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4 Days in London: Art/Scene/Architecture

A medley of museums, parks, and street art caught our fancy, in between our eating and drinking stops. Here’s some highlights of what we encountered.

Day One we walked frrom Clerkenwell to Trafalgar Square, on the way we chanced upon the Temple Garden housing a large, adorned building with a serene grouping of trees in front. We cut through an alley here on the way to the national Portrait Gallery, and it made for a little oasis between busy streets. The statue’s hand is that of American J. Seward Johnson, Jr, titled “Taxi.”

National Portrait Gallery I was blown away by actually witnessing the faces of the famous of way back when. Every item, from the knights, to the early royals, to modern-day portraits of the likes of Paul McCartney in this museum is a treasure. One I would return to again and again. And, as for the painting detail of a general, I did admire the expert shading of the trousers. LOL. NPG

Clerkenwell had its own treasures just steps from The Zetter Hotel.  As always, coming from America to Europe, you feel the youth of the states when witnessing buildings from the year 1185. The Priory, a church whose fortunes changed with knights and Henry the 8th retained stonework and a lovely little garden. We were a little premature for Clerkenwell Design Week, unfortunately, but we got to see the set-up of things to come. Craft Central had handmade items on display, to slightly assuage the loss.

Funny Signs Those things noticed in the signage and graffiti.

Hyde Park Since we were having such gorgeous weather, we did a lot of walking and chose to cut through the park, rather than trudge the streets. We were rewarded with a stroll through the Italian Gardens and got to see some coots (black ducks with a white stripe on their head) making a nest and admire the statuary and blooms.

Woodberry Wetlands One of the reasons to be in London was to celebrate Judy’s birthday. And she chose a really special spot in Stoke Newington. Ninety people gathered in the Woodberry Wetlands to give tribute and many dances to David Bowie did take place.

V & A As a lover of the practical arts, this was the museum to take in. Ceramics, glass art, and much more, mingled with traditional antiquities. We did not have enough time to take it all in, but did tour the glass section, which held treasures from all ages, one more interesting than the next. VAM