Oh, Sunday, the only day of the week when truly everything comes to a halt. Rain or shine, Sunday is inevitably an end to some things and a prelude to new beginnings. Possibly one of the best things I’ve recently discovered to do on lazy Sunday afternoon are jam sessions at East London’s Rich Mix.
The sessions are hosted by Soweto Kinch, who in 2001 established the Soweto Kinch Trio – with bassist Michael Olatuja and drummer Troy Miller. The artist continuously explores boundaries of jazz though mixing it up with hip hop and other genres. Hailed as one of the most exciting young jazz artists in the UK, he can now be seen for free at Rich Mix every Sunday until December 13th.
Rich Mix’s base is a cinema, but it has always strived to provide a variety of art events and activities for the public. Check it out and say hi if you’re there next Sunday.
Ok, feel free to ‘duh’ me here, but I thought posting a map of so far 305 free Wi-Fi spots around town could come in handy for a few.
Improv Everywhere is an urban prankster network which causes scenes or flashmobs crowds in cities around the world. One of their latest ‘missions’ was the No Pants 2k9 day organised across 22 cities. The group has spread over to blogs and Facebook as well with their Improv Everywhere page and multiple country-specific groups that try to keep participants up to date with what’s going on.
On Saturday, January 10th, 2009 nearly 2,500 took off their pants on subways in 22 cities around the world. In New York’s 8th Annual No Pants! Subway Ride we had over 1,200 participants, spread over four subway lines.
One of the more interesting ‘missions’ coming up in London is the Urban Desert Island Shipwreck, which will consitute of a few agents being dropped off on an pond island. They’ll be wearing ragged clothes on and showing consequences of a 2-week stay full of hunger and misery setting in. The scenario so far involves a plane crash, a rescue mission and family reunions.
With recession looming over most of the fun parts of life, Londoners are becoming increasinglycreative in finding ways of having fun that doesn’t cost much or is plain free. I just found a post at the Londonist showing a one-a-day list of events for the coming week. At London Is Free you will find a comprehensive guide to most of the free fun cultural events going on in our expensive capital. From Short&Sweet film screenings to knitting sessions, pretty much anyone will be able to find something up their alley. Among other establishments offering special entry discounts are the Arcola theatre with their Pay-What-You-Can Tuesday nights and Sadler’s Wells with their £5-£10 Sampled ticket scheme. Free love as such is an increasingly popular way of businesses attracting new clientele and creating better relationships with their existing customers. No more excuses for staying home these days!
Image courtesy of Feministing.
I finally made my way to the Saatchi gallery yesterday which is now based at Duke of York’s HQ in Chelsea. The only noticeable downside of the gallery’s new incarnation is perhaps that it’s so far into the west of London. Otherwise, the gallery feels like a perfect match of the contemporary lightness and simplicity of its interior and the sophisticated historical looks of its exterior. Stepping inside, the staff is without the classic servitude attitude and the minimalist rooms provide excellent breathing space for the included pieces of art. The gallery boasts with 3 floors spread over 4,500 square metres and claims to be the only completely free entry contemporary art museum of its size in the world.The revolution of Saatchi continues with great results.
The current exhibition is The Revolution Continues: New Chinese Art and is one of the most interesting contemporary exhibitions that I’ve seen in London. Although received with mixed feelings among the arts community’s reviewers, the exhibition is a fantastic stretch styles ranging from painting and sculpture to human resembling installations of suspended mannequins of China’s workers hanging upside down from the ceilings and the world’s somewhat expired leaders riding around aimlessly in their wheelchairs in the gallery’s basement. The art also ranges in topics, with some amusing works playing with the Western ideals, others reminding of the political scars of the modern day China.
The exhibition is closing after the 18th of January, so for those who haven’t made it yet, hurry up!
Image courtesy of the Saatchi Gallery.
After attending a class on traditional French book binding today, I found out that the Mayfair squatters‘ court case has put their eviction on another 2 week delay. Another week of classes is set to roll in the coming week, so for those of you who missed out this week, this may be good news.
Frontline is finally available to watch online in the UK! All these years there had been broadcasting agreements (or rather disagreements) between the US and the UK that made it impossible to stream in their content. But yay, Frontline is finally here! For those unfamiliar with Frontline, it is a section of PBS (Public Broadcasting Service), which is something like an American BBC. Frontline consists of an online database of documentaries on topics ranging from international conflicts to the history of christianity and the neurological background of teenage behaviour. Yay again!
I can’t remember the last time I stayed in a hotel. I’m not a fan of handing money over to hotel corporations for a lot of reasons, though most of my reasons aren’t actually the fault of hotels themselves – I just happen to prefer the alternative places to stay when I go traveling. I have been a proud member of Couchsurfing and Hospitality Club networks for years now and have had so many positive experiences through them that I rarely feel the inspiration to go back to the old ways of staying places.
The thing that stirred my attention recently is Airbed & Breakfast, a social network of people willing to share their homes for money in return. Prices are usually cheaper than those of hotels and as with Couchsurfing you get a chance to connect with locals that can keep you company or at least direct you to sites and events you may never find through guide books. You can rent a room, an entire place or simply stay on someone’s couch. In the US prices per night start at around 20 dollars and go as high as you wish – an average room will be around 80 dollars. You can view pictures of places and owners and also see the exact location on a Google map. Users are also reviewed by people who stay with them, which can build some credit of trust between members.
The old question is whether you’ll be comfortable to stay at a stranger’s house or host one yourself – in principle there is no way to track the new users, but it so far seems like the site is creating a strong community of users that track one another. I’ve dealt with these questions myself before traveling to different countries via Couchsurfing and hosting travelers at my home last year, but after years of using the network I don’t have a single bad experience in my records.
I got my hands on a webpage where you can load any South Park episode for free. Just in case anyone’s interested, check it out!
And erm, Merry Christmas everyone!