London, Day 6 Spent pratically the whole day at the Tate Modern. Time Out compares it to the Musee d'Orsay in that it's a recovered industrial building. What I remember most from the Musee d'Orsay is the light coming in through the glass ceiling. There wasn't much sun yesterday (surprise!), but the entry ramp down to the first floor is impressive. Photos from the building before it was renovated reveal the space pretty much as it is now, but with lots of interesting rusty bits, which added colour and warmth to the space. Sadly, these are gone. For those of you from Montreal, a similar renovation (on a much smaller scale, of course) is Discreet's renovations on Duke Street. The Tate should have kept all the boilers. Inside, the collection is quite impressive, highlighting both famous contemporary artists and some I've not heard of before. Memorable for me was: The Rothko room: Always a favourite with me. They always induce some kind of meditative state. They should put little cots underneath what are mostly mauve-coloured canvases for people like me who just want to have a little dream under them. The Pollack stop: One of Pollack's smaller action paintings, accompanied by audio recordings of everything from whether Pollack is the greatest American painter of all time to whether Lee Krasner was gyped out of a career of her own (there was a Lee Krasner there as well). Richard Long vs. Claude Monet: In this corner, one of those damn waterlilly paintings. In the other corner, a new work, done especially for the space, of a waterfall. The latter is a big, monochrome rendition of foam and water cascading down the entire wall. The former looks grubby and dirty and blurry in comparison. Long wins! Dan Flavin: The king of fluorescent lights, there's nothing like the hum of the lights as you walk through the room filled with his work. Rebecca Horn's piano: A grand piano is suspended from the ceiling. As I enter the room, it's playing tinnily. Amused, I'm the only one to walk and stand right underneath the work (I'm so trusting). As I check out the other pieces in the room, the top of the piano bursts open and all the keys fly out. Wicked! Boccioni's piece: I can never remember the name of this piece, but it's that famous Futurist sculpture of what is essentially a man in motion. He's vital, he's sexy, and he's made of bronze. A man clearly going places. I left the museum at about 5:00 p.m. and walked along the south bank. Looking at the map, I thought it would be a long walk to the Westminister bridge and the Houses of Parliment, but it wasn't. I passed the London Eye, British Airway's huge slow moving ferris wheel that gives you quite a good view of London. I *had* to take it. It was a tad expensive at £10.50, but I got some good aerial shots of other people below me. I walked over the Westminster bridge and then got a little bit lost. I found myself walking through St. James park. Exiting, I thought I was at Nelson's column, but was in fact at the Duke of York's column (it was big, so I just assumed). I kind of got my bearings and thought I was heading towards Trafalgar Square, but ended up in Picadilly Circus instead. Seeing that the now familiar Shaftesbury avenue hooked up there, I eagerly followed it to the Sainsbury's, where I bought wine, cheese, and some salad and went back to my hotel to read the Tate Modern catalog and fall asleep to a Jean Claude Van Damme film about hockey (he plays a French Canadian, and it's full of 80s hockey stars like Luc Robitaille. They *all* have mullets!). p.s. You can check out pictures of Friday's pub nite here. Lots of my hair, and some height comparison shots.

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