London’s Burning, tales of my journey Jan 25 – 30th ’07


Arrived in London about seven hours ago. The flight went well. They gave me a free Johnny Walker Red, and a red wine with dinner. So that was pretty good. Also, they showed the Gondry movie, ‘Science of Sleep’, which I liked a lot.

I’m staying at the Shaftsbury Kensington, its in central/west London in a pretty posh nieghborhood. My room is probably 100 sq. ft, but I have a 42″ plasma TV, and when I asked reception for a video cable to hook up my laptop they gave me a THX monster brand cable!

hogarth st.

Right now, British Airways is going through a “labour” dispute, so my return flight was cancelled. I was able to move it up one day, to the 29th, so I may end up returning home early.

I just had Bangers & Mash and a couple Stella Artois’ for dinner, after salt and pepper it was very good. This is one of the things my mother used to make for me growing up as a child. So it has a comfort food quality to it. Not sure where that came from, being that she grew up in Minnesota and is of Swedish and Irish decent. But anyways, good none the less.

I am excited about my film screening in a couple days. I hope to check out some sights tomorrow. More later-

ps. I heard there is hightened security on the tube right about now.


Today I took the tube to South Kensington station. From there, I walked to the Museum of Natural History. They had a pretty great dinosaur collection, and admitance was free. They had a special exhibit called ‘Dino Bites’, that you could see for 8 quid. That was a little rich for my blood. Other than that, they had a Human exhibit, and minerals. Which included a huge meteorite, the size of a small boulder.

museum of natural history, london

Next was the Victoria and Albert Museum. Admission was also free, with a suggested donation of 3 pounds. Here they had a cool exhibit on fashion, with the focal point being Brit Pop Carnaby Street 1960’s. They did a time line, showing how riding gear of the 18th, and 19th century influenced a Yves Saint Laurent suits in the seventies. To the influence of track suits on Georgio Armani in the 2000’s. And they went over most points between, with a timeline running roughly from Victorian to Modern times.

victoria and albert museum

They also had a Western European cast exhibit. Where all these famous pillars and statues had been cast. They had fasades from Norte Damme, and other famous cathedrals. And they had statues cast from the likes of Michaelangelo. Even though they are reproductions the level of detail was incredible. They also had examples of art from China, Japan, India, and the Middle East.

Next I walked a few city blocks to Harrods. And let me tell you, that place was a madhouse. They were ending some big sale, with signage everywhere. So I am not sure if that is their normal M.O., or if I just happened to go during the end of a large sale. But there were bins everwhere with 60% off this, 50% off that. I opted out of their famous food court, figuring if the store was that crazy I didn’t even want to know what the food court was like. Instead, I went for an espresso and a Danish at an Illy coffee stand. My barista was Rosa, she was from Italy. Then I trekked back to the station and took the tube back to my hotel.

It was getting kind of late but I wanted to get some fish chips for dinner. First I walked down the street turning on Earls Court, away from the station. And walked up to a pub that looked to serve food, come to find out it was only drinks in the evenings. So I ordered a Bass. The bartender looks at my like I have four heads. Then he points to the whiskeys with a puzzled look. So in a last ditch effort I order a Stella Artois, and we’re good.

Next I walk back to a similar pub that was in an alley of restaurants behind my hotel. Only to find out, they stop serving fish and chips at 10PM, by now it was about 10:15PM. Next door was a french restaurant, that boasted a 3 course meal for 10 pounds. Seemed like a good deal. For starters I got the French Onion Soup. It was pretty good with salt. Although, it did not come au’Gratin, the broth was still good. Then I got Lamb ‘Wellington’ [quotations taken from the menu]. It was braised lamb in a puff pastry with a meat reduction sauce. Very good. And for desert, I got a slice of apple pie. All in all, very good meal. After that, I went back the hotel and went to bed.


Woke up, had some biscuits fruit and coffee. Almost got on the wrong train, but a nice guy told me I needed to be a on the next one. Took the tube to Turnham Green. Walked a couple blocks to the Chiswick Movie Theatre (located in the back of a pub). Met Ed the guy who put on the event (from and Lawrence the curator of the venue (from the Chiswick Movie Theatre). Both really nice guys. Ed bought me a beer, no Stella’s; so I drank Kronenberg. Next I met up with this guy Gianni, from a film forum I participate in ( Super cool, we sat together and watched the films.

chiswick movie theatre

For the first segment they showed a best of, from the last 7 years. There were some pretty good films, some of which I had seen and others it was my first time around. Next was the avant-garde selection (in which I was a part of). Among those I enjoyed were: the curator Lawrence’s film, a trip on a boat; this girl Lightfoot’s film ‘switch’, where a man wakes up one morning with a light switch on his chest; and a girl from Paris, Andrea Staerke’s film ‘why we own dogs aka how to give a cat a pill’, about trying to give a cat it’s medicine. My film played second to last. I received lots of praise after the screening. Quite a few people were stoked.

Hanging out at the bar with Gianni, I was introduced to this young guy George, who had gone to the previous seasons Cannes film festival with Ed and straight 8. Hung out with him and his palls talking about films and music. A couple more drinks and I made my way back to city centre. Went back to the pub in the alley behind my hotel to try again for some fish and chips (the one across from the french restaraunt). But no luck. It was Sunday, and they had a ‘special’ sunday menu. I got a beef brisket sandwich with horseradish sauce. Went back to my hotel and captured my footage from a DV telecine Ed provided. All in all, a right royal night out.


Woke up, more coffee and biscuits. Finished packing up. Took the tube to Heathrow (3 quid one way). Hung out for a bit, bought some duty free items. On the plane, watched ‘the departed’, and some Mr. Show DVD’s I had brought.

In conclusion, had a blast; only wish I had more time to checkout the city.

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