Hanbury Street Art

Do you like graffiti? I’m not talking about the tags here and there but real amazing so freaking cool graffiti art, street art, guerilla art. Banksy is probably the most prominent graffiti artist but here are others I like – Natalia Rak (I love her murals), ETAM Cru, Eduardo Kobra (cool name), Fin DAC, Swampy, Swoon. There are so many kick ass artists out there. Who do you like?

While I was vintage shopping on Bank Street in East London, I stumbled upon Hanbury St. where it was a graffiti artists haven. It was AWESOME.

Check it out:

Coffee Dreams and Zombie Screams is my fav! Which one is yours?

If you like this, check out my Spray of Paint post from a few years ago with Mallorca street art. Cool stuff too!

A Weekend In London

SATURDAY:

First things first. I needed to return to the pub I worked at when I was a young, twenty-year old, think I know everything chica. Yeah, that was a long time ago, back when I was almost finished with college! Because now I am old enough to REALLY know everything. 😉

12:00 p.m. – Walk through Hyde Park to the pub. Check out my Hyde Park blog here.

1:30 p.m. The Scarsdale Tavern

I mean seriously, just look how cute this place is! Ahhhhh, my old stomping grounds for a few months in 199- …. er, awhile ago.  In the lovely neighborhood of Kensington.

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The food was super scrumptious. I finished everything they set in front of us. We shared the tomato, basil, pine nuts, roquette and buff mozzerella bruschetta. And hell yeah, we added the prosciutto! And then we shared the Scarsdale burger with stilton cheese. I have been dying for a good burger lately, Spain just can’t seem to find really good ground beef for some reason. And when I’m in England, vinegar goes on the chips. That’s fries to you Americans. Everything was so darn good. Plus my Guinness with black currants and then a cider. What a way to start off my weekend in London Town.

The Scarsdale Tavern – 23a Edwardes Square, Kensington   +44.020.7937.1811

4:00 The Tate Modern Museum

Not only is this a cool place to view international contemporary and modern art but it’s free admission (except for special exhibitions)! I love free. Amazing art.

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And through May, the exhibition – The Radical Eye: Modernist Photography From The Sir Elton John Collection is at the Tate Modern. It’s an amazing private collection of photography, drawn from the classic modernist period of the 1920s–50s. It’s £16.50 and well worth every penny.

Also, check out the restaurant at the top with panoramic views of the London skyline. It’s a nice place to grab a bite and a drink after a few hours of art viewing.

Tate Modern – Bankside, London   +44.20.7887.8888

8:30 Chiltern Firehouse

This is the new hot spot. The place to see and to be seen. There are two parts – the hotel side and the restaurant side, both are great. If you get here early enough and the hotel restaurant isn’t busy, that is the place to see the famous peeps. But the other side is just as cool and popular. We had some appetizers at the bar to start out with – fried chicken (YUM), deviled eggs and bacon cornbread. And then for the main course we had the Iberico Pork and the Welsh Lamb. So freakin’ yummy. My mouth is watering now just thinking about it. It gets busy quick so don’t forget to make a reservation.

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Chiltern Firehouse -1 Chiltern St., Marylebone  +44.20.7073.7676

 

SUNDAY:

Time to do some shopping. But not any shopping, I wanted to do some vintage shopping in East London. And off we go.

12:00 Vintage Shopping on Brick Lane

Grabbed a cheesy toast and a latte with an extra shot of espresso from Starbucks at the Bond Street Tube station and headed for the Liverpool Tube stop. Once there we headed north – walk up Commercial Street, turn east onto Fournier St and your second street will be Brick Lane. That is where all the good vintage shops are. First stop was Blitz on Hanbury St. This place puts the other shops to shame. Seriously good stuff here for good prices. Two floors of rails and rails of neatly presented vintage fashion. Good book selection too.

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If you want more of an eclectic selection, head back to Brick Lane and just a block up is the Vintage Market. Lots of smaller booths run with a large selection of clothes, jackets, hats, records, books. A bit claustrophobic but an excellent selection to browse through.

