Monday Lieblings: London

So, as most of you know by now, I’ve been to London twice in the past two weeks to go to various concerts (Iggy Pop with the Stooges, Suicide, and Pavement).  Although I was hesitant to go, London was absolutely wonderful- I wish I could live there, but it is really truly expensive.  Anyway, I was too lazy to just include a separate post about it, so now I will attempt to cram the two trips into a lieblings format.  Oh, and I have a bit of a lieblings update: within one trip to London I acquired all the free diet coke nail polishes in the collection (I wrote about them last week) and am happy to report that they are WONDERFUL.  Seriously; great colors, one-coat application, and they haven’t chipped in a week (with lots of dishwashing taking place during that week).  My favorite color is the “London” color- it’s pretty much the shade I wanted to dye my hair for awhile:

So, if anyone needs to take a trip to London anytime soon, give me a buzz, I’m an expert now. (but not really)

1) The Pavement Concert

Who doesn’t love Pavement? I mean- I don’t think I ever met anyone ever who was like “Screw you Pavement, your sweet guitar riffs and witty, if goofy lyricism really pisses me off”.  (If you are that person, you should probably leave the room now- and I don’t mean just close this window- like, leave the room you are in, you don’t deserve its presumed comfort).  So this show was good- they played Stereo, which has my favorite Pavement lyrics of all time (the ones about the singer from Rush, you know what I mean… but not you, I thought I told *you* to leave the room).  Also, Stephen Malkmus is hot and they came back for several encores.  I really, really hoped they would play their not-really-officially released cover of “No More Kings” that they did for the re-do of the school house rocks album (have you guys heard that album? so fun! so very 1990s). I mean, it would have been very amusing to hear that song as an American in England- check out the lyrics:

also, did you know that Pavement did the music for Space Ghost Coast to Coast? (well, some of it). Plus they were on an episode of it and rocked out- check it:

2) Shopping in London (Specifically the Laden Showroom)

So, I really liked shopping at the thrift stores in London, until the bank decided that the London activity was fraudulent (since I never leave Manchester, ever) and they shut it down.  Interestingly enough, as I was mucking through the mess that is Barclay’s customer service, I saw this store, and decided to go in so that I wasn’t yelling my debit card information out in the busy streets of a giant city.  This store, the Laden Showroom, carries a variety of different up and coming London designers’ lines- and they were having a lovely sale, and my friend Andrew can be very persuasive about buying nice clothes, and so all in all I ended up getting a lovely sailor dress, some t-shirts, and a swing raincoat (hey, I live in the U.K. and don’t have a raincoat- I *needed* it!) Here it is:

3) The Tate Modern

I went to the Tate Modern both weeks (other art-venues included The National Gallery, Serpentine, and Spruth Magers (Trockel’s gallery)) It’s a really great space- beautiful building, fun design, good art, great gift shop, etc.  I highly recommend it for anyone going to London- it’s even free (unless you get sucked into the gorgeous gift shop and go book-buying crazy). My favorite part of the museum was the two-story high timeline of the entire history of modern art that was painted on the gallery’s wall.  I tried taking some pictures, but you really can’t see it all at once- it looked something like this:

The very best part of the timeline was:

Rosmarie Trockel made the list! Although I assume this is a very recent addition because she is not on the official Tate Modern timeline gift shop poster.

4) The British Election

When I moved to the UK I had no idea how their government really worked- there was a queen, but she just has corgis, and then…. there is that place that Guy Fawkes tried to blow up that one time…whatsamacallit Parliament….and…… thats it? But no! I was wrong- the British electoral process is fascinating and… well, ultimately doesn’t decide everything- but we don’t know what it does and doesn’t decide, because they have no written constitution.  Anyway, I stayed up all night watching the election results come in- the BBC mainly focused on this guy they threw in a virtual world:

(more on him later).  And at about 6am we all realized that we weren’t going to know anything for awhile, so we all stumbled home.  A few days later, Parliament was hung (meaning no one party had enough representatives to govern with a majority- so no one really won).  I think the Daily Show did a really great job of covering all the bases, so just go to this link:

and this one:

I can’t embed the videos, but do yourself a favor and go watch everything- quite explanative and very hilarious (and you get a few clips of the crazy virtual BBC election coverage world!)

5) Cheap Hotels!/Kind and Generous Friends Who Live in London!

As I’ve already explained, London is not cheap.  The only reason I was able to go is that a) on the first trip my delightful friend and colleague Paul let me sleep on his couch. (Thanks again so much Paul!!) plus his housemate fed us delicious cake (thanks housemate – sorry I forgot your name!) and b) the second trip was met with the great luck of finding a super-cheap hotel (I paid 15 pounds).  The Bayswater Inn (see the photo above? that’s it!) was pretty darn nice for being so cheap- clean beds, my own bathroom, free breakfast and bag checks, limited British television, off-brand tea and coffee packets to steal… plus it was in a lovely area:

6) Fish and Chips………(well, certain Chippies)

Sussex Fish Bar is really, really good for fish and chips. You should try it.  But here is a warning: don’t go to just any chippy- because thats what I did in a famished bout of desperation right after the Pavement show and well… look for yourself:

The worst part (and seriously folks, this is just a crime) is that they didn’t give me any malt vinegar or salt- for good fish and chips thats all you need.  Instead I got a lemon and ketchup and tartar sauce. ew. But anyway, Sussex Fish Bar- it’s in Paddington- go there.

~ by gakather on May 17, 2010.

3 Responses to “Monday Lieblings: London”

  1. Hi Katherine! I’m in Berlin. Just wanted to say that yesterday I tried the “fish and chips” at NordSee… Tiny pieces of greasy fish on soggy fries, all smothered in tartar sauce… Makes the above picture look like a delicious, nutritious meal.

  2. Hi! I’m planning a week-end in London and I found your blog by googling cheap hotel, so I just wanted to know how did you do to find a room with 15 pounds a night??? I’ve searched for the Bayswater Inn site and it says that the prices are from 70 to 100 pounds. I would be really happy to be able to find a cheap hotel, so I hope you will answer 🙂

    • To be fair, the room was 30 pounds total, I split it with my friend (the room ended up having four beds though- very odd!) Basically I used, and then searched a few other “budget” hotel websites (expedia for the UK, etc) I would recommend those over going through the actual website, and June/July are holiday times for London, so I assume (unfortunately) things may be more expensive now. Hope this helps, and that you have a great trip!

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