Distractions, reflections

David Ing, at large … Sometimes, my mind wanders

2008/09/12 South Kensington, London

After I had spent a few hours at the Tate Britain, Ellen arrived in town, and we went for lunch.  She suggested an art show a little distance away, so we hopped on the Tube to South Kensington station.   As we tried to get oriented, we found ourselves outside the Henry Cole Wing of the Victoria and Albert Museum.

DI_20080912 102504 VictoriaAlbertMuseum HenryColeWing

Looking at our maps, the Science Museum seemed to be the wrong direction.

DI_20080912 102540 London ScienceMuseum

We turned the direction we thought was north, up Exhibition Road, finding another wing of the Victoria and Albert Museum.

DI_20080912 103106 VictoriaAlbertMuseum ExhibitionRoad

Since I have a Brompton bicycle, I was intrigued to turn down Brompton Square.  This neighbourhood isn’t a likely one for bicycle factory.

DI_20080912 104258 BromptonSquare sign

The row houses have a typically London feel.

DI_20080912 103850 BromptonSquare EP

We walked north to Ennismore Garden Mews, where we found a laneway with two-storey buildings in pastel colours.  Mews are rows of stables, with carriage houses on the second floor, but modern London doesn’t have many horses anymore.

DI_20080912 104638 EnnismoreGardenMews east

We walked to the west end of the mews, where the lane turns north.

DI_20080912 104748 EnnismoreGardenMews west

Around the corner, facing north, are some buildings with more renovations.

DI_20080912 104806 EnnismoreGardenMews view north

Continuing north and turning around to look back, I wondered if all of the buildings had evolved from a same original design.

DI_20080912 104946 EnnismoreGardenMews view south

We walked west across Princes Garden.  Set back from the street is Weeks Hall, a college dormitory.

DI_20080912 105026 ImperialCollegeLondon WeeksHall

The Imperial College of Science, Technology and Medicine occupies a series of white row houses.

DI_20080912 105016 ImperialCollegeLondon ExhibitionRoad

One of the doors in the series was for the Student Administration Office.

DI_20080912 105038 ImperialCollegeLondon AdministrationCentre

A few doors down is the Entrepreneurship Centre.

DI_20080912 105140 ImperialCollegeLondon EntrepreneurshipCentre

Looking south on Exhibition Road is the Mechanical Engineering building.

DI_20080912 105328 ImperialCollegeLondon MechanicalEngineering

Walking north, we encountered the Royal Geographical Society.  There was a small photographic exhibit that took us 15 minutes to walk around.

DI_20080912 105526 RoyalGeographicalSociety

We turned west at Kensington Gore, and a few blocks over, found our destination:  the Royal College Of Art.   Ellen had an invitation to the 20/21 British Art Fair.

DI_20080912 111036 RoyalCollegeOfArt 20-21BritishArtFair

In contrast to the art exhibited in public museums, this was a show by art dealers.

DI_20080912 111210 RoyalCollegeOfArt 20-21BritishArtFair displays

Ellen spoke to one of the dealers for an explanation of some of the pieces.

DI_20080912 112020 RoyalCollegeOfArt 20-21BritishArtFair explanation

We covered most of the booths … and then saw that there were displays on other levels.  I found the hall to be quite warm, and said that I had seen enough.

DI_20080912 111320 RoyalCollegeOfArt 20-21BritishArtFair displays

Retracing our way back east on Kensington Gore, Royal Albert Hall takes a city block by itself.

DI_20080912 114318 RoyalAlbertHall

On the north side of the street is Kensington Gardens.

DI_20080912 114434 KensingtonGarden map

The Albert Memorial, constructed in 1872, is a natural landmark where groups of touring students were congregating.

DI_20080912 114840 AlbertMemorial

Entering north into the gardens, I found a marker on the ground for the Diana Princess of Wales Memorial Walk.

DI_20080912 115226 DianaMemorialWalk marker

We came to a fork in the path pointing to the Diana Princess of Wales Memorial Fountain, and chose instead to walk east.

DI_20080912 115516 DianaMemorialFountain

Kensington Gardens is on the south bank of the Serpentine.  Looking west, the Serpentine Bridge leads to Hyde Park on the north bank.

DI_20080912 120114 KensingtonGarden Serpentine view west

Looking east, this artificial lake has a feel similar to a natural lake, where lines aren’t perfectly straight.

DI_20080912 120136 KensingtonGarden Serpentine view east

As we walked southeast through the park, we found a topiary of animals.

DI_20080912 120740 KensingtonGarden topiary

Ellen had another social engagement, so I walked her over to Park Close, on the way to Knightsbridge.

DI_20080912 121954 YorkClose

We parted company, taking the underground different directions.  London is a great nexus to meet an old friend and have a long conversation while taking a stroll.

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