London Day 6: Tate Modern and Camden Market

I seem to have lost track of blogging about my England trip from APRIL, but in the spirit of the Olympics I will continue my London posts. I apologize if my blogging is sporadic; I just started a new job that I am quite enjoying, but is very busy, and I’ve been running all over NYC trying to enjoy as many summer activities as possible.

Anyway, when we left off I was heading to a museum to meet up with an old friend. The Tate Modern is one of my favorites, as they have a fantastic permanent collection that is always free, and usually something stunning in the Turbine Hall. Unfortunately this time it was… Damien Hirst. And the Turbine Hall just had a black box with his diamond-covered skull inside (not actually HIS skull, mind you).

It looked like it was going to be at least an hour’s wait to see the skull, and since I really didn’t care, I saw the next best thing, or perhaps the best thing: the skull merch booth. Honestly, I kind of wish I’d bought something to celebrate art decadence, but predictably everything was more expensive than it was worth, the legacy of dear Hirst.

More importantly, I was at the Tate to meet up with my friend Mari who I knew from when we both lived in France. I hadn’t seen her in over two years, so we spent a lot of time catching up as we wandered through the permanent collections. Above is an inverted staircase by Do Ho Suh, representing the memory of one of the artist’s previous homes.

Here is Jenny Holzer’s “BLUE PURPLE TILT,” with tall LED screens of Holzer’s signature earnest sayings, like “a lot of professionals are crackpots” and “disorganization is a kind of amnesia.”

There is a great view from the top of the Tate to St. Paul’s, and some stormy skies seemed to be on their way. Still we walked outside and made our way to the underground to take a trip up to Camden Market for lunch.

After the rain, the sky totally cleared into blue, which was quite picturesque over the Camden Lock. Camden Market is a jumble of vendors selling all manner of random things, with plenty of outrageous clothing options. It is fun to browse.

We ended our day with drinks by the old Liberty department store. Here are some more photos of the prestigious, Tudor-style shopping center:

It was wonderful to see an old friend, and time always seems to be too short while traveling. All the more reason to go back, though. Yet the next day of my England trip wasn’t going to be in London at all. Watch here for the next adventure.

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