Today I realized something: I am adapting to London. I now look right before I cross the street, I use coins to pay for almost everything, and today I said “cheers” for the first time without even thinking about it! How quickly the city gets under our skin.
I’m also feeling more comfortable with the massive underground network. I still haven’t been lost and I can get anywhere with relative ease. Today I caught a train at St. Paul’s station to Lancaster Gate at the edge of Kensington Gardens. I came to see the Serpentine Pavilion, where one of my favorite architectural firms, Bjarke Ingels Group (BIG) has a temporary featured structure. It was designed to be an “unzipped wall” made of thousands of fiberglass bricks. The design was very impressive but like many things here, it would be much better to experience it without the mass of people milling about.
There’s so much to see around Kensington Gardens. I took a walk toward the Albert memorial. This structure is an impressive tribute to Prince Albert from Queen Victoria. It was opened in 1872. In each corner of the statue tower are four smaller statues representing Europe, Asia, America, and Africa. The Londoners were laying about in the park, drinking wine, smoking and sleeping in the afternoon heat.
Across from the Albert Memorial is the Royal Albert Hall, an amazing concert hall constructed in 1871. I’d like to see a performance here this fall…
After seeing the major sites, I walked the streets of Kensington for a while, passing many beautiful homes, embassies, and exotic cars. If I choose to live in London for longer, I will make living in this neighborhood my goal.