My picture of Dorian Gray...
Since the last post I've walked probably over 15 miles around the London streets. Last night I started walking and just kept going. I ended up going all the way to Buckingham Palace and then all the way down to Chelsea Bridge and back to the hotel in Kensington. I wasn't really going to see those sites so much. I just like to see how people live. How people look and how they interact with eachother.
Today I walked probably over 12 miles. Kevin was still sick and stayed back at the hotel. Today I walked circles around the Soho area of London. Its a more trendy area. Actually somewhat similar to the Soho district in New York. There were tons of places to shop for clothes and records and everything else. I must have looked at 1000s of people today. I like to just study them and see what kind of clothes they are wearing and how they walk and interact with the world.
All this got me thinking about the book I was reading on the flight over. Oscar Wilde's only novel, "A Picture of Dorian Gray." Coincidentily, the Futureheads at Reading played a song called "My Picture of Dorian Gray", which I thought was really cool. A picture of Dorian Gray is about the Aesthetic movement in the late 19th century. So far what I've gotten out of it is he is saying style and looks are the most important things in life. Also, its about "Dandies", guys who look very pretty and act feminine in many ways. Oscar Wilde turned out to have homesexual tendencies later as well. All the time I'm reading this it makes me think of the current metrosexual phase that is going on right now. I don't want to get too much off the subject of London but I just wanted a bit of background on what I was thinking. I really don't believe in a lot of what he has to say as far is beauty being the most important thing in life. But I have recently begun to feel style is very important. I am all about creativity and self expression and style is something that can represent these things.
So anyway, I noticed London really has a lot of style. Even more so than the US. New York is close. Many people there have style. But in London even the old people, the mom's and dad's, the grandparents, all seemed to be dressed pretty stylishly. At least from my day and a half's wirlwind view. The metrosexual idea that has kind of swept accross the US is really just how most males are in London. It seems that many of the social mores about men having to act manly and prove to everyone that they are not homosexual all the time are not as apparant. Its not to say that it doesn't exist. But that's just how I saw it today from my study.
The destinations I went to today included Trafalger Square, Picadilly Circus, Harrod's, Oxford Street, 10 Dowing, The War Room, Hyde Park, Big Ben, Westminster Abbey, etc. But really I'm not too much into those touristy type of things. I just want by them so I could say I've seen them and take a few photos. I would much rather experience the city as the people of the city do as much as possibly.
One thing I've noticed is that London seems a to be a bit more of a toy city than London. I don't mean really that its less signaficant, it just seems like it has more rounded edges. In a way I do feel more safe here. I feel like I get less strange looks from people on London than New York. Maybe I look more normal here.
When I finally got back to the hotel my legs were about to fall off. Kevin and I want to a good Lebanese restaraunt I had seen that wasn't too far from our hotel. I saw they had hookahs there and I had to try one. I got a bit lifted after finally finishing that thing, it was pretty good. I also had a good Lebanese beer called Lebiza. The food was also excellent, I had baby chicken with garlic mayonnaise. I haven't had baby chicken before, but I'm a fan of the baby cow so I thought I'd give it a try.
Well, they are about to close the internet cafe so I've got to cut this off. We are going to head to Liverpool tomorrow. We should get Saturday to also check out more stuff on the east side of London.