Monday, November 25, 2013
Down Under (Kind Of)
I went out on the town yesterday, as I had hoped, after lingering at home all morning to finish laundry, charge my camera battery and accomplish other small tasks.
My goal was to go to the Australia exhibit at the Royal Academy of Arts (above). It's the "most comprehensive survey of Australian art to have been shown outside Australia," according to the museum, and it was indeed huge -- more than 200 artworks, from Aboriginal bark painting to modern fabric sculpture and video. I most enjoyed the paintings from the colonial and early modernist periods, such as this one. (Click on the image itself to see it big.) As I stood looking at that painting, which is quite large, I overheard a man standing next to me tell his companion, "It looks like we could step right into it." Which is true. It's a portal to a distant time and a remote location.
I also spent a couple of hours walking through Mayfair and St. James's Park, within stone's throw of the royals (not that I really would throw a stone at the royals), and stocked up on some photos for the coming week. I had soup and a sandwich at Pret a Manger on Piccadilly, sitting in the window watching the crowds on their way to Piccadilly Circus. Later I had coffee from Costa in the courtyard of St. James's Church, where two girls who seemed to be whacked out on something were hiding next to the public sidewalk and barking out screams in order to alarm passing tourists. That was a bizarre show.
And because I need some new jeans -- my jeans having developed holes, which do not look sexy on a 47-year-old man -- I navigated the pedestrian hordes on Regent Street, where the halls have been duly decked with holly and all manner of decorations, in order to visit the Levi's store. There, I was shocked to find that a pair of 501's costs £70! (That's about $114.) I am not about to pay that for a pair of jeans. I left empty-handed.
Just another day in the city!