Saturday, September 26, 2009

It's a New Day Everyday

My favorite spot in London as of 23 of September is Trafalgar Square. Built in 1845, the square commemorates the Battle of Trafalgar where Admiral Horatio Nelson defeated Napoleon but died. The center of the square is Nelson's Column where he stands on top. There is a carved roll of rope at his feet which I really like. (I always really like how sculptors are able to carve something soft using a hard material. It must be the contrast between the two materials.) At the base of the column are the four icon lions that you always see in pictures of London. People climb them and take pictures with them.

What I like about Trafalgar Square are that there are so many different people, so much liveliness, and such a great and awe-inspiring view. For one thing, the square is a tourist spot. Right behind it is the National Gallery and National Portrait Gallery. (This is why I have been going to the Square so often--for my classes.) But for another, the area is also a hang out spot. You'll see many locals hanging out, enjoying the view, sunbathing; you'll see homeless sleeping on the same patch of grass as where the locals are enjoying their day; you'll see businessmen in suits eating lunch there; you'll see young people practicing on their skateboards and roller blades; and sometimes, but rarely, you'll see a naked someone on the empty plinth.

From the square, you can also see Palace of Westminster's iconic Clock Tower aka Big Ben and the London Eye. These two icons really make you realize that you are in London. London is such an international city with people from all over the world and everyone speaks English so sometimes I forgot I'm an ocean away from home. Seeing these two London architectures makes me realize that I'm not in the States anymore and that I'm in an exciting city called London!

The following photos were taken during my different visits to the National Gallery. Despite the column, lions, and plinths never change, there is always a different feel to the place thanks to the unpredictable and fickle weather of London and the time of day. The first visit was extremely sunny, perfect for a tan. The sun in the second photo was just not really good; it was sunny but also hazy resulting in a bad mixture. In the third photo, the cloud was dramatic and heavy but the sun, with its intense sun rays, was able to pierce through the clouds, occasionally. The last photo, which was taken last night, was on my visit to the museum on Friday. The National Gallery opens late on Friday nights and there is a little party with wine and some food for purchase. My friend and I went through the wrong entrance and were not able to enjoy this event. Anyways, the point I want to make is that Trafalgar
Square is different everyday thus it never gets old visiting the area.

1 A few steps away from the center are four plinths. Three of them have statues of historically significant Brits on top; and by the time to make a statue for the Fourth Plinth, the money for the project ran out. As a result, there is an empty plinth. Currently, an art project named One & Other by Antony Gormley is taking place on the Fourth Plinth where ordinary citizens can apply to go on the Plinth for one hour and do whatever they wish. This project is thought to be significant because this is a space reserved for the statues of generals and monarchs. So about this naked someone...On one of my more recent trips to the area, a topless woman was on the empty plinth! She wasn't promoting anything which I thought she should be. She was simply shaking them for the crowd and enjoying herself. She stayed on for the entire hour. The night before, however, a completely naked man only lasted 20 minutes after people complained about his public display of nudity.

The empty plinth is on the right hand side.

1 comment:

sheryl said...

so cool ! every time you go to trafalgar square you should take a photo in the exact same spot. then you can make a flip book or an art piece out of it. hahaha.