Friday, January 31, 2014

Down and Asian in London and New York

Breaking up the sightseeing reportage for something else that has struck me about London.

Monday, January 27, 2014

Borough and Tate: London Markets (Part 2)

The guidebook said that Borough Market is known as the foodie market, so naturally, I made my way down there, with the idea of walking along the Thames and going to the Tate Modern afterwards. While there, I realized that a lot of people went to the market to eat. Sure there were vegetables and meat, but there were also a lot of stalls that made food. I did have a bite at one of the Turkish stalls, but there aren't any shots of the sandwiches and things that were also available. The following day, I came back and ate at an Indian food stall (£6 for two items and rice), had a delicious brownie (£2) and a mulled wine (£3.50). Definitely a market to visit if you like food. And if you like the community and street life of markets. 

Borough Market with the Shard in the background. 
The market is in the shadow of Southwark Cathedral.
Similar to how the markets in Taiwan are usually by a temple. 
Fresh eggs. 

Nice farmer's stall. I bought some figs. 

Love these kinds of tomatoes. In Venice, I was told that they were for cooking. No idea they were called "Cow's Heart".  And jeez, they're expensive. 

Turkish Delight in all manners of flavors. And I thought Asia had invented gummy candy. 

I was really wired after Turkish Delight and Turkish Coffee. 

They apparently do hunt pheasants in England. 

These pies actually look really good. 
I'll have to ask someone just what is a banger boy.  

A nice walk along the Thames with St. Paul's in the distance.
Tate Modern - it's FREE!!!! 
Surrealist exhibit visited by the ghost of Magritte. 

I was really struck by the perfection of this piece by Meredith Frampton. In the corner (not sure if you can see it), there's a crack on the wall. See below. 

Self-portrait on a detail of Meredith Frampton's painting. 

Christian Schad painting. Amazing portrait of jealousy. The woman has a cut on her face. 

Detail of another painting by Meredith Frampton. So gorgeous. 

Another incredible painting by Christian Schad of two people from a sideshow. Love the directness of their gaze. 

Soviet propaganda posters. 
I found myself in a room with several large pieces of grey glass leaning against the wall. It was a piece by Gehardt Richter so I amused myself by making Gerhardt Richter-ish portraits:

There was also an exhibit of photographs by Harry Callahan. I loved the double exposures and thought it would be interesting to superimpose my reflection on the double exposures. Sort of like a triple exposure.

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Cavorting in Camden: London Markets (Part 1)

Being a Taiwanese girl, I naturally make a beeline to outdoor markets wherever I go. In London, I've hit three of the major outdoor markets so far. Took me until the second market for me to realize that it really is like Taiwan here: if you want to eat cheaply and well, skip the restaurants and head to a market. I'm staying in the West End so the first market I hit was Camden.

This is what you see after you exit the tube and make a right. I was disappointed at the chintz. 

Reminded me of that cheap tee-shirt area next to Tower Records. Or St. Marks Place. 

But I kept going, hoping to find something a little more interesting.
Lots ofshops had creative exteriors. 
After five minutes, I found myself on a little bridge over a
waterway. In the distance was this sign. 

To the right are kiosks of cheap fried food, which you can eat on motorbikes overlooking
the lock. It was kind of eh, so I crossed the street and went to the other side.  

This side was much more interesting. There were all these interesting little restaurants. 
The west side of Camden Lock. 

Duck confit for £6?! I wish I hadn't eaten already. 

Any place with a nice second-hand bookstore must be the place. 

Londoners getting their food on in Camden. 

I remembered this ice cream shop from the guidebook. 

See those grey urns behind that guy? That's liquid nitrogen, used
to instantly freeze the the ingredients.

Then they whisk the frozen concoction and turn it into ice-cream. 
Caramel white chocolate ice cream with pistachio and fleur de sel. Incredible. 

All the clothing at Camden seemed pretty cheesy but then I found The Arc. Well-made retro clothing and some vintage pieces. There was a sale rack of jackets for £5.  Also one of those paintings of the green Asian lady. Remember how ubiquitous this painting was?  Who was this woman???

I kept going and found myself in an old stables yard that had been turned
into a marketplace. This really reminded me of  Taiwan. Same chintzy clothing
and carnival atmosphere. It's probably full of teenagers on the weekend.  
Odd but interesting gazebos to eat under. 

Mixed in with all the cheap stalls, there were a few shops with genuine pieces.
Like this place, run by an Italian guy from Bologna.

I resisted a gorgeous merino wool cape for £50 but caved in on a 1940s hat for £20.
The stables yard had all these statues of horses. 

More horse sculptures and two shops of slightly chintzy retro clothing.