Saturday, March 19, 2011

London trip

* massive photo dump warning! *

{ london day 1 }


our trip to london started with a redeye flight out of JFK, landing at Heathow around 10:30am.
above shot is straight out of the heathrow express at paddington station,
not having yet set foot on London soil, so to speak, transferring onto the Hammersmith tube
to get to the gallery.

poor matthew, carrying a big box of my paintings to the gallery.

after delivering the paintings and meeting tina (the gallery curator),
we headed off to find some food to eat on portobello road down the street.
(food for the day is found here).

then tube down to vauxhall/oval ground area, where we were staying.
straight out of the station on clapham road.
really didn't feel like we were in a foreign country...
i kept (in my delirious, sleep-deprived state) thinking we were
traveling somewhere near, maybe canada even.

cool signage.

the cute little house we stayed at. beautiful everything.

the amazing back yard. spring had really come to London already.

{ day 2 }

after some much needed sleep (though not as sound and straight through as we'd hoped),
we set out for some walk & exploring before i returned to the gallery for some wall painting.
cars seem to be only huge and unnecessarily gigantic in the states.
this royal mail van was on the larger side.

walking to vauxhall bridge - spring was in full bloom in london.

lonely soul in pimlico.

after painting the wall, we tubed it to the east side - and found (finally)
a pile of bikes off the liverpool street stop. we missed having our bikes
the whole time, and was happy to see bicyclists or bikes, living vicariously
through them... (our schedule didn't permit us to get the bike share thing
until day 4 or so).

and some roas mural near brick lane.

and stopped by the elbow toe show at black rat projects in shoreditch,
and got to meet brian (elbow toe) as well.

a great little mural near the outdoor gates of black rat projects.

yeah!! cars are much less aggressive with cyclists here - relatively speaking,
that is - we have yet to see road signs like this in NYC for us cyclists.

speaking of bikes, we found an abandoned little bike we thought we could
ride around, but the tires were flat and the bike shops were closed. :(
barclays it was.

food from this day is over here.

{ day 3 }

IMG_1883walked around wayyyy too much.
all around islington, all the way up upper street, across east on st. pauls/balls pond rds,
ending up near dalston junction.


after walking up and down kingsland, we took a little break
where we sat outside, watching people, with a glass of water and a pint of guinness.
it was really nice to go somewhere unknown and watch people in a non-touristy neighborhood.
(which reminded me of brooklyn, actually).

we headed south on kingsland, ending up at old shoreditch station,
where we had a little break before heading out to my gallery show.

food from the day 3 over here.

{ day 4 }

feeling a little relieved from the show opening being done with,
we rented the barclay's bike share bikes, and headed up on clapham to
borough market - after some mishap searching for an empty spot for bike docking,
we went into the borough market in search of food.

and food there was - everywhere. just too much, too many people.

i'd gladly have had this malay seafood curry had i not had 3 curry dishes
thus far already. i didn't even feel much like eating the sample spoonfuls.


we randomly ambled into this bike store right at the foot of london bridge.
hi-vis stuff everywhere in London, on bicyclists - super bright flourescent wear.
i had failed to take a good photo of a line of people wearing this stuff on the
streets. definitely something we don't see biking around in NYC.
i thought it worked really well with their eternally pale sun there - i think
we'd go blind were we to wear some of that here, with the intensity of the sun we get.

what the bike docking stations look like for the bike share program.
you can't lock these anywhere (unless you have a lock), you have to
find a docking station - it's awful when it's full, and you've got to go find
another docking station somewhere else. this happened ALL THE TIME.

unreal sky in soho.
we met up with my old college roommate - he's an architect at norman foster's firm.

the obligatory tourist shot on our long walk back home that night over
the westminster bridge.

cool boat benches on the pavement in albert embankment.

food from the day here.

