Published: May 28th 2008May 28th 2008
Left Raleigh at 3:45 yesterday afternoon, and now, 17 hours later, I am sitting in the lounge of the Astor Victoria Hostel in London where I'll be spending my next 4 nights as I tour London, before heading on to Dublin. Based on my walking around in the area surrounding the hostel, Victoria seems to be just about entirely comprised of hotels and theaters.
Backing up a bit, the first thing I saw when I first surfaced on the London Subway (known as the "tube") was a large truck marked "Police Horses" making its way down the street behind the tube line.
[Side note: I was informed by a fellow tube traveler that Friday is the last day one may legally drink alcohol on the tube, so there has been a large unofficial word of mouth party organized on the central train for that day, thousands are expected to show up to ride the lightning one last time. If I find myself nearby I suppose I'll take my camera over for a few minutes at the very least.]
Everything over here is very old. Anything that is not very old stands out like a sore thumb, making the
old stuff look even more authentic and excellent.
The Hostel is located on Belgrave Road, a magical road in that it apparently only exists if you are from outside London. I asked five people (even a travel kiosk three blocks from the street itself!) and the one that finally told me where it was had an American accent. I think this probably has something to do with the entire street being hotels, but it was still strange.
Some folks here at the hostel have just recommended the [free!] walking tour, so I'll be doing that tomorrow. I'm not sure how often I'll be posting on this thing, but I'll try to throw out another one before I leave London.
Of perhaps minimal interest to anyone but me is this sculpture I saw in the Pearson International Airport in Toronto. I recognized it immediately (something that never happens with me and visual art) as a piece by Richard Serra, whose work I saw in the MoMA last summer in NYC. He uses 30 foot-tall steel sheets to create really interesting spaces, when you walk through them you never quite feel like you are standing up straight.
There are more photos below