Xavid (kihou) wrote,
Xavid
kihou

London: Princesses and Bricks

So, a week ago Sunday, we left the storied elegance of our Google-provided accommodations to brave the wilds of AirBNB. Our first place is a room in a flat right near the Earl's Court tube stop. It's apparently a bit of a classy area, but it's really convenient and there are lots of good restaurants and shops on Earl's Court Road.

The next day we went to Leicester Square in an attempt to catch an early (for the UK, which got it late) showing of The Tale of Princess Kaguya. However, it was sold out, so we ended up seeing Shaun the Sheep, the Wallace and Gromit sequel, instead, which was fun and silly. I thought that it used its dialogless movie conceit well. Afterwards we ate at a place called Garfunkel's basically because of the name and it was highly disappointing.

Tuesday Nori was in town and I had dinner with Traffic Team at a nice pizza restaurant near the office.

Friday was when Princess Kaguya actually came out, so we saw it, and it was awesome. It had a great watercolor art style and did a very strong retelling of the tale with good historical details. It interestingly introduced a somewhat anti-Buddhist "life is worth the suffering" perspective.

Saturday we went to a children's rare book fair (because Sarah). On the way, and apropos of not much, we stopped by a ginormous 24-hour Tesco. The book fair itself was pretty awesome, lots of cool old books featuring an absurd number of different versions of Alice in Wonderland. Sarah ended up with some early Oz editions she is extraordinarily happy about.

That afternoon we did some wandering around Kensington and looking at architecture, featuring a chain Italian place, "Ask Italian", that we ate out mainly just because it featured the seven treasures/four directions design but turned out to be pretty good. We tried to visit Richard Bransen's crazy rooftop garden, but got there too late. We did find a gallery with cool model wooden spiral staircases, though.

Then, we decided to head to the National Theatre on a whim on the offchance that we'd be able to get last minute tickets to Tom Stoppard’s The Hard Problem. Of course, we'd have had to get there about 12 hours earlier, but we ended up looking at their other shows and buying some tickets for later, so it was all good. Then we walked along the Thames, which was cool because the tide was out and you could see the beaches, and got dinner at a reasonable pub.

On Sunday, we went to Brick Lane Market, a crazy collection of sprawling insanity: junk, antiques, art, vintage clothes, and about fifty different cultures' worth of street food along Brick Lane, side streets, parking lots, and various adjacent buildings. It was hugely crowded and had an amazing variety of things to see. Highly worth it. I even got a few things. ^_^

And now, back to a work week of learning and complexity. Cheers!
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