Posts Tagged ‘Village Underground’
Charles Dickens, Beach House and Wes Anderson. Providing magic for the heart and soul….
1. My friend leaned over to me during Beach House at The Village Underground and whispered “she sounds like God”. I can’t top that for words. I struggle to think of anyone that sounds as unique as Victoria Legrand without going back to the days of Nico. What keeps your eyes fixed on this woman is that so rare element of mystery. The tracks they played are on this spotify playlist, personal highlights being Turtle Island, Other People, Zebra and New Year. Village Underground is also a fantastic venue, intimate with a sound system that fills up every inch of air.
2. I am ashamed to say I had never visited The Museum of London, nestled in that sci-fi strange but beautiful area in Barbican. Charles Dickens is the man who finally got me through the doors. Inspiring exhibition which took in his relationships not only with London but the people he surrounded himself with. I was unaware just how much Mr Dickens cared for women’s rights (although now I see clearly in his books that he was). He built Urania Cottage in Shepherds Bush, a home for destitute women. He also personally arranged for 56 ‘fallen women’ to begin new lives in Australia. He’s my new feminist hero.
Standing in front of his writing desk and chair, drafts of well-known books, even a shopping list to his servant for “a cooked ham and pork pie from Fortnum & Mason’s” amazed me. These artefacts and trinkets from the past have survived for us to be inspired and amazed by. Exhibition runs until June 10th so there is still time to visit.
3. Wes Anderson is hands down my most cherished film maker, he has never disappointed me. The attention to detail, the tiny intricacies, the almost graphic novel feel to his films that are tinged with heart-breaking emotions (feeling so alone in the world, misunderstood, disconnected, childish innocence) tug at my heart every time without fail. I don’t want to give anything away about Moonrise Kingdom so all I will say is every character is adorably quirky, the soundtrack is predictably genius and you should all go and see it.
4. Just as Foxbase Alpha was a soundtrack to my awkward teen years Saint Etienne’s Words & Music will now become part of mildly less awkward thirties. Released this week it’s been my accompaniment to balmy walks through London after work as I weave my way onto the sunny side of the street. Inexplicably it brings the seaside to the city for me, and I also adore the soft soothing singing from Sarah Cracknell, its like an old friend.
5. I scoffed down my first ever Banh Mi this week and my stomach just really needs to tell you how amazing it was. This is a Vietnamese baguette stuffed with pickled carrots, coriander, cucumber and grilled meats. This particularly one that I drooled over had pork belly, Vietnamese sausage AND pate. Not one for the vegetarians I’m afraid (sorry Morrissey fans)! If you happen to know a place that you consider serves the best Banh Mi in London please tip me off? ♥
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I’ve always called London sexy. Yesterday, thanks to Open House I got to take a peek in her knickers.
It was the first time I’ve made it along to this annual event. I was forewarned that my day would spend a lot of walking and a lot of queuing. Undeterred I shrugged this off. I have legs so the walking is easy peasy, and I am British so queuing politely was bred into me before I was a fully formed embryo. Yesterday I headed to East London where my Dad was born and raised.
In Dalston I mildly offended an architect by not spending over an hour in his house, but he made me take my shoes off and I had a hole in my tights. Also, I like my homes cluttered and lived in. This particular home felt a bit to clinical for my personal tastes. I then spent a blissful hour in Dalston Eastern Curve Garden and found myself plotting how I could stay there forever, unnoticed and left to my own devices but with the occasional visitor. The team behind creating a garden on an abandoned railway are growing a Pizza garden and have built a clay oven to bake the ingredients in once harvested. As I walked to the end of the garden I saw that it backed on to a Matalan. It made me hope that for every awful shop popping up there will always be people on this planet connected with nature, creating little gardens for people to enjoy in peace.
From Dalston I walked down to Shoreditch and finally got close to a sight that’s fascinated me since moving to London. The painted tube carriages that look like they’re precariously balanced on top of a wall make up the Village Underground, an artists community. Sitting in an old Jubilee Line carriage looking across the city felt like I’d been let in on a secret location to cherish.
By now my feet were protesting but I shrugged off their pleas to sit down and eat cupcakes and/or drink cider. In honour of a recent blog post I visited Christchurch Spitalfields, immediately felt guilty about taking photos in a church but did get to witness a bell ringing demonstration which was geekily fascinating. They even let me tug a bell rope (insert your own Carry-On joke here). My final Open House visit was Spitalfields charnel house where I became transfixed on an archeologist called Jane. Listening to her paint a picture of the medieval bone house gave me that same fascinated feeling I got as a child visiting the National History Museum for the first time. That feeling of learning something brand new and at the same time feeling so, so tiny.
Annoyingly my Open House plans were cut short when I had to admit the cold I’d been pretending was in my imagination was actually in my immune system after all. But I still got so much from the day and can’t recommend it enough. It’s impossible to visit all the locations I wanted to nosey in, but it gave me some great inspiration for future days out in London.
I feel I’m due a career change and think maybe there’s a calling for a bell ringing archeologist that lives in an old tube carriage and grows their own vegetables. ♥
Photo’s of my Open House experience can be found on my Flickr