Saturday, May 28, 2011

London Day Two

Day two in London was a hearty mix of museums and shopping. I started out walking through Hyde Park and stopping at the Serpentine Gallery, although I must say I wasn't terribly impressed by the Mark Leckey show on exhibit there (I wasn't the only one - this unfavorable review in The Guardian apparently sparked something of an art world pissing contest.) I wandered through the park, stopping by the Albert Memorial with its awesome imperial sculptures, then on to Exhibition Road.

Next stop was the Natural History Museum.

My love for natural history museums generally tends to depend on a massive, turn-of-the-century, chock-ful hall of mammals, with worn taxidermied creatures and ancient display cases. The Natural History Museum in London has a bit of that feel but actually is more modern. Good for learning, bad for my apparent British pre-war imperialism obsession.

However, I did love the dinosaur exhibition, complete with dramatic lighting.

Although the V&A is right across the street, I knew it was open late on Fridays so planning on making it the end of my day. Instead I hopped on the tube to go to Sloane Square to see the Saatchi Gallery.

Sadly, it was closed for a private function. However, all was not lost, as Sloane Square/King Street had plenty of window shopping to keep me entertained for a while!

To continue my window (and real) shopping, I went over to Regent's Street, to the mecca of all upscale shops, the beacon of floral-print-lovers everywhere, that monument to the Arts and Crafts movement, Liberty. I think I want to move in.

Almost very nearly bought one of these lovely printed tops. Can't quite swing the ninety pounds, though, so I picked up a reasonable facsimile at Gap yesterday.

I of course had to head to the first European Anthro - I kind of liked the old church architecture of the King St. one more, but this one was huge and very impressive. Good sale section, too, although I couldn't find anything that fit just right.

Popped into the National Geographic store, which reminded me of when I plastered my bedroom walls with maps taken from old copies of NG when I was about eleven.

Loved this super-cute tea shop! I picked up some lovely little things there.

Then on to the V&A for the evening!

I adored the Arts and Crafts dining areas. And those globe chandeliers - WANT.

The V&A had on a special exhibition of the aesthetic movement - very heavy on the PRB, Wilde, Morris, and Beardsley. In fact, they had a few original Beardsley prints, which were wonderful, and two of his original drawings. This one, Siegfried, Act II, completely mesmerized me. It was right at the end of the exhibit, and I just kept going back to stare at it, getting ready to leave, and needing to look one more time. I nearly bought the giclee print but realized I had no way of getting it back with me undamaged, since it was in a huge tube. this is a terrible reproduction, but believe me, the delicate linework and detail is stunning in person. Beardsley himself considered it one of his best pieces within his early work.

Next up, Day Three: Abortions, a religious experience, and a good luck bridge.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

London Day One

Started out London with an artist interview, after which it was time to museum-hop! I started out at the wonderfully cheesy Sherlock Holmes museum at the fake 221b Baker Street.

I had lunch in Regent's Park near Baker Street. It was gorgeous weather the whole time I was there!

Next I visited the Courtauld where Ai Weiwei's Circle of Animals/12 Zodiac Heads was on view.

Then, of course, I headed around the corner to the National Gallery.

I loved this Fourth Plinth sculpture, and my first thought was that the textile reminded me of the Shonibare at the Davis, and lo and behold, it is indeed a Shonibare.

Finally, I rounded off the day at St. Martin's Theatre seeing Agatha Christie's The Mousetrap, now in its 59th consecutive year in the West End. I love me some Christie, and it was so adorably post-war British.

Next up: Day Two - dinosaurs, shopping, and the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood!

Monday, May 23, 2011

Just after seeing yer man Obama

That's my terrible Dublin impersonation. I was planning on doing a London Day 1 post today, but thought this might be more timely. President Obama was visiting Ireland today and there was a massive rally on College Green just in front of Trinity, with bands and celebrities and finally the man himself! People were queuing for hours during the day, but I had an interview for my dissertation scheduled so couldn't make it during the day. Hoping they would still let latecomers in, I hustled down at around 5:00, when the garda luckily stopped searching people and just let us all in - I think they figured we'd be too far away from him to do any danger anyway. I got in just as the Taoiseach finished up and the President stepped forward, and ended up just under one of the big screens showing him. So, in the end, I didn't actually see him 'in person' but I figure it's close enough!