Blitz –  55 – 59 Hanbury Street   +44.20.7377.8828

The Vintage Market – F Block 85 Brick Lane   +44.20.7770.6028

4:00 Big Chill Bar

Vintage shopping sure works up a thirst! Right around the corner from the Vintage Market is the Big Chill Bar. A reggae vibe runs through this lounge bar with its own resident DJ. I had a cider, Donita had a Bloody Mary. Food looked good but we only had drinks.

Big Chill Bar – Dray Walk   +44.20.7392.9180

6:00 Tower Bridge

You gotta do at least one touristy thing when in London Town. Right? My choice, Tower Bridge. We walked (!) from vintage shopping on Brick Lane to Tower Bridge. It was about a 25 – 30 minute walk, but super easy.

Tower Bridge is AH-MAH-ZING. I love it. The details, the size, the blue! Construction started in 1886 and took eight years and five major contractors to complete. The bridge is 800 feet in length with two towers each 213 feet high, built on piers. It is a very, very busy bridge with traffic (bus, car, taxi, people) continuously travelling on it.

And I find it very beautiful.

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9:00 ROKA

I was craving sushi and luckily enough one of the hippest sushi restaurants in London is just a few doors down from my friend’s apartment. Even though it was so close we still had to use an umbrella because it had been your typical rainy, winter evening in London.

Donita had been at ROKA only a week before and Steven Tyler was there. He even stopped by to say hi to her and her friend. What a nice dude! Alas, Mr. Tyler was not there that evening but we still had a fabulous time. The tasting menus looked scrumptious but we opted for our usual fare – miso soup, edamame, some sushi and a roll. Super yummy. Even had to order another round of toro (tuna belly) for me. I gobbled it up and thought about ordering even one more. I decided for one more cold saki and then sadly … that was the end of my weekend in London.

ROKA –  30 N. Audley St., Mayfair    +44.20.7305.5644

What are some of your favorite places, haunts, restaurants in London?? I can’t wait to go back. But I also miss Cornwall, England. Maybe I can talk Felix in going there soon. Cheerio mates!

London ~ Hyde Park

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Thought I’d pop on over from my island of Mallorca to the slightly larger island (the 9th largest in fact) of Great Britain to see my friend who is working there for a few months. More specifically, I went to London. I was supposed to fly in and out of Gatwick but due to airline malfunctions, I flew into Heathrow. From Heathrow I grabbed the Heathrow Express, which takes you to Paddington station, where you can catch the Tube or a taxi. My taxi ride was quite short, to Oxford Street, but the whole time from airport to front door was around 25 minutes. I love it when things are that easy. It was a rainy evening but it was London, so that made everything okay.

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Since I got in so late (thanks plane!), we just hung out in her apartment, drank some wine and ate my favorite snack, hummus. You just really can’t go wrong with good hummus and crackers. And it was soooo nice to have an actual apartment in LONDON to chill at! Made it all feel very luxurious, just how I like it.

Next morning, up and at ’em! Started the day by walking through Hyde Park.

Hyde Park is HUUUUUUUGE. So many different directions to go, so many things to see. A little bit of background history for you. Hyde Park was created for hunting by Henry VIII in 1536. Do you get that song in your head when you hear or see the words Henry VIII? “I’m Henry the Eighth I am, Henry the Eighth I am, I am.” I hope you are singing it now too. Anyways, Hyde Park is contiguous with Kensington Gardens, which are often assumed to be part of Hyde Park; Kensington Gardens has been separate since 1728. But their total area together is 625 acres (253 hectares), so a little bit smaller than NYC’s Central Park.

