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London, day 4: 16 September 2006

Started: 2006-09-23 03:42:10

Submitted: 2006-09-23 03:54:38

Visibility: World-readable

1945 BST 16 September 2006

Stayed up past 2300 last night trying to figure out what to visit on the London Open House today. Didn't get up until 0900 -- ten hours of sleep, much sounder than last night. I won't claim to have jet lag entirely nailed yet, but it does seem like I've gotten the hang of it.

Jaeger photographs Logan Place
Jaeger photographs Logan Place

After breakfast, and a vague plan, walked to Logan Place, not all that far from the hotel. Took pictures in front of #13. Walked back to a basement flat, open for the London Open House, refurbished to increase usable space and reduce the feeling that one was in a dark, damp basement. It was quite impressive.

Basement flat kitchen corridor
Basement flat kitchen corridor

Next: Hopped Piccadilly Line towards Camden.

2200 BST 16 September 2006

Wanted to visit a house that was only open until 1300 BST, but we didn't make it in time. Went instead to an architect's office on a triangular junkyard site in a residential area. I made the mistake of not figuring out where it was before we set out; after some wandering around and consulting partially-helpful maps, we made it to the site. The building was interesting, and the large collection of architectural models was fascinating.

On our way back to Camden Town tube stop, we bought lunch at a full-sized Sainsbury's -- apparently London's other supermarket chain. Self-check-out wouldn't accept a credit card transaction with a signature (although it did have the signature pad, just no pen), and the human checker didn't like my faded signature on the back of my card and asked for ID. I had my Colorado driver's license, which she seemed dubious about but ultimately accepted.

Ate lunch in a park and headed on the Northern Line, Bank branch, to Angel stop in Islington. Visited another architect's offices, in a converted Victorian warehouse on a canal. More open-plan workstations and models, plus color photos and a tour of the courtyard of the residential development they built next door.

Waterfront condo in London
Waterfront condo in London

I had more things I wanted to see, but no more time. We took the tube to Bank Station, transfered to Monument, continued to Mansion House, and headed in the wrong direction before crossing the Millennium Bridge across the Thames, thronged with people for the Thames Festival. Ended up at the Tate Modern, in a converted power station, open until 2200 on Saturday. Too many people and too tired, we used their restrooms and headed to Tas, a Turkish restaurant in Southwark. This involved using the Jubilee Line from Southwark Station to Waterloo, then backtracking along a road named The Cut, which proved unnecessary since the restaurant turned out to be across the street from the Tube. (oops.) Food was good, and not unduly expensive. (Kiesa is in charge of finding restaurants for dinner; she's trying not to spend too much money.)

197 Blackfriars Road, Southwark, London
197 Blackfriars Road, Southwark, London

Tube trips today:

  1. Gloucester Road via Piccadilly to Leicester Square; via Northern to Camden Town.
  2. Camden Town to Angel via Northern.
  3. Angel via Northern to Bank; transfer to Monument; via District to Mansion House.
  4. Southwark via Jubilee to Waterloo.
  5. Southwark via Jubilee to Westminster; via Circle to Gloucester Road.

I'd say we got our money out of our travel cards.

New bad idea: print a "field guide to the Underground", with information on stations and lines, mostly from Wikipedia, in handy booklet form. Also useful would be maps showing station exits and surroundings, produced by Transport for London. Could be an amusing print-on-demand book.

We were stopped three times today for directions, which we couldn't answer because we're tourists too. Maybe we look like we could be Londoners?

For more photos from the London Open House, see Photos on 2006-09-16.