lane , then Petticoat Lane. Both, but Brick Lane particularly, have this air of anarchic antiquity: all the stuff spread out catawampus on the sidewalk, rubbish and treasure all mixed together, the advertising done the old-fashioned way. “ONLY one pound, EVERYTHING one pound, HAVE a look, have a look!” “Cheap, cheap, have a look!” “Real fruit, real juice, cheap!” Let me tell you, that stand, with trays of fresh-squeezed juice sitting in rainbow rows, piles of fruit waiting to be smushed behind them, and behind that the quick-moving employees making it before your very eyes…nom.I was full of empanadas and Argentine cookies (caramel-taffy stuff between shortbread biscuits), but I nearly caved. Oh well. It’ll be there next week.

And to top it all off, in Petticoat Lane in the midst of all the cruddy fashion and five-pound sale racks of “Topshop” stuff, there is a grizzled man selling hot roasted chestnuts and peanuts with his charred little oven, looking like a Dickens illustration come to life."

They have this area you will see below, with a bunch of table games to play, wherein the top of the table is the board.

And this girl has the classiest jacket....and then some shoes.

And now, finally, we come to the last few days. I promise the young lady with the epic trousers was really smiling, not smirking like that, she really was flattered...yours awkwardly truly just took the photo when the smirk had not smiled.....
I love those cab Vodafone ads....maybe you can't see, but the majority of it is just all the picturesque street and landmark and neighborhood names of London.

and that last one I took simply because it was so ridiculously BRITISH.

There, that ought to keep ye busy for awhile.

tomorrow, we go to the British Library, Camden Town, and Regent's park. That is my unofficial wandering plan for le Friday. hoooorrraaaayyyyyy!!!!!
nighty. night.
P.S. For any and all Doctor Who fans out there, apparently there used to be a Police Call Box, a.k.a. The Tardis, outside the very tube stop I live next to. I don't believe it's there anymore. That or I am incredibly unobservant. I shall look and report back tomorrow. Or sometime.

Monday, September 26, 2011

I've never seen Zoolander. (yes, i live under a rock.)


There are so many stigmas and stereotypes associated with modeling it is eencredible. And like all stereotypes, they started somewhere.

Anorexic. Big ego. Shallow. Talentless, just capitalizing on their looks. Overpaid. Dumb.

I’m not going to say anything about any of that. I’m just saying the things that have struck me in while looking at innumerable photos of these people and the lovely clothes they wear.

Modeling bears some resemblance to acting. Without speech or movement if we’re talking about a photo.

Also I’m aware that they are coached and prompted, touched up and digitally changed. But I’ve also noticed that there are things that cannot change.

Your bearing, your posture, your attitude, your aura, if you like, is something elusive. A model and the people who work with them have to communicate a whole world, a whole message, in an image. That’s hard. They have to use those elusive things to communicate to you, the consumer.

They are acting out the story of the clothes they are wearing. I’m sure there is diversity in how seriously models take that.

Let’s put it this way: I would not call myself unattractive, in fact, I’ve been told the opposite. But I’d make a terrible model. If I’m just being me in clothes, I’m told I can “pull it off” (it being, odd, unwashed, raggy, weird, thrifted, or otherwise strange apparel). But if I stop and think about it, I absolutely freeze. To this day I hate being taken pictures of. (mother, that's why i make faces.)It’s like way back in the day when I tried to act. It didn’t work.

So props to all you people out there who do your job in spite of people asking you if you’re anorexic.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

so I had a whole post written about the National Portrait Gallery, and somehow deleted it. I could probably retrieve it, re-write it, but in all honesty, i just don't want to. So here are some of my scribblings of late instead. Perhaps one day I'll get the urge to re-work that post, but today/tonight ain't it.

here we are.

Thinking about cities. They don’t necessarily make people more civilized, they just magnify your civilization or lack thereof. Proximity is the key. If you’re a jackass, everybody knows it. However, it is also easy to hide in a city, because you’re just a face in the crowd. So your deeper parts go unknown, and the little things are blatant. The tiny ways you interact with people, whether you are kind or inconsiderate. Do you give up your seat or pretend you don’t see? Pick up the dropped parcel or walk on? Snap angrily or give the benefit of the doubt? It could be argued that the little things indicate what your true character is, hint at the deeper things. I know you can fake the little things, but I honestly think it’s pretty hard. What you do when you are a speck in the crowd, and something catches you by surprise, or bypasses your analytical side, gets to you, annoys you, those things are telling.

