Your Pal Bill

Europe 2004 Day 10

The four of us had a leisurely morning with eggs and orange juice for breakfast. We went out and met up with another one of Brent's pals at the Tower Hill tube station, then walked over to the Tower Bridge. We took the tour, which included going up to the top and walking across the walkways, then going down below to see how the bridge was originally raised. It was quite a feat of engineering at the time.

Next we headed back to the tube for a short trip up the Thames to the Millennium Bridge. This is a new pedestrian bridge that had been beset with some troubles (earlier being nicknamed the "wobbly bridge") but all that seems to have passed and it was a lovely stroll across the river to the Tate Modern.

The Tate Modern is a newly opened facility within a historic powerstation building. The scale of the building provides powerful opportunities for the exhibition spaces within the museum. I think some of the strangest, most exciting rooms that I have ever experienced were here at the Tate. The first thing we did was check out the Weather Project in the main turbine hall of the building. This was a very unique communal experience, it is interesting how much a few elements added to a monumental space can change it so much and make it so odd, fascinating, and alive. It is almost too bad it is a temporary exhibit.

Next we went into the actually gallery spaces of the museum. There are three floors of exhibits, I only had time to make a thorough investigation of one floor. It was plenty though, as there were several interesting installations, one I particularly enjoyed was called "Five Angels for the Millennium." It was composed of a completely dark room with five large video projections on the walls, each with a different image of waters, with different figures passing through the waters at infrequent intervals. It is a difficult experience to put into words.

Oh, and I saw bunch of art by the likes of Matisse, Rodin, and Mondrian. There were entire rooms just for Picasso and Warhol. I'm not a huge art person, but I enjoyed the Tate Modern very much.

Next, we walked to a nearby tube station on the Jubilee Line, which was fun because as the newest Underground line, many of the brand new stations were designed by leading architects. Not to mention the nice new train carriages themselves. We only traveled one stop to Waterloo, where we crossed one of the Jubilee bridges flanking the Hungerford Rail Bridge. From here there were lovely views of the London Eye and Houses of Parliament.

We walked up from Embankment to Covent Garden, where we went into the London Transport Museum store- I didn't have the time to visit yesterday before they closed. I know that I'm totally biased, but it is such a cool store. I could spend a lot more time shopping there. Alas, it was near closing time again and surprisingly enough I wasn't the only person to get anything! We met up with another pal at the Covent Garden tube station and walked around for a while trying to find some place that wasn't packed before deciding to just get out of there.

We went back down to Embankment and headed one stop farther than usual on the District Line to Aldgate East. From there we walked to Brick Lane, which is the center for Indian food in London. We stopped at a modern bar first, I was very pleased with the interior design. When we were ready to eat, we made our way down the street turning away various offers for deals on our meal until Brent found someone he could deal with and got us a bargain. We had a tasty Indian meal, I had a chicken dish that was sweet-spicy, not hot at all.

The place was nice enough but a little dodgy in some ways, they didn't bring us everything we had ordered. I also managed to lock myself into the 3x6 foot men's room for almost 10 minutes when the deadbolt latch fell off into my hand as I was trying to leave, and the mechanism got pushed too far in. So I kind of waited for someone to come by, eventually some lady did and she was able to push the thing back to I could turn the bolt. Heh. Kind of an odd situation. I'm just glad I'm not claustrophobic! The restaurant staff didn't seem too concerned about the incident, or the possibility of it happening to someone else in the future.

Soon we were back at Brent's flat again and everyone made preparations to go out clubbing. I was planning to go along, with the idea that I could slip out early if I wanted to, but apparently the place they were going ran 15 quid for admission, so I saved everybody's time and money and saw them off. I guess I feel kind of lame sometimes about not liking that sort of thing, but I'm 27 years old. By now I know what I like and what I don't like, and I don't like loud, dark, and smelly clubs. If that makes me a fuddy-duddy, so be it!

January 24, 2004 11:59 PM

Comments (3)

01/24: stacy said:

I can only imagine the amount of disappointment that Trevor & Brent experienced.

sigh.


01/25: Trevor said:

I would have been more disappointed if the club were more of a meat market. But since it isn't, it would have been very hard for Bill to find a nice young lady to settle down with.


01/25: Bill said:

Brent was not real disappointed about leaving me here, I don't think. And I'm not entirely sure Trevor knew what was going on at that point.

But, yeah, the Tate Modern was brilliant.