We entered at the corner of Oxford Street and Park Lane, walked past the Marble Arch and the Speaker’s Corner, which has acquired a large reputation for protests and demonstrations. And then we headed towards the center of the park. There are many walking paths to choose from but we needed to get to the southwest corner of the park at Kensington High Street. We passed by some cool older buildings – The Old Police House and Magazine Cottage. Then followed Policeman’s Path towards the Serpentine Bridge. The bridge marks the boundary between Hyde Park and Kensington Gardens, the eastern part of the lake is the Serpentine and the western is known as the Long Water.

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Large numbers of swans nest in this area. It was a beautiful place with the Lido Restaurant on the Serpentine if you feel like resting and doing a bit of people and bird watching. The Princess Diana Memorial is just south of the Serpentine.

The Diana, Princess of Wales Memorial wasn’t what I expected. I’m not really sure what I expected actually but when I think of fountain, I usually think of something large and spitting water with a statue or two of something beautiful. Made from 545 individual pieces of Cornish Granite, this memorial is an oval, stream bed that is quite shallow. The design aims to reflect Diana’s life, water flows from the highest point in two directions as it cascades, swirls and bubbles before meeting in a calm pool at the bottom.

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There are three bridges where you can cross the water and go sit in the middle. The fountain is surrounded by lush grass where you can sit and enjoy the sounds, the day, the birds, your company, the silence, whatever you would want. This is what the artist, Kathryn Gustafson, wanted to accomplish. Diana was seen as a contemporary and accessible princess, so the goal of the memorial fountain was to allow people to access the structure and the water for quiet wading and contemplation.

And my last memorial from Hyde Park (actually from Kensington Gardens) is the Albert Memorial. The Albert Memorial in Kensington Gardens is one of London’s most ornate monuments. It commemorates the death of Prince Albert in 1861 of typhoid. It’s located directly across from the Royal Albert Hall.

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There are just so many things going on with this memorial, which is humongous, by the way. First of all, there is a seated Prince Albert, who is now covered with gold leaf. Then, you have the Frieze of Parnassus at the base of the memorial, which depicts 169 individual composers, architects, poets, painters, and sculptors. Then, at the corners of the central and outer area, there are two allegorical sculpture programs: four groups depicting Victorian industrial arts and sciences, and four more groups representing Europe, Asia, Africa and The Americas at the four corners, each continent-group including several ethnographic figures and a large animal. (A camel for Africa, a bison for the Americas, an elephant for Asia and a bull for Europe.)

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Within the canopy features several mosaics showing poetry, painting, sculpture and architecture with two historical figures on each side – King David and Homer, Apelles and Raphael, Solomon and Ictinus, and Phidias and Michelangelo. Near the top of the canopy’s tower are eight statues of the moral and Christian virtues, including the four cardinal virtues and the three theological virtues. Above these, towards the top of tower, are gilded angels raising their arms heavenwards. At the very top of the tower is a gold cross.

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WOW! That’s a lot of beauty, stuff, things on the memorial. I didn’t think I would spend so much time writing about Hyde Park but I realized there is a lot, so for you I dedicated a post to it. Go see it yourself! Or if you have been what is your favorite area, memorial, of the park?

And that, is Hyde Park, my friends. Stay tuned for more London goodness!

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Just Keep Wrapping

I am royally loving this. Maybe you know, or maybe not, but Kate and William were visiting New York City just a few days ago. Monday started off with Kate lending a hand to volunteers at the Northside Center for Childhood Development and later her and the hubs enjoyed a basketball game of the Brooklyn Nets vs. the Cleveland Cavaliers topping it off with a sweating hug from LeBron James, while Tuesday they spent a portion of the day at The Door (an organization that helps New York’s disadvantaged children) and later that night they attended St.Andrews’ 600th anniversary dinner at New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art.

There were even a few more things thrown into the mix between their arrival on Sunday and their departure on Wednesday – Wills flew to Washington D.C. to meet with the Prez, they also met the Clintons (Chelsea included) in NYC and a fashionable event for Kate to rub elbows with J.Crew creative director Jenna Lyons and Marchesa’s Georgina Chapman.

