What I have come to love most about the city of London is its parks. Jogging through the central London parks has become one of my favorite things to do while here. The fact that the city has designated and protected such large pieces of land for public use is such a great feature to an already amazing city. The parks themselves are filled with monuments commemorating war heroes and various events from London history. It seems every time I run through I see something new that catches my eye. One of my favorite memorials is located in Green Park and it commemorates all the airmen who perished in WWII. The monument itself has massive metal sculptures of English airmen. There seems to be a lot of monuments throughout all of London that are WWII specific. When it comes to the park that I like most it is definitely West Hampstead. The swimming ponds and the vast open prairies that are sprinkled with old oaks make it really gorgeous. Hyde Park is a close second with its picturesque Serpentine Lake that is filled to the brim with huge swans. The vast size of Hyde is also really unique being in a park that large can make you forget that you’re still in a city. Something that I plan to do before leaving is renting a boat on the lake in Hyde or in Regent’s park. Another great afternoon activity would be to rent a bike and ride around Hyde and Kensington Garden. Overall, I think the parks of London are wonderful and add an amazing aspect making it even more dimensional. The city itself is filled with so many things to do, I believe a person could live here their whole life and still not see everything that it has to offer.
This week I made a visit to the Tate Modern Art Museum. I’ve never been very interested in modern or abstract art but i figured with its free admission I should still definitely stop in for a quick look. At first glance I liked the exterior of the building it looked like the architect put a museum within the shell of an old manufacturing facility. The large smoke stack and the lack of windows give the building a very unique look and its location on the Thames is great. Unfortunately, for me appreciation for the building’s contents was not the same that day. I observed all of the free galleries and came across a few pieces that seemed unique and required skill to create. The Picasso’s that I saw were interesting most depicting nude women, but overall majority of what i saw did not speak to me as pieces of art, but rather culminations of random objects put together or canvases with paint splattered on them. For instance one piece that really puzzled me was a plain beige canvas with a slice down the middle as if someone cut it with a knife. The plaque on the wall described the piece as a representation of creation rather than destruction. I asked myself should great pieces of art need an explanation of their meaning or shouldn’t they provoke appreciation and thought by merely their appearance. Now my opinion does not carry much weight in the art field, but this is just simply a observation that I made. I would definitely say go to the museum you cannot beat free admission and it is one of the best in the world. While there try to think about what gives pieces of work the title of art. If a few well known artists agree that a piece is worthy enough to be put in a museum, does that necessarily make it art?
While jogging through the city I was invited into a gallery of graffiti under the Waterloo train station between Leake St. and Lower Marsh. When entering the underpass I first spotted a group of guys skateboarding and then a man putting up a fresh tag on the wall. I was about to just jog through but decided to stop and talk to the artist. Turns out his name was Masimo and he was originally from the island of Sardinia. He had a thick Italian accent but spoke pretty good english. We continued to talk about his history in graffiti painting, which he has been doing for four years, and what type of tags he enjoyed doing. Back in Italy he went by the tag name of Masta, but here in London he now goes by Chips. Overall, it was cool to experience this underground culture first-hand. If anyone plans on looking at I would suggest going during the day.
Painting by famous British graffiti artist called Banksy