And believe it or not, people remember. I can recall innumerable kind strangers. The graciousness of people you’re around all the time gets taken for granted, but surprising kindness is remarkable. I could pick the cashier at Tesco today out of a crowd for you because he was kind. I could probably draw him.

All that to say, I love cities. They are a neverending movie. Sometimes it’s terrible, yeah. But that’s the part everyone talks about. Tell the whole tale, people.

In that vein, here’s a couple quotes

There is nothing in which people more betray their character than in what they laugh at." Goethe

You can easily judge the character of a man by how he treats those who can do nothing for him. --James D. Miles.

I know who Goethe was, but I’ve no clue about the other dude.

good night.

Friday, September 23, 2011

the gallery with the portraits.

They don't actually let you take pictures in the National Portrait Gallery. But I found several interesting portraits, which I shall now tell ye about.
This was, I think, my favorite museum so far. I love people, and this was a place entirely about people, about their times and their cultures, and their similarities, and their differences, and personalities, and responsibilities, and the makers of the portraits who captured all this. Before we even got to the first gallery (well, besides the one with the Rolling Stones, next to the bathrooms), our tutor pointed out that as you come up the long escalator to the upstairs galleries, there is nothing on the walls. Everywhere else, there is something on the walls. And you turn and look at all the people coming up the escalator, and they are a portrait. They are a living portrait.
I don't know if they intended that, but I thought it was cool.
There was a gallery where the portraits are hung on glass, so that you can see the other person on the other side looking at the portrait on the other side. My favorite thing in that gallery was the work of a man named Ronald Searle. Here are some of his cartoons. They're a stitch.

I also loved the modern galleries. A couple really striking ones were the video portrait of a sleeping David Beckham, and a self-portrait by Marc Quinn, made of his own frozen blood in a mold.

And then I went and had lunch with Nelson and the pigeons and a lots of other people in Trafalgar Square.

It's fall. I found this monster of a leaf today.

that is my computer, for scale. Night kids.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

oh boy oh boy oy boi.

My nose is running. WELL YA BETTER GO CATCH IT! that's what my dad would say.

The neighborhood where I have corsetry class reminds me a little of Cedar-Riverside. There are a million different cultures. Here's a mural.

Then I biked to Hyde Park. It was the most gorgeous day. Ah to be a seagull with nothing to do but eat fish and chill on the roof-pole.

Here is something I scrawled in my sketchbook while I was there: "What an absolute glory of a day! Perfect sun, tugging breeze, and nowhere on God's green earth I'd rather be than Hyde Park. This will have to be a regular thing. The water is so ridiculously blue. The birdies bathe in it, flapping. People are doing all the things that should be done in a park: kissing, biking, talking, sleepings, sitting waiting, wishing, longboarding. A sanctuary, like a library.
P.S. there's a paddleboat full of French kids who yell like little children whenever the big Canada geese fly near them.

That was on Wednesday.

Today, we went to various things to do with London Fashion Week, namely went to Topshop to hear the cool Charlotte Taylor talk about starting your own line, producing collections, manufacturing, how to find retailers, press, so on, so forth. She has awkwardly adorable prints, one of which she was wearing. She was so kind as to let me take a photo:

there was a cycle race

hhhaha side note i'm now watching some vid about an entire family who plays World of Warcraft....

anyway, after that we went to Somerset House on the Strand, stared at all the expensively dressed people, went and had dinner at some little cafe, sat there till they closed, then went back to Somerset (which is one of the venues for shows during London Fashion Week) and asked to register for the show screenings they do, and found they were about to close, though there were still lots of people there. Then we asked where the bathroom was, and sneeked right past the guard fellows into the bathroom, drank some free champagne, watched a screening of Cassette Playa by Carrie Munden's SS 2012 collection (May I note that though the clothes were very cool, the word intelligent was misspelled on the brochure, and my inner grammar geek giggled) and then went and people-watched in the lobby till they started kicking people out. it was close quarters so I took no photos of all those ridiculously well dressed people, and was wary of asking them as we really didn't have any sort of pass or anything we should have had......but it was a bunch of cool peacocks, believe me.

And it was next to the river and it was preeedddy....

also, here is this very blurry picture illustrating your trend for the day: ombre'd hair. it has the potential to look cool, and the potential to look like you have the longest roots in the world.

und zat, chilllens, is all for today. i have many a thing to do, tomorrow, yea, even tonight.