London, Take Four

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Dr. Johnson had it right.

I adore London. For its deep history and sense of place, for its looking ahead and stretching boundaries of who is a Londoner, its architecture, neighborhoods, cultural institutions, urban infrastructure with all its ease and hilarious horrors, long twisting river, alleyways, parks, good Indian food and cream tea.

Oh, and I can (usually) understand what people are saying! I can even walk into a butcher shop without linguistic trauma, unlike in some other countries I could name. *cough*

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We’ve been to London three times, and this trip will be our longest stay to date, two weeks. The apartment where we usually stay had sadly been sold, and so I booked a new place in a neighborhood new to us, Islington. It has a small second bedroom, serendipitous and as it turned out. With Evan home doing an internship until December, he was able to tag along for the first five days.

We’ve had good experiences using London Walks for their interesting and inexpensive themed walks, so we’ll be doing a few during that first week to introduce Evan to the city.Also planning some museums.  He’ll love the British Museum  and the British Library I suspect; and we’ll finally get to the Denis Severs House in Spitalfield’s. Some food experiences–that glorious grilled cheese and caramelized leeks sandwich at Kappacasein in Borough Market, Indian veg lunches,fish and chips, a proper afternoon tea. I also want to get out to Hampton Court.

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After Evan heads back, Larry and I plan on more museums–there are some great shows happening– there’s a Georgia O’Keefe at the Tate Modern which ends soon; Beyond Caravaggio at the National; Picasso portraits at the NPG, also William Eggelston photos there; Abstract Expressionism at the Royal Academy; and I’ve forgotten what else. Oh, some interesting looking Dutch landscapes at some gallery in Dulwich (need to look at a map for that one!) and an exhibit of photographs of Soho at the Getty Gallery. As usual, we can spend hours at the V&A.  I’m also burning to get up to the William Morris Gallery in north London.

We’ll be seeing Larry’s Liverpool cousins; getting together with some friends; and seeing a play–Pinter’s No Man’s Land, with Ian McLellan and Patrick Stewart.  We’ll also be celebrating my birthday during the week with dinner reservations at Nopi , and a lunchtime tasting menu at the two-star Marcus.

Taking Norwegian Air, I was able to grab round-trip direct seats for $425, not bad at all. No assigned seats, checked luggage or food, but who cares, we pack light, bring along sandwiches, and have plenty to read.

Leaving Thursday night, whee! And if anyone wants a London travel companion anytime, I’m your gal.

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