Tuesday, August 28, 2007


Yesterday was the fourth of July! Celebrating it in another country made me that much more patriotic. It was pretty cool living in the UK as an American. I miss the barbecue, the pool, hot summer days, and so on. Tis a shame.
Yet, lunch at Lomonia, a greek restaraunt, was superb. It really was the farewell lunch before we shove on back to the states. Well, most people shove on back to the states. I will be staying! We all dined on wine, cheese, olives, pita, hummus, salad, lamb, cake, rice, kous-kous, and more. This was all served over a 9 course meal which took 3 full hours! Quite delectable as cheers, toasts, and thank yous went all around.
In addition, as a group, we went up to Primrose Hill which is the high est point in London which really doesn't say much anyways. Lastly, we went on a boat ride throught the canals of Camden Market and so on. We saw London's little Venice. It was little. Lastly, we got to party all American style. By being obnoxious. Going out to go clubbing and watching dumb American movies. Waht could be more patriotic?! I feel that this week has been a good one to end the London excursions on. So much fun had. This coming weekend is of course the tour! It will be neat to see. I can't wait! I tried waiting for Wimbledon, but gave up after 3 hours. Oh well, my loss. I can say that I have truly enjoyed most of the trip though.


Hey, hello again. I am back, safe and sound here in London. The train ride was sleepy. I apparently missed all the car bombs happening in London and Glasgow. Wow. Hopefully nothing will happen when I go to Glasgow in a couple weeks. I got back at 9 AM in London. We met up at where we met the bum in that little park area. I saw everyone again as I have travelled by myself. It was good though to see everyone back safely. Well, mostly, one person was stuck in Spain at the time. Then, at 3 PM, we went to Morag Myerscough and her studio. From the impression that I got, I find her to be a workaholic. She did tons of amazing design in exhibition areas including designing the "great" exhibition piece. Yet, I just didn't like how she lived her life. It sounds like no home life except for her mum, no close friends in the design studio as people come and go at their own discretion, and no kids or husband it sounds. It just sounds like a lonely life.
Sure, I am positive that she gets out often as she says to have a drink and enjoys life. Still, it seems kinda empty. At least that is not how I wish to live my life. I sometimes need to think to myself how do I want to live my life.
After the visit, I got some amazing duck curry served in alarge wooden cow. Does that sound sacreligious somehow? I keep thinking that it does. It was a great meal with 8 other people at the table. I have grown to love thai food for some reason. It is quite amazing.


Wow, it is July already. Tomorrow marks 1 month that I have left home. Again, as I mentioned yesterday, the Pompidou. So yeah, it was pretty cool. Definitely modern and much to take in. I got to see a lot of Kandinsky, MAtisse, Duchamp, Chagall, Ernst, a bit of Picasso, Basquiat, and much more. The art was good. The Airs de Paris was a neat exhibition. I think what stood out in my mind was sitting in a completely orange lit room. I saw all colors of the rainbow closing my eyes starting with blue. There was much more like a room full of TV's, computers, and pictures. All going before my eyes. That was cool.
Afterwards, I wondered around a bit more around Paris and I happened to walk into a gay pride parade taking place south of the Seine River. It was wonderfully bright and colorful. Definitely a sight to behold. The weirdest part of it was that it was in French! Joking really. No, it was something new and interesting that I have never seen in person before. I heard later that it was a celebrated day across Europe in many other cities including Paris. It was something to see.


Hello there, I am in the Pompidou right now. Talk about a whole new world here. Everything, EVERYTHING is modern. I am amazed by the jump of all classical, ornate art the past couple days, and stepping into the world of modernism. It's a fresh step I will say. The exhibition, "air de Paris" was a neat exhibition on the art inspired by urban landscapes and cities and what shall bring us forward in the future in how we deal with cities.
Anyways, yesterday was the Arc de Triumphe and the Eiffel Tower! Yeah, I made it through rain, wind, and cold. I waited for 2 hours to get to the verey top. It was worth it, the view being spectacular. I took my pics and movies. Yeah, I rock like that. Before that, I walked les Campes Elssyes and the Hotel Impervio or something. Long walk, but nice. At night, I feasted on the steps of Sacre Coeur with a Texan and a girl from Mondolva. They seemed fun.


