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Saturday, September 8, 2007

Saturday at the British Museum

I slept in this morning and headed to the British Museum in the early afternoon. I remembered it fondly from my first trip here (back in 1994! Much has actually changed since then, including the relocation of my favorite part, the library). My plan had been to go to Greenwich, but the weather was not nearly as nice as what had been forecast, so it seemed like more of an indoor day.

When I stepped out of the Tottenham Court Road station, I was a little confused about which street I was on, but then I was swept up by a tide of young Japanese men on a big tour...I am not kidding, there must have been 50 of them, and I was the only non-Japanese male in their midst. At first, I found this kind of weird, but then I realized I could just stick with them, as they HAD to be headed to the museum!

I ate lunch outside (a tuna salad and cucumber sandwich on a baguette from Pret a Manger, a great sort of deli chain) and read a free copy of the Times I'd picked up on the train.
The outside of the building is really quite spectacular...

And, the Great Court is super-cool too and really just nice to sit in (I later enjoyed a delicious $4 bottle of Evian during a break).

I made it around to the Elgin Marbles, Rosetta Stone, Egyptian mummies, treasure of Sutton Hoo, Rameses statue, Portland Vase and most of the other biggiest...but I think the part I enjoyed the most was the Enlightenment Room. I am not sure if this was (a) it was the first thing I saw, and the room itself is really neat (b) there were fewer people (c) the stuff was intriguing and interestingly presented.

Now, in case you are wondering, all of the photos I've posted are just copied from Wikipedia, and I would really suggest this strategy to the scads of people who clog up the place taking pictures of exhibits...honestly, people, buy a postcard! I wonder if it has gotten worse with the advent of digital cameras (since you don't have to worry about wasting film). I felt like I spent a bunch of time standing there waiting for people's photos to take, so I could pass through.

After the museum, I was sleepy, so I went to Russell Square near the University of London and laid in the grass for a while reading the paper.

I should have been a little more ambitious and walked down to the Dickens House, which was close by and would have been neat, but I was just pooped. I was also being kind of cheap, because it was $10 to get in (5 pounds). But I walked by later, and then just kind of strolled around Bloomsbury and back to New Oxford Street, where I had a coffee, looked at some of the trendy cheaper chain stores and just watched people.
When I got back to Canary Wharf, after being in such a historic part of town for the afternoon, I realized how sort of generic and any-new-city-anywhere "my" part of town is, but I still like it nevertheless!
Here is another picture of Canary Wharf, since I am feeling a little photo happy...

I tried to go see Atonement, but my timing was off, so I picked up some things at the grocery store and walked home. It was already dark anyway and had been a pretty long day.

For dinner, I heated up some gnocchi from last night and made a FABULOUS salad. It was a variation of something I saw Jamie Oliver make earlier this week, but he used shallots, and they were out of them at my store. So, I bought a salad mix of arugula, watercress and spinach. On top, I put roquefort cheese, walnuts and pomegranate seeds. Then, I made a dressing of creme fraiche, vinegar and olive oil. MMM. I could have had seconds!

Oh...let me just report one little kitchen calamity. I noticed when I got home with the groceries that the fridge and freezer were off. I climbed up on a chair and checked the circuit box, wondered if there had been a power outage, etc. Just before I went downstairs to ask the concierge, or called the rental company, I saw two little switches behind the teapot and toaster...oops, guess I was overzealous in switching off the lights last night!

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