Today I went to the Natural History Museum. Most of its exhibitions consist of taxidermied animals in glass cases and dinosaur bones suspended on wires, but it also features a section called “Human Biology,” which can be more accurately described as a “meme factory.”
It has a lot of pictures that are meant to terrify children into learning:
The above photo is from a video titled “A Lesson in Martian,” in which this woman (????) speaks in a made-up martian language. It made me puke and cry at the same time.
Also, this is the creepiest fucking thing I’ve ever seen in my life:
This model illustrates the effects of acid on the model builder’s brain.
Children: if a man with a moustache and coke eyes wants to show you something under his coat, it is probably a logic problem.
Let’s take a closer look at that last one, shall we?
“Will you touch it?”
I don’t know what’s going on anymore. Get me out of here.
Childrens’ drawings that made no fucking sense, for some reason?
In this picture: a furry getting buff for his yiff.
In this picture: Robot for making the dogs run.
Yes, I meant for the title to sound sexual.
Monday: It was a beautiful Spring day in South Kensington, so I decided to go for a walk before my four-hour Shakespeare seminar. I went down to Brompton Road, where all the chic boutiques are, past the old Michelin tire factory, with its pretty blue and white tile and stained glass and open windows bursting with flowers and plants. I sat at Cafe Milan across the street from the Tube station and enjoyed an almond croissant and coffee while reading Othello.
That night I went to Tiger Tiger. Why did I go back to this terrible, terrible place? It was crowded and awful. I drank liquor from a pineapple. I encountered an ethical dilemma when a guy in a fedora bought me a vodka soda; would accepting the drink be an implicit endorsement of the wearing of fedoras? Then I reasoned that there could be no harm in accepting free alcohol from a stranger at a bar. There’s no way that could ever be a bad idea.
Tuesday: I’m currently interning at a place on Brick Lane. This street is known for its Indian food, but it also has awesome vintage shopping, especially at pop-up stores on the weekends. I love digging through the racks of frocks and Burberry coats, the suitcases of necklaces and old copies of Vogue, and seeing all the crazy Brick Lane characters that look like homeless people, Pete Doherty, or Berlin ravers from the 90s.
Little food shacks pop up and disappear mysteriously. It’s crawling with anorexic hipsters.
These photos were taken by my co-worker Jazz using the vintage filter on her iPhone. “I guess that makes me a dickhead,” she said.
At lunch I got an egg and cheese bagel from my favorite bagel shop. It’s called “Beigel Shop,” and it promises “Hot Beigels All Night.” Poor London, though, they can’t get bagels right. They can’t even spell “bagel.” Are there even Jewish people in this city?
I had an Americano at Brick Lane Coffee, your typical hipster coffee place. The walls are covered in retro nudies, photos clipped from 80s-era Teen Beat of heartthrobs like Scott Baio and Ralph Macchio, and one giant Michael J. Fox wall calendar from 1983. Their loyalty card has on it the following picture from Teen Wolf:
I’ve already gotten enough holes punched to get a free coffee. I like to sit there and stare at the punks, the lumberjack hipsters, and the pierced and tatted-up barista guy with an incongruous Oliver Twist accent. They also always have copies of The Sun, so I can catch up on my yellow journalism and check out the tits on Page Three.
Wednesday: Another lunch mecca near work is Old Spitalfields Market. The glass-enclosed Victorian marketplace encompasses a grid of striped umbrella-covered stalls selling fashion, food, and vintage shit. It’s also full of pretty cool restaurants like Square Pie and The Luxe.
That day, I grabbed Thai fast food and then mint chocolate chip ice cream from Crepe Affaire. I ate it in front of the anorexic hipsters while they smoked and acted pissy.
Thursday: After work I went to The Breakfast Club in Angel. It’s a cafe covered in John Huges film posters, pictures of Madonna, and other American 80s iconography. You can pretty much get anything good here, coffee and pancakes or booze and burritos or whatever. With its Brat Pack imagery, comfort food menu, and £4-off bottles of wine at happy hour, this place really knows how to tug at my heartstrings.
Friday: I had the day off and the weather was gorgeous again, so I went to Portobello Market. It’s the market from that scene in Notting Hill where Hugh Grant is walking around all morose because of the erratic changes in weather. Honestly, I love that scene. And that movie. I am lame. So I walked around and looked at purses and dresses and shoes and fruit and books and stuff for forever. I bought coffee from the back of an orange Volkswagen. There’s no way that could ever be a bad idea.
Friday night I went to see Four Tet play a DJ set at Plastic People, a blackout basement dance club in Shoreditch. The supervisor at my internship got me on the guest list, so Connie and I were able to skip the enormous queue—suck it, hipsters! Also, it was amazing. Highlight of my week.
Saturday: Daytrip to Oxford. I was excited to see the place where my heroes Oscar Wilde and Bill Clinton were educated.
But first we stopped at Bourton-on-the-Water, a quintessentially English village where everything is funny. I ate Quorn sausages and we went to a model village in a beer garden, where there were these creepy coin-operated miniature models of gnomes and clowns. What the fuck? Bourton-on-the-Water is known as the Venice of the Cotswolds, which is like saying that Branson, Missouri is the Paris of Missouri. It is really pretty though:
Oxford was nice. Filled me with envy though. Also, they won the big boat race that day! Suck it, Cambridge! lrn2crew.
I miss halls of learning. My Shakespeare class takes place in what looks like a hotel room inside a converted flat on a residential street. Sometimes I feel like I might as well be getting a degree from Phoenix online.
Saturday night we went to Shoreditch to eat Vietnamese food at Hanoi Cafe. Then we went to the Big Chill Bar, over on Brick Lane. Is it somehow significant that I went to The Breakfast Club and The Big Chill in the same week? They’re basically the same movie right, except no one cares about The Big Chill because it’s about baby boomer thirtysomethings? Which, by the way, this is why the economy’s fucked, people: the boomers couldn’t prevent our current crisis because they were too distracted smoking pot and reminiscing about college and dancing to Motown the way only white people can.
I still love you, though, Jeff Goldblum.