 Garda everywhere - luckily they're all quite nice and helpful.

 Massive crowds - this was just when I was waiting to get in past the barriers, not even at the event itself.

 Look at his charming self.

Love the print on Michelle's dress - thought she looked fab!

I won't lie, I teared up a bit when Obama came out, and a bit more as he talked about the American life story being one of immigrants and of hopes. It was just a moment of 'this is my president, I voted for him, and here are all these people in a foreign country out to support him, happy, waving American flags.' It was this weird ex-pat patriotic moment. Plus, I mean, it's not every day you get to see the President of the United States speak, in your own country or otherwise.


I do realize it's been ages since my last post, because things have been absolutely mad here. I'll hopefully update this week with information on all that's happened in the past few weeks, including:

-Move to a new flat (bedsit, really, it's tiny!)
-Artist interviews almost complete for my dissertation
-Two very disruptive state visits to Ireland (Queen last week, Obama this week)
-Trip to LONDON, which was awesome. There will be many, many pictures
-Big news on the academic front for me

Things to look forward to:

-Finishing up interviews and writing my first dissertation chapter (with a quick visit up to Belfast for the last interview)
-HOME to Natick/Providence and some massive movage
-Planning my parents' visit in July

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Outfit Post: Spots

I wore this to the gallery's relaunch celebration, where I ate a dozen mini cupcakes and then felt a bit sick. They were so worth it, though. Lolly and Cooks, the caterers, are officially my new favorite people. Also, the next time I post I'll have new hair! I've been thinking about getting it cut for ages and I finally took myself to the salon yesterday and chopped it all off!

Blazer: Gap
Dress: Anthro
Tights: Penneys
Shoes: DSW

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Outfit Post: Stripes and silver

Casual, ever-so-slightly-mod outfit today. I love this sweatershirt tuxedo blazer so much, because it dresses outfits up but is comfy like pjs.

Blazer: Gap
Top: Target
Necklace: Modcloth
Jeans: Gap Outlet
Shoes: Topshop

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Outfit Post: Overcast

My pictures all turned out a bit crap today because of the early gloomy sky, but I loved the outfit too much not to post! This skirt from Penneys is my new favorite thing. I saw it in the Belfast store months ago, but they didn't have my size, so you can bet when it finally showed up in Dublin I snatched it right up!

Tank: Target
Cardi: Penneys
Skirt: Penneys
Tights: Penneys
Shoes: Hasbeens for H&M
Necklace: Urban Outfitters

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Happy Mother's Day!

My mom and I shopping like mad in Florence back in 2002ish. Looking forward to travelling with her again this July, hopefully to Italy again (Venice!)

My mom is a pretty awesome lady and has always been a big inspiration to me. She raised me to think for myself and to pursue what makes me happy and her influence was the beginning of my feminist education.

I love you, Mom!

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Outfit Post: Forties

When I bought this top, I thought right away that it would go with my fav vintage skirt. I love the 40s feel of the high-waisted skirt with the printed floral top and the bold silhouette.

Top: A|Wear
Skirt: vintage
Belt: Avoca
Tights: Penneys
Shoes: Frye

Outfit Post: In the Navy

Three different shades of navy in this outfit!

Top: Penneys
Skirt: Monsoon
Tights: Penneys
Shoes: Urban Outfitters
Necklace: Accessorize

Monday, May 2, 2011


I just got completely distracted from everything else I was doing because I read that the USPS just issued a Gregory Peck stamp. Yeah, awesome. I will be buying a stack of these when I'm home and using them to mail EVERYTHING. Plus they're forever stamps so I can keep using them for ages. Wedding invites, maybe?