A Sunday Afternoon in the ByWard Market (Ottawa)

A Sunday Afternoon in the ByWard Market (Ottawa)

I had to write a post that solely dealt with the new Tate Modern museum, simply for the fact that I was mesmerized by so many messages and affected by the true genius of artists even if modern art does not score high on my love of art scale.

I went to the Tate mostly to look at Picassos and Pollocks, and maybe some Matisse and Cézanne. Much to my chagrin, I did not find any Pollocks (my favorite ‘modern’ artist – I am fascinated by the organized chaos of his colours and strokes), but instead I found remarkable pieces like this one:

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It looks quite boring until you read the inscription indicating that these are fire hoses that were used to break up the peaceful marching of black students in May 1963 Birmingham, Alabama. These powerful hoses injured many young protesters. This piece of art keeps a part of history alive and reminds us not to repeat our horrible mistakes.

Now between modern uses of varying mediums:

you can find an interesting Picasso or a Degas sculpture:

Justin and I went from room to room inspecting tiny treasures and pondering at various creations. One room, dedicated to Louise Bourgeois, the French-American artist who gave us Maman (one large version is housed at the National Gallery of Canada in Ottawa), portrayed less known pieces which brought us some insight into her creativity.

Another part of our dismay was the building itself, a former electricity-generating powerhouse. What a brilliant idea to renovate and house these modern pieces in an unused manufacture!

And before ending this post, I must urge everyone visiting this museum to pay the 4 pound suggested donation per visitor (or more if you can afford it) in order to support art and keep London’s museums free of charge.

My regular ‘What have we been doing in London’ will be back shortly with some great additional pics.

Stay tuned!

I remember walking the streets of London in the Fall of 2013 thinking this is not only the beginning of our voyage, but the beginning of a love story. Yes, London has polluted air, yes, everything is expensive and of course, well, they drive on the wrong side of the road! But London is history, our history, it has beautiful architecture, wonderful traditions and Brits have a great sense of belonging.

So we arrived in London yesterday morning, bleary eyed, lacking sleep and proper food, but propelled forward by exciting energy. We found our lodgings, slept for a couple of hours, then went on a self-guided walk of Westminster area. We finished the day drinking beer at a live jazz concert in a church’s crypt.

Horse head chiseled from the Parthenon... The British were, of course, 'preserving' these marbles.

Horse head chiseled from the Parthenon…      The British were, of course, ‘preserving’        these marbles.

 

We started today with a visit to the British Museum. It was nice to revisit our favourite sculptures and pay our tribute to old, but never forgotten civilizations. We didn’t pay for the special exhibit Sunken Treasures (so very expensive!), but it sure looked interesting.

We then continued to stroll the streets of the city by following another self-guided walk of the west end, pausing long enough in the beautiful Covent Gardens to re-energize our spirits.

Before making our way to Fortnum & Mason for our High Tea appointment, we stopped at Neal’s Yard Remedies flagship store as a wink to our cousin Sarah.

 

 

Our Fortnum & Mason trip was not exactly what we had anticipated, but we did get tea and even shopped in their market section for a few breakfast items.

And since I was talking about traditions and a sense of belonging, the British really start their weekends on Thursdays, enjoying long late lunches with a couple (or more) lagers. I do love this tradition, but I do wonder how Londoners stay thin with all this beer in their system? Ok, they are not all thin, but most are!