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!


Reya Mellicker said...

I bet your jeans do look sexy, but new jeans are always great.

Lynne said...

A few years back when the daughter of our friends in France came to visit us one of the things she wanted to do was buy Levi's. For whatever reason they are really valued in Europe and very expensive! She bought three or four to take back with her.

Ms. Moon said...

I love you for going out and doing things and seeing things and thinking about things and telling us about these things. You are quite literally a window to another world, not unlike that painting.

Sharon said...

I saw the signs for that exhibit but, I didn't go in. However, I did spend time walking through St. James Park where I saw all kinds of birds and lots of young people feeding them.
$114.00 for 501 jeans is way too much money. However, looking at my credit card bill, it looks like a few of my lunches were around $40.00. Yikes!

Steve Reed said...

Reya: You crack me up.

Lynne: I've always heard that Levi's in Europe are more expensive, but I didn't realize how MUCH more until now!

Ms Moon: We are all windows onto other worlds, aren't we? :) (But thanks!)

Sharon: There are crazy varieties of birds in that park!

The Bug said...

Would it be cheaper to get the jeans online? Or maybe I'll book a trip to London & smuggle you a few pair :)

Anonymous said...

I hate buying new jeans...not only do they cost big bucks but I can never find a pair that really fit right. Love, love traveling around with you!