Still debating whether I should post some songs once in awhile, maybe some trailers for films I want to see as well, because I always keep a never ending mental list of my favorites…
But I think those are going to be a treat for the rest of the semester, although I think the recent content has been, if rare, more interesting anyway.
This past weekend started on Friday for me, and upon reflection, was the most diverse of weekends, if you can call it that.
Friday was a trip to Mudchute park & farm, a green and wooded space open to the public filled with all types of farm animals. Mudchute consists of 32 acres in the city of London, which is preserved for the animals as well as for people too for picnics and events. Located south of Canary Wharf, a financial districts of London, it is a strange location for a farm, but hey, London is a strange, you can say quirky sure, city. The peaceful and natural setting of Mudchute is almost compromised by the views of the large buildings in the distance, but then again, the adorable animals won more attention. Giant pigs, curious llamas, sheep and goats everywhere, and a horse that decided the grass was in fact greener on the other side.
We also strolled around Shoreditch, stopping for a salt beef sandwich, reminiscent of a corned beef sandwich, complete with spicy mustard and long, thin strips of pickle. At night I went to a local bar and restaurant near campus, a place that, while busy and disorganized at night, has perfected its comfort food. They served brick oven pizzas, rich soups, chili nachos–you know, good stuff. I decided to order a banana, chocolate and hazelnut calzone thinking it was going to be a good nightcap. Do you see how big that is?! Don’t worry, I shared.
Saturday was a real treat, all thanks to our professor and a excellent collection of lecturers, artists, performers, filmmakers, and researchers. The Serpentine Gallery, a contemporary art gallery located in Kensington Gardens runs the event, inviting the most interesting mix of people to speak on the topic of memory. The Memory Marathon, as its called, was the entire day, and I stayed for most of the speakers except for some in the middle when the group wandered off for lunch in Notting Hill.
Long story short, I heard a mind altering talk from a man who started to go blind in his 30s (imagine always “envisioning” your spouse as they were when you first married them), listened to John Giorno (Andy Warhol’s lover) recite poetry from memory, learned about smell and memory from Sissel Tolaas, saw a film in which John Berger and Tilda Swinton talk about their fathers while making apple crisp, heard Douglas Coupland (an author I have read in class at Vassar!) speak about our current media environment and his nostalgia for his pre-internet life, and watched a film made by David Lynch just for the event, among so many other lecturers. And did I mention that Michael Stipe, formally of R.E.M., was there speaking about his past while his video pop art played behind him?
The picture above is Michael Stipe speaking. The lady in front of me had a nifty red hat on. The event was inspiring, at times personal and hard to listen to, sometimes pretentious, but mostly filled with nuggets of wisdom that I could not have expected beforehand. For more information on the event check the website here.
Sunday was much more relaxed, a quick picnic in St. James park, but otherwise very chill. Certain days here are super packed, so it is nice to appreciate the days when I can just chill out. Have you read this article by Tim Kreider from the NY Times’s Opinion Pages? I think you should. Whenever you think you are too busy, maybe it’s just time to chill out, make yourself a homemade meal, and watch a quick episode of Friends. Works for me.