Please, concentrate?

Trip Start Sep 07, 2010
Trip End Aug 21, 2011

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Flag of United Kingdom  , London, City of,
Thursday, September 9, 2010

Today, I explored down in the Borough of Islington (where I live), the actual City of London, and the Borough of Southwark. I passed many notable buildings, both old and new, in the city limits, namely the Gherkin.  Opened in 2004, the Gherkin is the nickname of the building situated on 30 St. Mary Axe (it's also known as the Swiss Re Building).    You may be wondering what "gherkin" means.  Well, it’s a type of cucumber so now it’s obvious why the Gherkin is named as such.  The Gherkin is one of London’s most notable skyline residents along with the Eye and Big Ben.

On the way to Southwark, I passed a few markets as well.  The variable markets are open Thursday through Saturday and sell everything from (actual) French breads to fish to cheese to soap and batteries, most of which is reasonably priced.

Tate Modern is the United Kingdom’s premier modern art museum.  Tate Modern is housed in a decommissioned power station on the Thames river.  After a few minor renovations to the old building (adding two floors on top), Tate Modern opened to the public in 2001.   I had high hopes for Tate Modern, especially the Turbine Hall which has featured a large work designed especially for the space each year that Tate Modern has been in business.  I walked into the massive Turbine Hall….that was empty.  An exhibit is supposed to arrive later this year, they promised.  As for the “works of art” that filled the galleries, there were some familiar names like Picasso and Jackson Pollock.  When I went to MoMA (Museum of Modern Art in New York City), the modern art was generally impressive.  At Tate Modern, the art was a little less spectacular.  A little more “modern” and a lot less “art.”  Basically, it was a bunch of PoMo (art industry slang for Post-Modern) junk on the walls, and most of Tate Modern serves as a warehouse for things you would probably find your garage or basement.  It’s not a pretty sight.  There were some spectacular pieces, but, for the most part, it’s a snore.

I leave you with a little tale of consumables.  There’s a little secret in your local London grocer that is known as “squash.”  No, it’s not the fruit (or vegetable?). It’s one wholesome UK liter of highly concentrated whatever-you-like juice.  This week, my choice of squash was apple.  Basically, it’s a bottle with 55 apples smashed into it.  Preparing something drinkable with it is bit of an art; however, the directions state to dilute one part juice with four parts water which pretty much won’t steer you wrong.  It’s delicious.
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