Sunday, July 29, 2012

[The Life of Shaun #451] London Town

In the past several weekends, Rahul and I have taken to exploring London.  It's amazing how much energy you have on a weekend day when you're not out until 4:00!

Today's destination was a dive deep into the depths of hipsterhood, Frank's Café atop the Peckham multistorey carpark.  Like so many misjudged shopping centre schemes around the UK, this one is blighted, little used and crying out for redevelopment.  So into this empty space has stepped a (very "modern") art space and café.  Below are some pics from our jaunt SotR.

We also had a gathering Friday night to watch the Olympic opening ceremonies.  I loved them, but know there's some disagreement and/or ambivalence for some, especially regarding the giant baby head.  I didn't get the giant baby head either.  Perhaps that section would've made more sense if I'd read all the books they were referencing.

I was afraid they might try to out-show Beijing, which would've been a massive fail. But they focused on what Britain has, its history, and all the influence it's had on modern culture. And I loved they threw humour into it.

All in all it makes up for the Olympic logo being Lisa Simpson giving a blowjob. Almost.

But whatever you thought of the ceremony, if you were based in the US, check out this link:

NBC edited out one of the nicest moments of the event, a tribute to the victims of the 7/7 bombings in London, which happened the day after London was awarded the 2012 games (and just one month before I moved here).  I have no idea what they were thinking, but they've supplied a statement that they were tailoring their editing for an American audience.  Apparently, Americans know nothing about the scourge of terrorism.

Seeing empty seats in gymnastics on the TV has annoyed me, but still love the games being here.  And seems most Londoners do, too.  Londoners are great at pretending to hate their city, while secretly loving it.  That façade's torn away a bit right now as we bask in the global spotlight (where, despite our complaints and naysaying, is where we all believe we belong).  I know it's temporary, so I am enjoying it while it's here.

Proud Londoner,

Rye Lane, one of Peckaham's high streets.  Peckham is an African and Afro-Caribbean majority neighbourhood.

The Peckhamplex, with its multistorey carpark behind.

And, yes, the gallery and café were literally on the top floors of the carpark.

A bit of early 80s memorabilia.

The "sculpture" gallery.

Frank's Café, at the top of the carpark.

The view from Frank's is stunning, though!

We had a rare London thunderstorm while dining - St. Paul's and the Shard became silhouettes across the Thames.

But it cleared up quickly, so one more gratuitous shot for the Londonistas out there.

Shaun H. Coley | Shadwell | Tower Hamlets | London E1 | UK |

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