Right now, I am sitting on le Arc de Triumphe! It is pretty cool. One thing about Europe is that they know how to make things ornate. Everything here is so classical, all built to impress. Ever since Greece I guess. Yesterday was the Louvre. Starting the day, I had a continental breakfast with a Brit, an Aussie, and then one from Cantina? He spoke Spanish as did the other two. Awkwad for me. I notice that a lot of the travellers are older than me right now. Some of the travellers go through Europe every year too they tell me.
Afterwards, I went to the Louvre. I will try to remember who I saw. Da Vinci, Raphael, one Manet, David, Rousseau, Watteau, Delacroix. I stayed in the 13th-17th Century Italian Painting section which were amazing. Even more impressive were the HUGE French paintings where the canvas took up an entire wall. I want to paint something that big at some point. It could be a crappy piece of art, but it'd be huge. The Louvre was too huge to see everything at once however. It gets overwhelming really fast. I stayed to see some of the Medieval art collection, the Venus do Milo, saw the castle hidden underneath the Louvre, and then left.
I had lunch and then wandered around some more. I ran into some magazine stands and found huge sections on Bandes Desinee. In English, comics! The French LOVE comics here. I am not talking about DC/Marvel or even manga. It is their own form of comics which I have never seen before except for Tintin and a few random others. I love it.


I am in gay Paris right now! It's kinda hard to believe that I am here, but then I try to understand anyone here. Back to reality. Yesterday arriving was pretty rough. Just being here yesterday was rough. I got into Paris at 9:55 AM Paris time. It took me an hour to get out of the station with a Metro card. I got onto the Metro and tried to meander my way to my hostel. The little inn that my hostel was on was not on the map, and so I wandered ever more in the area. Fortunately, I was helped by a senior citizen who knew a bit of English and I a bit of French. We pieced it together, and he pointed me the right direction. So I finally made it to the hostel.
The room I was in is situated for 3, and when I got in, stuff was spewed across the room by 2 girls, American I figured looking at some of the luggage. I went out to go sight-seeing for the afternoon. One of the first things I saw was Notre Dame. It was HUGE. Quite a big church. It was almost if not bigger than St. Paul's Cathedral in London. This church was around since the 13th and 14th Century too. I like the architecture of Paris. I feel that I am living in the turn of the century here somehow. If I knew more about architecture, I could describe it better. Quite fun.
Lastly, French people really love their cafes. All of the seats point towards the street, and there's one every other building. I also saw street performers, accordians, and a lot of jazz combos in the cafe. Quite cool. For some reason, the Coke cans are heavier here too. That's the biggest observation of the day!


The past two days, the whole VC group has been participating in a letterpress workshop at the LCC, London College of Communications. We met Dave Dabner and Alex Cooper, two professors at the college that specialize in the letterpress. There are a couple things that I want to mention. One is that I have not done much letterpress before. I have dabbed in it when I took printmaking, but besides that semester, not much. Second, it was such a nuce breather to get to work again rather than listening to another lecture! I am getting tired of being inspired now and want to work.
So the group of 5 that I was in took a newspaper clipping and made the term "fat white b*stard" where the words fat and b*stard are a dark grey and then the white was added on top as a transparent layer. It came out quite well. Besides doing the letterpress workshop, we had lunch in the area, went to the college art show seeing the different areas of the college. We saw some advertising, graphic, digital design, and illustration. Again, I reached that point where I had no clue what the assignment was and the projects didn't made any sense. I was not impressed overall with the entire show. The one section that I did like however was the video/animation section. I thought that the videos were pretty engaging.
Lastly, we also spent about half an hour to forty five minutes in the Stanley Kubrick Archive. In there, it was a sterile environment and cold. It was also under super lockdown due to all the stuff once belonging to Stanley Kubrick. It was really weird seeing how many books that this man has had. How much research that this man has gone through to make his movies. Bookshelves upon bookshelves. Some movies like Space Oddessy and Clockwork take up an entire bookshelf, top to bottom, all filled with notes, books, references, and more. Wow, definitely a stickler to details. I suppose that this archive is why Stanley Kucbrick is considered one of the greatest film directors. Right now, I am off to Shakespeare Globe to see a play and then, I'll be off to Paris!