a right rainy day

there’s a light rain falling here today. and by that i do mean that the droplets literally feel lighter, as if this is water of a lighter density falling from the skies above. not quite meant to evoke notions of heavy water reactors and radiation, but more on the order of water that is taking its time falling down, light as a feather with less velocity as if something is breaking its fall, but wet all the same.

i write this post from fix coffee on whitecross street, a fantastic pub-turned-coffee house that i found courtesy of this ingenious brainchild of website: letsmeetandwork.com. (plenty of london cafe/coffee shop listings and a few nyc listings, too. further evidence that there many of us out there: we who like to work in settings that are not too loud and not too quiet, where we are happy to make a purchase and not be freeloaders while still enjoying access to wifi and electricity without feeling like we must leave within minutes of arriving. fix is spacious with high ceilings, bulbs that hang straight down from thick metal wires, and a steady stream of guitar-heavy music is adding to the hum of the comfortably full room.

the walk here, via a quick information-gathering pitstop at the very fun-filled Barbican Centre, was filled with the quirkiness of an average Saturday:

— a boy of three or four runs in a purposeful zig zag pattern down a stretch of footpath and the wind fills his shirt and he is flying… for several seconds before his mother says loudly, but not quite in a shouting manner, “Kyle!” he freezes, pivots, and runs back at full speed into the open arms of his slightly older sister.

— balloons mark the entryway to the Good Fashion Show, going on today amidst other London Fashion Week events.

— walk past the Charles Dickens house-turned-museum, where he lived for a short time. too bad i didn’t walk by a few days ago when the prince and duchess were by for some cake

— spend several minutes at the Barbican, where i intended to stop to pick up some information about youth arts programs. there, in their fantastic little museum shop, i stumbled onto a neat collection of essays penned by william morris titled, “useful work versus useless toil.” in just the opening lines of the titular essay, the first of four in this slim volume, he raises the question of what work is desirable and who gets to cast work in what light. these opening pages are reminiscent of a discussion about work and labor that is found in the pages of lefebvre’s “the production of space” in which he writes, “Whereas a work has something irreplaceable and unique about it, a product can be reproduced exactly, and is in fact the result of repetitive acts and gestures.” much to ponder…

— another happy, albeit digital, discovery: the newly released letters between robert and elizabeth barrett browning. thank you wellesley college and baylor university! all of the letters, taking up over 100 gigabytes of hard drive space, have been archived and transcribed, and especially fantastic are the scanned images of the handwritten missives between these authors, friends and lovers.

and, now a few pics from other walks this week (and the end of words for a bit). more on flickr.

Morning run

Whitehall Court

Follow me

Temple Church

Deco art

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