JULY 28, 2006 12:11 PM

When I went to London two years ago, I don't think I even brought a camera. My buddy, Mike,
was always taking pictures and I knew he'd bring back some good ones.

The trip occurred right as everyone was starting to have digital cameras, but I was still without one.
As a result I don't have an harddrive full of european memories like Kevin. Fortunately, everybody else does!

So here it is, my summer in London through the eyes of strangers from Flickr.

My block

So here is the picture that started it all. I was looking for a picture of the borough that I lived in, South Kensington, and I came across this photo.
I am pretty certain that it is a picture taken from the doorway of the building I stayed in.
The building is used by tons of students from all over so I don't doubt that there are tons pictures on the web of this little Edwardian street.
I also recognize the dead end and some of the cars.

kensington gardens

My flat was in an amazing location. I kind of feel bad for all the super wealthy people that actually lived in the area because they had to pt up with a bunch of rowdy American college students.
While we were there, the Euro 2004 soccer tournament was on and we all caught a bit of the mania. One of my roommates bought a soccer ball and we went to Kensington Gardens and played by the ponds.

Royal Albert Hall

We were a block or two away from the Royal Albert Hall and a bunch of museums. It took me an embarrassing amount of time to realize how close I was living to all these touristy things.


One thing I really wanted to do was eat lunch in this Art Deco building. It used to be a headquarters for Michelin, but now it is a restaurant that I had read about in french class or something. I never did go.

The Queen's Arm

The Prospect of Whitby

The Prospect of Whitby was my favorite pub. The Queen's arm was my second favorite.
Both are a little tough to find. Some friends took us to the Queen's Arm when we first got there and it was kind of cool to see people drinking outside the pub, just chilling and talking.
The prospect of Whitby, on the other hand, was highly recommended by a flatmate. We had to ride the tube for like 45 minutes to get there, but upon arriving, I knew it was worth it.
The pub is like 250(?) years old and in a relatively remote part of East London. It was a perfect excape from the hustle and bustle of the city. We would always order some food and sit out on the river. It was sooo relaxing.
I think the dude down there knows what I'm talking about.

The views from the Prospect of Whitby


I also had a chance to visit Bath. Everybody else went to the Roman Bath houses. I skipped it (too expensive) and went record shopping. I saw a cricket match being played. Those dudes have some style!


My professor while in London, taught at Oxford. Once instead of making his usual trek into West London, he invited us out to oxford for the day.

Brown's in Oxford

I am pretty sure that this is where we ate.

Marble Arch morning

Some other kids from GVSU and I went on a trip to Italy. We almost missed our bus to the airport. This is what Marble Arch probably looked like when we passed it. I am not sure though since we were running in the street trying to catch a bus making a turn-around before it left for the suburbs.

Cinqu terre

We went to Cinque Terre, wich is a small series of 5 towns on the sea, connected by a bunch of trails. I am told that it is getting more touristy. I once heard it mentioned on the O.C. so I am sure it is going to suck soon. It was pure bliss when we were there though.

Tate Modern

The Tate Modern was sweet. I had to write a business plan for the Tate Modern while I was there in order to get credit for Business school. It was a total joke. The teacher (from GVSU) didn't even come out to Allendale to see my presentation.

Sotheby's Olympia

I couldn't find a good picture of Sotheby's Olympia, but that is where I worked.

Sports cafe

Since I lived with mostly Americans. I was often invited to some very American things. There is this bar called the Sports Cafe. It felt like I was in East Lansing. Tons of college kids wearing Big Ten college sweatshirts. "Why so many Americanos?" you ask. Simple. 1 pound for 1 pint.

Notting HIll Arts Club

The coolest place I went to while in London was the Notting Hill Arts Club. You had to go down these scary stairs and the entrance looked like a package delivery door. Once inside, there was art on the walls, a bar, and incredible international musicians. I saw this DJ "Yam Who" play there with this other dude Blackbeard. They make (used to make) these insanely smooth remixes of hip hop and soul songs. One night, a friend of a friend went (without inviting me) and she saw this fellow that looked familiar. She went up to him, and in a way that only a drunken college girl studying overseas can, she went over to this unknown celebrity and asked "If you were to be famous, who would you be?"
Long story short, it was Mos Def. This was before he completely fell-off so I was very jealous.


My other favorite club was Cargo. They had awesome djs and a couple of drinks I actually liked.
The entrance was under some type of bridge overpass.

Harrod's at night

It took me a while to find all the places I dug, so before I found my feet, I would just go out with whomever was going out to wherever they were going. One night we were coming back from some shitty club (probably sports cafe) and we got lost. One girl was very drunk and very annoying and she kept saying she had to pee. So we were hurrying back to the flat but she said she couldn't hold it anymore. She went behind some construction site dump bin and squatted.While Mike and I were waiting I realized that we were on the back side of Harrod's department store.


