Sunday, October 14, 2012

Wide Eyed

They should make me the poster person for JetZone, the homeopathic jet lag prevention "medicine" that I impulse-purchased at Deals and Steals and tossed into my carry-on bag. I chewed the little tabs (sugar pills) as directed before, during and immediately after my flight. It didn't help me to get more than 2 hours of sleep on the plane, but it -- plus a mighty big cup of coffee -- kept my alert and moving all day Saturday until I finally crashed around 10:30 pm.  I did wake up in the early hours of morning and couldn't get back to sleep for 2 hours (I'm putting that down to all the spicy food I ate at Tayyab's as much as to jet lag), but then slept till 9:30 am, and now feel that I'm successfully adjusted to BST. 

We worked in everything on my Saturday list, and then some. Starting our adventures at Old Street, we made our way towards the Moniker Art Fair at the Village Underground, zigzagging through Hoxton and Shoreditch to see street art, including several pieces by Stik, one of my favorite street artists. We saw some new things (Hoxton Square, Rivington Street, and the Leonard Street carpark), and some new-to me pieces (Stik's studio in Pitfield Street, and a community centre in Parfett Street). We also saw a paint-not-quite-dry mural by Shepard Fairey, called "Shoplifters Welcome," in Ebor Street, very near Boxpark, which was another of my destinations. Boxpark is a condensed shopping area, with small stores all in a series of shipping containers assembled on two levels. I was interested in seeing it because of my current penchant for creative reuse and because the Pie Minister is there, and I've been thinking all year about that lovely Heidi pie (winter squash and goat's cheese with savory herbs) that I had last October so I needed to pick one up to eat later in the week. 
Of the indoor art we saw at the Moniker Art Fair and at the Whitechapel Gallery, my two favorite works involved small taxidermied mammals. I usually don't go in for that sort of stuff, but these were great (and I'm just telling myself that the wee critters were road kill, not intentionally sacrificed for the art). At Moniker, Nancy Fouts, a 68-year old American artist who works in the UK, had a piece called "Rabbit with Curlers." At the Whitechapel Gallery was Maurizio Cattelan's Bidibidobidiboo, a miniature family kitchen with a squirrel that has committed suicide slumped at the table. There, we also saw some conceptual stuff, which I don't pretend to understand -- this year's Bloomberg Commission by Guiseppe Penone, and paintings and installations by Mel Bochner, the best of which was a series of colorful word paintings (imagine Sol LeWitt works with text instead of lines). 

An early dinner at Tayyab's finished off our day out in the East End.

20,659 steps (8.15 miles)
£20 to top up my Oyster card
£4 for two tote bags at Moniker Art Fair
£3.50 for Heidi pie
£1 for postcards at the Whitechapel Gallery
Spooner treated me to mid-afternoon tea and to dinner 


  1. Sounds delightful. How do you find where the latest street art is?

  2. imho - the little dead animal art slightly creepy