Forty Eight Hours In London With An Art Lover

Image

Forty Eight Hours in London With An Art Lover

“I don’t know what London’s coming to — the higher the buildings the lower the morals.” Noel Coward

Arrive Thursday afternoon.  Check into Covent Garden Hotel (so cool).

Take a taxi to Saatchi Gallery.  I love London taxi drivers who know so much about the city.  The Gallery always has an interesting collection of contemporary artists.

There was a great photography exhibit on human trafficking in Nepal.

I tried to go to the  nearby Flower Show (biggest thing happening in London this weekend)  but I was losing steam.

I went back to  the hotel for a quick nap. Dinner at Spring and drinks in the library at Covent Garden Hotel.  (forgot to plug in my phone)

Friday.  Yay – it is not raining. Breakfast at the Covent Garden Hotel.

I walked to the Tate Modern Museum.  It is about a half hour walk from Covent Garden over the Waterloo Bridge and down the South Bank of  the Thames. I love walking in London.

The one hour I had  planned to spend at the Tate Modern stretched into three.

I was blown away by  Shape Of Light exhibit.

I spent a while there.

 I walked through some of the collection.

It is truly my favorite modern art museum in the world and I could easily have spent all day here.

I grabbed a sandwich at the museum café and planned the rest of my afternoon.

There is an excellent photography exhibition going on at the Gallery at Oxo Tower which was also on the Southbank.  Windrush :Portrait Of A Generation is captured by photographer Jim Grover.  In 1948 a ship called the Empire Windrush brought 1000 passengers from the West Indies to Essex. They were mostly Jamaican men brought to help rebuild England after the war. Many settled in London. They were known as the Windrush Generation.

They came to symbolize the changing demographics of the UK. But, with the new tough stance on illegal immigration throughout the world, the descendants are now struggling to prove a citizenship status they formally took for granted. They are not illegal immigrants. Before 1973, Commonwealth citizens had the right to live and work in the UK, without additional documentation. This photo exhibition coincides with the seventieth anniversary of the Windrush and is a timely reminder. Will they be deporting the Irish who came to work in London during the famine in the 1850’s? The exhibition is crowded thanks to a good review in Timeout magazine.

I pass by the Hayward Gallery even though they are between exhibitions because I wanted to see the space.

They don’t let me in so I continue walking.

I do some shopping and photographing around Covent Garden.

I have theatre tickets to   Everyone’s Talking About Jamie. The British are such an enthusiastic audience and they serve ice cream at intermission. It is very current and fun. I’m sure it will be here soon. There is nothing American theatre lovers like better than to say “I already saw it in London.”

The next morning I head to the National Gallery to see the Monet and Architecture exhibit.

I love both those things. His use of light in his paintings of the same subject is so inspiring and beautiful.

The National Gallery houses one of the greatest painting collections in the world. 

A copy of Van Gogh’s sunflowers hung in my house growing up. I run up to visit the  original painting.

 I have time for a quick stop at the National Portrait Gallery. It opened in 1858 and was the first Portrait Gallery in the world. There are paintings, photographs and videos of famous British people.

The pedestrian space in Trafalgar Square is filled with buskers, live statues and street artists.

For a street art lover like me, watching the artists create something while listening to beautiful Spanish guitar music on a sunny warm day in London, is a wonderful end to my trip. 

I have to come back soon. I am also a theatre, shopping and food lover and I couldn’t fit it all in two days.

Fly safe,

JAZ

Advertisements

Ten Countries With The Worst Air Pollution

Image

Ten Countries With The Worst Air Pollution

“I’m always amazed at the human capacity to not make fundamental changes, but instead merely adapt. I see these pictures of people in Beijing and New Delhi, walking around with masks on, because you can’t walk outside your house and breathe? If you can’t breathe?…If that’s not the cue to make a fundamental change, I don’t know what is!” Bill Maher

Every country these days has bad air pollution. Cities are usually worse than rural areas. China is famous for terrible air pollution but they are trying to be better. Here are the top countries for air pollution.

1.The World Bank says Pakistan’s air pollution is the most severe in the world.
The harm caused by air pollution in Pakistan’s urban areas exceeds most other high-profile causes of mortality in the country, including traffic-related accidents. Declining government attention to air quality leads to weak implementation of environmental policies.

2. Air pollution in Qatar vastly exceeds safe limits and is damaging the health of the population. It can be explained in part to the country’s building boom, vehicle exhausts, smelting plants and the burning of organic materials.

3. Along with all the other problems, walking the streets of Kabul is a health risk. Thick columns of smoke from ovens and factories and bumper-to-bumper vehicles producing harmful gases create various types of respiratory disease. No city in Afghanistan has a proper and technical management of solid waste. They are dumping waste in valleys and open fields, which is extremely dangerous not only in polluting the air, but also for underwater pollution. Three to five thousand people a year die of air pollution related illnesses In Afghanistan.

4. Air pollution kills fifteen thousand Bangladeshis a year according to the World Bank. Large numbers of children, street children, local street-walkers, and rickshaw pullers in Bangladesh are at particular risk from this air pollution. According to this report, there are two major sources of air pollution in Bangladesh, vehicular emissions, and industrial emissions. These are mainly concentrated in the cities. Dhaka is one of the most densely populated cities in the world, with an estimated population of more than 8 million. Air pollution has emerged as an acute problem in the city. Blackening of the city air and reduced visibility can be observed at times.

5. There is a black cloud over Cairo, Egypt. The smog is  caused by farmers piling up rice straw and burning it, because they lack the means to transfer the rice straw from their fields to recycling centres. Millions of cars prowl the traffic-clogged streets, while a thousand factories belch smoke into the air. On a bad day, the smog in Cairo and the Delta cities is unbearable.

6. The United Arab Emirates has air that is a bit worse than China and twice as bad as India. Cement manufacturing, power generation, desalination and cars all add to its pollution. But one of the biggest contributors in the region is dust made of sand, kicked up by construction or windstorms. The combination is lethal.

7. Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia is the world’s coldest capital. One third of the people live below the poverty line and burn coal for warmth. The toxic fumes make air pollution worse than Beijing. Children and old people are affected the worst but the government does not see it as a priority.

8. India’s cities are consistently ranked among the world’s worst polluted cities. Sometimes the air quality numbers are worse than the highest number in the world pollution index. More than 2.5 million premature deaths in India last year were attributed to air pollution. Crop burning, diesel fuel, dust, wild fires and coal all contribute to the increasingly polluted air.

9. Bahrain is another unhealthy country for breathing. Diesel car exhausts , factory fumes and dust storms contribute to particles in the lungs. It is a wealthy country and not heavily populated and should be doing more to correct this.

10. The pollution from Katmandu floats toward the Himalayas. Nepal has become one of the worst countries for air pollution due to car emissions, brush fires, burn farming, brick kilns, and cooking stoves. The black carbon emissions are affecting the nearby glaciers in the Himalayas which affects the water supply for that region.

Other countries with high levels of air pollution include Ghana, Jordan, China, Senegal, Turkey Bulgaria, Mauritius, Peru and Serbia .

Fly safe,
JAZ