Neighbors in tourist-ing

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NEW BEER POST: We visited Meantime Brewery on Thursday, and I had to update my list of amazing UK beers!

Hello on Day 23 in the UK!

Things are moving along here. It seems that we won’t be homeless! We are waiting on a variety of boring items (like credit checks and a lease) to resolve on an apartment we want to live in! Islington is great, but it will be nice to have a home for our own. Don’t worry — when it’s all signed and done, we’ll barrage you with photographs and change of address announcements.

We have a Saturday ritual now, which is really nice. The cleaning people come in the morning, so we need to take Zeke out. We walk over to King Square Gardens to play with him. After he’s thoroughly exhausted, we have breakfast at Jimmy an the Bee, where they make an amazing ham and cheese croissant and Americano, as well as a fresh, cold bowl of water for Zeke. This particular Saturday David forced me to walk another two blocks to see a few galleries. I have a natural resistance to interacting with new people, and being in a new place makes it harder. However, my reward was a really great exhibition, Magical Surfaces: The Uncanny in Contemporary Photography at Parasol Unit. It was encouraging to me to find work that I really liked–literally around the corner.

We were delighted that our friend, Sean, arrived in London this weekend! He has been riding trains across the world with another friend, Andrew. He started in Singapore, wandered about Vietnam, Japan, China, and Mongolia, then hopped on the Trans-Siberian Railway. He spent time in Moscow, Paris, and a few other spots before landing here. Coincidence would have it that he is staying for a week on the same block as us here in Islington. Yay for neighbors! We all met when Sean and I started together as freshmen at Cornell in 2004. We even got to hang out with him after college because he lives in the San Francisco Bay Area. So, it’s good he’s here to help us explore our new city, especially since he’s so good at exploring new places by now.

On Sunday we did a walking tour of London. We saw Westminster, Buckingham Palace, Big Ben, Covent Garden, and a few other spots. It was good to get a bit of the lay of the land. We even saw a marching band of British officers with their bowlers and brollies (or, uh, umbrellas)!

And yesterday (Tuesday) I needed to do some research at the Natural History Museum. I’m learning a lot about plesiosaurs and also the Loch Ness monster as an extension of my lifelong love. I did a fifth grade science project about the Loch Ness monster, convinced that as a ten year old I could determine whether or not she is real. This has emerged once again into a painting exploration. We get to project all our imaginings onto the bones of the plesiosaur, the fossilized reptile that could be Nessie. I’m not sure what will result, but the large hallway at the Natural History Museum is an portal to a crazy world for me.

On my walk to the tube, I discovered Sean–who was also on his way to the Natural History Museum! It was nice to have a comrade excited to learn, though Sean didn’t need to spend an hour and a half with the plesiosaurs like I did. There is so much to learn here, and what was really beautiful to me at the museum yesterday was that learning leads to imagining. Learning isn’t all facts and dry numbers; it’s about where it can take you. Maybe it means traveling the world, visiting dinosaur bones, or starting a new life in a new place.

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