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Draplin Design Co., North America


Back in Munich for one night, but landlocked inside the airport, sweating the minutes until my stateside flight.

A couple things, before I talk all about London town.

01. I love America. I love flying home to it. I like ice cubes in my water. I like restaurants that don’t allow smoking. I like being able to “sorta speak the language.” I like open spaces. I like empty states. like yellow hot dog mustard..yeah, man, the plain jane picnic shit. I like bacon, cooked and crisp. I like Gary.

02. I still fear George Bush’s New America. But, not for long, as, his time will come soon enough and he’s gonna have to answer to a very pissed-off world. He’s a got a special spot reserved in whatever hell he believes in, so, fuck ‘em. Bring Clinton back, already.

- - - -

London was great.

A list, as compiled after four days criss-crossing the town…

01. English Society, and all it’s trimmings. People are polite, almost to a fault. It was oddly refreshing. Americans can be so…uh, “uneloquent.” But not these Brits. They hold open doors and excuse themselves and thank you for the littlest things and goddammit, every exchange felt completely genuine. Thank you, London.

02. Beautiful, blonde, British women. Man, they caught my eye. All smart and confident looking, with their boots and jackets and scarves and hats. Come to Portland and set up shop with Gary and I.

03. The shopping set of Oxford Circus. People like to shop, all over this world. Yawn. Fuck the aristocratic breadwinner’s like Harrod’s and Selfridge’s. People: Save yer money, you are gonna need it. Gucci sunglasses are made in the same shop as Bolle’. Or something like tha. Go figure.

04. English Young women’s fashion: Belts, slippers, tight jeans, cuffs, boots, buckles, fur things, layers, assymetrical cuts and hems, tassles, flaps and rips. I suck.

05. “Look Right” - “Look Left” - “Mind The Gap” It’s easy to get caught up in the intensity of it all, so, you gotta watch where you are stepping, and which side of the road you are crossing, and which way the cars are going, so as not to get run over by one of the millions cabs, or double-ddecker buses or vrooming motorcyclists. This town is on the move.

06. American Greaser style? In the U.K.? Can you dig it, Sir Henry the 47th or whoever? I’m tryin’ to.

07. Her Majesty’s Royal Horse Guards. The kid didn’t budge an inch.

08. 10 Downing Street, and hoping ol’ Blair and Bush would be whizzing by en route to some royal lunch or something so I could flip him a big, meaty bird.

09. Museum Breakdown:

- National Gallery: See everything. There is something amazing about a painting that is 16 feet tall. Van Gogh, Monet, Matisse, Rafael, Van Dyck, Gaugin, Degas, Rembrandt and this cat named Michealangelo from Italy. Too much too process for my thinker.

- British Museum: The Rosetta Stone, man! The Egyptian mummies, tombstones and a giant scarab were worth the trip alone. Carved panels from the Parthenon. I was blown away.

- British Library: A little known secret. Home of the Magna Carta, Shakespeare’s deeds, pages of the Old Testament, Beatle lyrics on hotel stationery and ancient Chinese secrets. Amazing.

- Museum of Natural History: Creepy crawlies, a big ass blue whale and a ton of complete dinosaurs. For the life of me, NOTHING is as amazing as the thought of being amongst those giants. I mean, can you imagine a ten foot stegasaurus wandering into the backyard of 2946 NE 67th Street and well, Gary barking him off the property? I had to sit down to take this section completely in.

- Museum of Science: Old trains, milestones of printing and communication and an Apollo lunar module, complete with a burnt underbelly from that darned reentry into our atmosphere: “Houston, we have a drinking problem.” I stood there for way too long trying to wrap my head around that one.

- Tate Modern: Cool stuff, but, maybe a little too cool. I had more fun with the old guys. Nice building, though, and, bitchin’ wayfinding.

10. Big Ben: Pretty big.

11. Lots of bridges. London ain’t no Portland, but, well, y’know.

12. Beautiful People: Man, I’m ugly. And while I’m at it, so are you, and, all yer fellow American citizens. London is full of beautiful people with great style. Take any British band just cutting their teeth and put ‘em against whoever’s hitting in the states and man, once again, we stand no chance, style-wise. The music, well, that’s another thing. I can only take so much. While hobbling around the city, I listened to my fair share of old My Bloody Valentine, Swervedriver, The Verve, Zero 7, Bevis Frond, Teenage Fanclub (Scottish, but…), Spiritiualized and even a little Coldplay. Sorry, that Nano only holds so much.

13. I was completely anonymous, except for a quick nice Indian food supper with Jamie Pulley, and, a phone call from Jared’s friend Trevor Ray Hart, a very-talented photographer from London. All good stuff.

14. Oh, and seeing my Nike Air Max 360 logo all over town. That was mindblowing. Funny how this stuff works. Thanks, Nemo.

There Are 3 Comments

London is my other home. My first experiences were all London-based so I retain a special kinship with the place in all of its baroque-ness.

And I’m glad to hear that you appreciated the British ladies rather than not — a much maligned myth now further disputed.

Posted by: Naz on 02/09/06 at 2:26 PM

Hey, it was great chilling with you too while you were out in the Queen’s land! Very refreshing to see a familar face around here. I put up your Air Max 360 logo on my blog , go take a peek. Love the Gary Porno pic too ;-)

Posted by: Jamie Pulley on 02/10/06 at 7:07 PM

DOOD, you forgot to go to the type museum!!

Posted by: jason on 02/11/06 at 6:57 PM
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