Thursday, January 19, 2012

Londoning


Our second time here in London, we're doing a little less big, expensive sightseeing, and trying to hit some of the lesser-known spots that we didn't get to last year. But then, there are reasons that some places are lesser-known, as I've discovered this past week at the Museum of London Docklands and the Sherlock Holmes Museum. The Sherlock Holmes place, as I learned today, is really an elaborate tourist-dollar-sucking-ploy. Unless you are a diehard Sherlock Holmes fan, familiar with the details of all of his stories (and are there such people? I imagine there must be, somewhere), this museum holds very little of interest. It is sort of a shrine to an imaginary person. It is a small old house, decked up to look like a Victorian-era lodging, but everything inside it is fake.

Our visits to the heavy-hitter museums have also been slightly less successful this year. Maybe we're all weary of museums, or maybe the kids are just more interested in playing with their friends this time around, as their bonds have grown closer. In any case, here are the girls at the Victoria & Albert Museum, they decided they needed to take a break from the antiquities to do some yoga. That's Ayla & Isa, and Sam's girls Millie & Sophia.

Even the Tate Modern didn't win us over this year. As you can see, Ayla decided the whole thing was too much effort, so she carried around one of those little museum chairs with her. We were underwhelmed with the Unilever exhibit this year, which was a silent film, projected gigantic. I wish we were here for some of the more interesting ones... this summer promises to feature Tino Sehgal. "Sehgal has risen to prominence for his innovative works which consist purely of live encounters between people. Avoiding the production of any objects, he has pioneered a radical and yet entirely viewer-oriented approach to making art." HA! The artist that avoids the production of any objects, featured in a visual art museum. Awesome. The Unilever series in Turbine Hall really has done some amazing things over the years, though I do have to wonder if this year's selections were based on budget cutbacks?

I did love some of the signage in the Tate, like signs that remind you to be more civilized. By the cloakroom there's a sign politely requesting, "Please fold your umbrella before handing it to the attendant."

Regent's Park was a hit today, thanks to zillions of birds (what are these heron-egret amazing things behind the kids??) and a really good playground.

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