London

Another day and up and out before 9, off towards St. Paul’s with a stop at the nearest Pret A Manger for breakfast.

I’d been a fan of the David Cronenberg film Eastern Promises since it came out. In fact I had even paid a rare visit to the cinema to see it when it was released. Of course I bought the DVD when that was available a few years ago and have watched it a few times since. There is something about it that appeals to me, possibly the alien culture, the earthiness of it or the violence, I don’t know, I can’t quite put my finger on it. When I found out where the “Trans-Siberian Restaurant” exterior scenes were shot I decided to pay a visit to St John Street and see it for myself.

I think the main difference that I noticed when I arrived is that the street is very quiet. In the film it’s like a main street. The main door would have been changed but the gated doors to the right look the same. Then to the right of them there is a passage way to a loading bay which may have been the one used in the film. According to Film London it’s the 6th most used film location in London. From what I could tell the main door was unlocked but there wasn’t any sign that it was occupied.

From there it was around St. Paul’s Cathedral, towards the Tower of London and Tower Bridge, to the Design Museum. I wandered in and had a quick look around the shop and spotted the Field Notes books that I wanted and the Objectified DVD which, for me, still hadn’t arrived. Lots of other cool design books and bits and pieces. Trim phones, for those who remember them, and Eames Elephants which are stools made out of one sheet of plastic shaped like an elephant. I remember one being on the stage at the TED talks a few years ago and didn’t know what it was, except that it was a stool of some kind. I certainly didn’t know that it had been designed by Charles and Ray Eames. This was all wonderful interesting stuff exactly the reason why the Design Museum was first on my list of places to visit. I walked up to the desk and asked for a single ticket and was told that the galleries were closed today. Bugger. But that they would be open tomorrow. Thank goodness. A little disappointed to have to make the trip out there again but at least I’ll be able to visit during this trip.

So from there it was back along the Thames to City Hall. Not exactly a stroll in the park I assure you, especially when there are detours to consider.

It is in City Hall that The Movieum of London is located. As words go ‘movieum’ isn’t one of the best, I guess it’s a cross between ‘movie’ and ‘museum’. What didn’t bode well was the fact that there were people outside trying to drag people in that were walking past. Anyway, another £12 ticket purchased and I wander around. I’m asked if I have a camera with me, I was expecting to be told that no photography was allowed, but instead was encouraged to take photos, just not in the Beatles section. Heaven forbid that photos of the Beatles be released without permission or consent. A few things were interesting enough to photograph, a glass studded coat from Hellboy, a purple suit from the first of the new Batman films (I did read that Jack Nicholson kept all the suits that were made for him, I may be wrong) and not much else really. It certainly wasn’t filled with visitors. There must only have been about 8 people in the place. Some Star Wars stuff, some 007 props and things. That’s about it. I think I tried to wander around twice, to get my money’s worth, but trying to be interested for that amount of time was difficult. I started taking photos of Harry Potter items just because it was a novelty. And this is me, a pretty big movie fan. Oh well.

From there I think I wandered back to the hotel for a nap. You never sleep well in a strange bed, certainly not a single one. Then I went out later to take some night photos using my little Velbon tripod that I’d packed just in case.

The heels of both feet and my left leg were hurting. I was only thinking on the journey down that on the first visit to London I’d managed to get both blisters and leg pain… and yes, I’d had them again now. Only a day and a half into my ‘holiday’ as well, with another trip out to the Design Museum tomorrow. It’s not going to be fun.