{ day 5 }

stand-alone ATMs are bawdry here as well.

after the little bit of rain subsided, we biked and walked at a leisurely
pace (now that we were a bit more familiar with the bike there and the roads)
up to brick lane area for the outdoor sunday market place.

we ate some delicious street food (still not cheap!)

after the brick lane market, we decided to walk toward islington.
midway, we just got another bike and hopped on to upper street.

on our way there, near old street station, was this
there are loads of chicken places (as well as chip shops),
and it's funny that they called it tennessee fried chicken.

after arriving in islington, we decided we'd go see Norwegian Wood,
which was just released there (still unknown when it comes to the US),
we hopped on another set of bikes and headed down to covent garden.

dinner in chinatown, then wandered the back streets till our show time.

some big wheels/barrels of english cheese in the shop window.

then we got to see norwegian wood. wonderful, wonderful.
it stood alone on its own as a film, i though, even though the book is really
dear and special to me. i loved it.

food from this day is here.

{ day 6 }

having brought the wrong shoes (why why why), and having walked
wayyyy too much, we decided to take it easy on our last full day.

we tubed it to the Tate Modern, which neither of us had been to on our respective
first trips years ago.

i love birch trees.
possibly my favorite piece from the gallery - a picasso etching.

day 6 : tate modern. amazing gorky.
a beautiful gorky. looks like it shouldn't work, and it wouldn't work,
but it just does - amazing.

my first munch to see in person.

do ho suh.

ai wei wei's bagillion hand-painted porcelain sunflower seeds.

waiting for our bus on the last night.
last night in london ended with meeting with my old friend yuz,
and our brooklyn friend elliot, who's studying there.
food from this day is here and the very last day before our flight is here.

the trip was great, it was slow to sink in, but i left with good memories.
maybe it felt too similar to new york for me to feel like i was somewhere else
at first... (definitely didn't go into hardly any shops due to them being too
similar to NYC stuff, just more expensive). still, all in all, it was a fun trip.

unfortunately the very last leg of the trip, literally a couple hours before
leaving for the airport, i got my wallet picked at paddington station.
luckily, all my passport/id stuff was tucked away separately,
and everything i lost is replaceable/replaced - except cash & my favorite wallet
i had for about 8 years. :(

bye, london - hope to see you again.

ps. my solo show recap & the pieces are here.


  1. That were a LOT of images.
    hehe. It suprises me that people from other countries are fascinated by our transportation: the bike.Because in Europe everyone has one. Don't you have a bicycle in Brooklyn?
    When I saw this article it makes things clear:
    (i live in #1...The Netherlands!)

  2. @MJC of course i do have a bike here. i never ride the public transportatino because of my bike. :)
    but we don't have a bike share program yet. the one in London was new too, many locals actually asked us about it. it's not perfect, but i think it's something good to have.

    i'd love to be able to take my bike everywhere and tour the world!
    and yes the netherlands is probably what the rest of the bike world looks up to as the utopia! lucky you.

  3. Anonymous6:12 PM

    i'm really sorry to hear you got your wallet (or as they say here, purse) nicked!
    i cant believe my back showed up on one the gallery photos! it was a great night and i really enjoyed meeting you.

  4. Great photos. You've managed to capture the atmosphere in London.
    Bicycles are a very convenient way for moving through the city during rush hour. People around the world should use them more, so to reduce air pollution. Regards!

  5. wow! really cool!i love the murales!!

  6. Looks like so much fun, Stella! :)

  7. Hi Stella
    It's great that you didn't do the typical touristy things. You did stuff that me and my mates do all the time - Borough market, Brick Lane, Islington + Tate modern hang outs.

    Shame I didn't get down to opening night to meet you, I caught the show today, last day and the pieces look awesome! Love the double portraits and detail of the hair. Hope to meet you one day soon :)

  8. love your detailed description of the photos!
    the food over on your food blog looks great too!
    thanks for sharing Stella! :D
    oh! and.
    this series of painting i kind of fell in love with.
    i especially adore "Strangely Transparent" and "A Perfect World" and the drawings. the rendering of the hair is just unbelievable!