Speaking of Harrod's, the only thing I bought there was some tea as a gift on recommendation from a coworker. Everything else was way overpriced in my opinion. I spenta lot of weekend mornings combing through the record bins and the "bric a brac" at Spitalfields markets. There were dudes there selling crate after crate of dope records. Local food vendors, local clothing designers and all sorts of stuff.

Brick Lane

Spitalfields was right near Bricklane which had similar vintage/junk markets and a bunch of Indian restaurants. I loved it over there. I saw tons of art school senior and MFA shows in that area while I was there.

♥ anthony
Comments (1)

JULY 20, 2006 10:03 AM

I have a few t-shirts that I rarely wear. Most of these shirts were, at one point, steadily rocked. Now, however, I keep them all in one drawer and have considered on more than one occasions, framing them.

Anyone who has made an amazing thrift store find can attest to the fact that some of the most insane things get put on t-shirts. Things that grew in meaning and relevance as time went on and the context changed. George has an Eames chair shirt. Two years ago, I wouldn't have had any clue why he was wearing a shirt with a tiny chair on it. Now, because of a bit more knowledge, I can see that the shirt represents an important designer that had close ties to Western Michigan. That shirt kind of has an attachment to this area because, I am assuming it had something to do with some company function or promotion from Herman Miller in Zeeland.

So I was watching the Yacht Rock videos before work today. (I had no idea they had continued producing these segments) I was watching the hilarious sketch with I keep forgetting, when I noticed one of those special t-shirts.

That my friends, is a t-shirt that was only given to a select group of elite ballers. Competitors in a much fabled tournament known as...THE GUS MAKCER.

Yep. My pops used to play in that tournament each year. And in 1985, he participated in the one held in Lowell, Michigan. Years later, Kurt Cobain and some other dudes convinced me that girls would like me if I wore my parents and grandparents semi-discarded old clothes and so I started rocking the shirt. After a good couple of years, I stopped wearing the shirt. Although I must say that it was a flattering little number, I didn't want to ruin the shirt from repeated washings. So I retired it to the special shirts drawer, only to emerge on, appropriately, special occasions.

Now for one last note. Check out the date on that t-shirt. 1985, right? Now recall the setting of the Yacht Rock video. 1983! That settles it then. People have wondered for decades how such soulful/smooth songs could come from Michael McDonald, and now we know. Dude can time travel. What else can explain writing a song that would do better in 1994 than it did in 1983. He must have known that West Coast Gangsta rap would rise to the top but people would still crave a lighter interlude mixed into their angsty p-funk influenced g-funk.

Or maybe it was a production oversight on the part of some dudes that make clips for the internet. Or maybe the Gus Macker used the same t-shirt design for a bunch of years, I can't really make out the date in the quicktime clip.

♥ anthony
Comments (1)

JULY 14, 2006 3:25 PM

I am really interested in policy and how it can be used to help the arts, so I am going to try and use my blog to write about arts policy issues. I’m hoping that if I have to put what I know into a public forum, I will be more motivated to stay up-tot-date and accurate on the issues.

The first entry is about the new changes to the grantmaking procedures for MCACA grants. According to media reports (sorry, I’m still trying to track down a link to this story), films in the Ann Arbor Film Festival prompted some members of the state house of Legislators to call for funding guidelines that would disqualify indecent art. While these changes seem to be a bit more stringent, it is important to note that certain content restrictions on funding already existed. Also, this bill doesn’t stop artists from creating the art, it just cannot be funded by the state.

Here are the changes, according to Artserve Michigan. Additions to the existing criteria are bolded.

1. MCACA is to give priority to arts and cultural projects that serve multiple counties, leverage significant additional public or private investment or demonstrate a significant potential to increase tourism or attract or retain businesses or residents.

2. Grant funding will not be used to create or promote a specific work that includes a display or depiction for which funding is prohibited under subdivision (a).

Subdivision (a) the grant will not be used to fund a project or activity that includes a display of human waste on religious symbols, a display of a sex act, or a depiction of flag desecration.

3. The department shall withhold undistributed grant payments from a grant recipient who violates the terms of the agreement and may disqualify the grant recipient from award of future grants for a period of not more than 3 years.

4. Cultural and Ethnic Heritage Centers and Museums have been added as organizations eligible for art grants.

From what I can tell, these are recommended changes that will take affect in the next fiscal year. I made some calls to find out if there is a specific bill attached to these changes, but I got a lot of answering machines and lines that are “no longer in service.” So, yeah, this was a pretty poorly researched one, but hopefully I'll be able to get more information and post it later. I think it is funny that our state's laws have a no "human waste" clause, obviously influenced by Andres Serrano and Chris Ofili.

♥ anthony
Comments (3)

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