London Afternoon

It was a little hard to wake up this morning with the drain on my window. I don’t know how English people get anything done in the wet seasons. I made it out the door even in time to get my rings from studio, which were waiting for me safe and sound. It may have helped that they were buried under a pile of magazine clippings. Felt good to have them back on.

It was 43 degrees in Brighton today and 41 in London. After all this cold weather, it felt lovely and springy. I wore my Hunters just in case, but London was quite dry. I like overcast days like today. The lighting is beautiful, the colors are vivid, and it makes London seem all the more English. I love London. I love just being in London. I had a nice cappuccino in a patisserie outside the Royal Academy while waiting for Marcos. The poor dear had a late night last night (apparently there are a bunch of street parties due to Margaret Thatcher’s death) so he was running a little late. It was fine, of course. I really am happy just being in London, and I’m usually late myself.

We had sushi for lunch before going to the show. It’s the first time I’ve had it since I left the states. Oh, I missed it so much! It really hit the spot.

There was quite a queue across the street at the Royal Academy. After waiting for a few moments, I realized that all of the banners were for the Manet exhibit… which is what was on the last time we were here.

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Marcos went to investigate, and found that the queue was for the Manet exhibit. The Bellows exhibit was on simultaneously, and there was no wait for it at all. We gleefully skipped ahead, got our student tickets, and set about finding the show. I will never understand how, in English buildings, you have to walk up four flights of stairs to get to the second floor. But we made it!

The Royal Academy doesn’t allow photographs, but the moment we walked into the gallery I saw someone who made that impossible to resist. It was probably the last person I expected to see when I walked through that door. I was completely stunned. It was Frankie the Organ Boy!

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Yes! None other than George Bellow’s Frankie the Organ Boy from the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art in Kansas City! It was like running into an old friend unexpectedly while on vacation. It’s such a surreal feeling. So the Bellows show started off on a good foot. I was looking forward to a little sense of home, since he was a realist painter from the midwest, but I wasn’t expecting to see such a familiar face. And it only got better from there. He’s an amazing painter, and I was especially blown away by his use of colors. He gets away with so much! Not every painting was amazing, but overall the show was just fantastic.

Marcos and I left feeling really good. A woman giving out a survey approached us, and we agreed to participate. It ended up being 6 pages long, but we eventually escaped.

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Looking at really good art just leaves you feeling uplifted. We didn’t want to rush around London right afterwards. It’s the kind of feeling you just want to relax and enjoy and absorb. We strolled past a chocolatier, and Marcos had the brilliant idea to get some hot chocolate.

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Green Park was right around the corner, and it was the perfect solution. We strolled around, enjoying the spring weather. Eventually we found a bench, watched the birds, and added commentary to a pair of pigeons’ courtship. It was just a leisurely afternoon. We had lunch, saw some fabulous paintings, and relaxed in a park in the heart of London. I can’t imagine a better way to have spent it.

cheers!

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