But my favorite thing that has recently been posted is Kate giving the royal roll of the eye to a woman telling Kate to “Keep Wrapping”. This is awesome. And I believe happened on Monday at the Northside Center. Welcome to New York hospitality Kate!

All Hail the Queen!

What a day

How shall I begin? RIP Cory Monteith? I am so sorry Trayvon Martin for letting this man get away scot-free? And yet I keep checking the news for something happy – perhaps the birth of a royal baby?!

I do lead my life with my heart. For anyone that knows me, that is not a hidden fact. Even though, being a Libra can make it difficult. I want to make sure everything is done right, correctly, equal but in the end when the scales have to be tipped, I always go with my heart. That shouldn’t surprise anyone. I would think most of us lead with our heart. Or at least I hope we try.

Call me a gleek, I don’t mind. I was actually quite shocked reading the news report this morning that Cory Monteith had been found dead in his hotel room in Vancouver, Canada. I know he isn’t some amazing superstar but I really loved what I saw from him. While all the other “kids” on Glee seemed to be perfect or striving for perfection, he (Finn) didn’t. Cory/Finn was the one who was goofy and unsure and sometimes dance challenged – but always adorable. I have watched the show since it began and he was always one of my favorite characters. I’m sure it sounds strange but I am so sad that he died. He was way too young and had such a promising life ahead of him. Rest in peace Mr. Monteith. For some strange reason my iPod has been wanting to play a lot of Glee songs today, thanks for knowing I care.

And the next thing, Zimmerman being acquitted. Are you kidding? Okay, I know I wasn’t there for the trial, I wasn’t there when a young boy was walking home with a pocket full of candy and his hoodie up but C’MON! It just doesn’t seem right. It just doesn’t seem right at all. That’s all I have to say about that. Well, for today.

And now for something good. Something fun! Have you made your bets? What do you think? A boy? A girl? Kate, The Duchess of Cambridge, is about to have her first baby with Prince William. And if you saw any of my posts before the wedding you will know that I am quite interested in the royal family. I am going to bet – a GIRL. Wish I could find a bookie here in Mallorca to take my money on that. As for the name, who knows. I would love it if they named her Diana. But if it’s a boy, well, I have lost my bet and a name I have no idea. What about …. South? I just had a crazy thought. What in the world IS their last name!?!? I have no idea!

Stay tuned for more crazy thoughts….

Do I hear $100?

I might be buyin’ a photograph.

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You may have noticed from here and here and here, that I am somewhat obsessed with the British Royal family. It all started as a young girl, at the innocent age of ten watching Princess Di become exactly that – A Princess. Isn’t that what most little girls dream of? Isn’t that what some of us still dream of? Sadly she did not marry her Prince Charming. Maybe she found him with Dodi Fayed? We will never know.

A candid photo has surfaced in the last few days of Shy Di from the late 1970s. Her and the revealed mystery man – Adam Russell, were on a ski trip in France with a group of friends. Supposedly, they were nothing but friends even though Mr. Russell said to have had a ‘galumphing’ crush on Diana. How cute! Just think how her life would have been so SO much different if he would have pursued her before the Prince of Wales did. But you never know, maybe he would have pursued her but in the end Prince Charles would have won anyway.

The photo was sold to the Daily Mirror two days after Prince Charles and Diana announced their engagement. But ‘NOT TO BE PUBLISHED’ was scrawled in crayon on the picture. Perhaps the ‘NOT TO BE PUBLISHED’ warning reveals that the Daily Mirror’s picture editor at the time had second thoughts about publishing an image of the future Queen in an intimate pose with another man. Maybe the Queen stepped in and demanded it not to be published?

The picture remained in the paper’s archives until it was bought seven years ago by the private Caren Archive, which is now putting it up for sale through RR Auctions in New Hampshire.

Who wants to go in with me to buy it? I have about $56.48 …… Let’s hope that is enough.
UPDATE: Pic sold for $18,000.  I definitely did not have enough… even with Perla matching my 56 bucks.  😦

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