Nothing like an Irish Breakfast for the journey ahead.
After a very enjoyable ride through France and the Chunnel, Rob and I reached London. We had exchanged stories and learned a number of things about one another. One of the main topics that constantly came up between us was the prize. What would Damien Hirst give everyone who finished the challenge? How big would it be? This has become a funny joke with Rob and I at this point.
The first stop in London was the Gagosian located on Britannia St., which thankfully was only blocks from the central train station. Upon walking in we both received the warmest welcome to date. The Director was at the desk with his check-in girls and they all asked where we’d come from. Then they wondered if Rob and I were traveling together, which we explained as sort of… we ran into eachother! We browsed the gallery and the Director met us in the room with the “Controlled Substances” series and their corresponding pieces. It was actually a historic event, since basically none of these paintings that were designed to live together (the puzzle and its key) have been shown side-by-side in decades. Rob and I took our photos, got our stamps, met some other Spot Challengers (who won’t be able to finish) and then made our way to some coffee and wifi.
After a break from traveling to check emails, maps, etc. we headed for the Tube. I know London is an expensive city and it doesn’t completely throw me off since I live in NYC, but some of the prices I came across were crazy. The first example was the train fare, £4.30 (basically $8.00+) for zone 1 and we were going three stops! We made it to Davies St. and found it to be the most interesting show so far. It was basically a small glass storefront that had pieces placed at eye level and no larger than a medium pizza. Some of the smallest ones were 0.5″-1″ and the spots ran off the sides. Davies Street had another great director and she was pretty damn funny. A young RISD grad and originally from Korea, she’d broken down so many aspects of the show and even different Gagosians around the world. We left with one more stamp and London finished. Rob and I headed straight to the pub for a celebratory pint. After a drink and some talks we decided to part ways to get some rest; we weren’t sure if we’d meet up again and left it open from there.
I finally got to the flat I was staying at and rested for only a little while before heading back out on the town to meet my friend Celine. She used to work with me in Manhattan and had moved to London about a year ago. Now I was in town at the perfect time because she was having a going away celebration. Celine is now bound for San Francisco, so that ment we had to party it up. Long story short, I eventually made my way home pretty early in the morning and cold from the elements. After some sleep I dragged my ass out of bed, took a shower, changed and thanked my hosts. My morning took me on a great walk over Tower Bridge and through London to a pub that provided me with a meal of amazingness. Yes, amazingness is exactly what I was looking for and now with that beautiful Irish Breakfast I’d found. The cook even said it was the best thing on the menu as I left.
To the airport I went. Thank you Heathrow Express for your extremely easy system. I had a little fun in duty free – I didn’t get that KAWS/Henny you see. I got something better. Made my way to my flight to plop into business class and rest the whole way home. Only three more Gagosians to go.