Free London

Apparently London is considered one of the most expensive cities in the world to live. Housing-you can't find anything habitable for under £250,000 ($500,000), Public transport is now £98 (about 200$) a month and I won't even get started on what it costs to feed or decently clothe yourself in a city which prides itself on being really stuck on "image". Even something simple as going to the movies seems to drain the penny jars with tickets going for £15 ($30)in Central London and my local cinema is now up to a whopping £6.50 ($13.00). Sometimes I get so fed up with what it seems like endless ways someone can take all of your money somehow in London and how they all do it with such smiles on their faces too. Its like they secretly know they are going to go to hell for doing this but are keen to do it anyway just to see the pain on your face as you part with your last crisp note. Oh well--I keep telling myself its all part of the gig.

This is why you grow to appreciate the few free things in London. I've already touched on Sunday walks in an earlier post but another secret hidden gem is nearly all of the major museums here are Free! (British Museum, National Gallery, Victoria and Albert Museum, etc) No I'm not kidding--no charge, Free, Gratis, Nada, Zilcho. Most other European cities charge --Paris, Venice, Rome all charge. So to my delight London is setting itself apart by making the great art and treasures it holds available to us lowly people who don't make £100,000 a year like most of the city. Snaps for Free London!

So, I in my 'time of recent unemployment' (long story dont ask) today decided to venture out into the city to take advantage of the National Gallery, one of the FREE museums. The National Gallery is the main art gallery in London and one of the most famous in the world. You can see Canaletto, Leonardo da Vinci, Rembrandt and all the greats. It was so wonderful to be able to walk through and see wonderful 'artsy' things without worrying about cost or budgets or anything of this sort. Its amazing how human this can make you feel again especially if you've struggled a lot like I have recently with the job front. So, I say thank you to whomever or whatever made this decision--probably some fellow geek stuck in an office somewhere in the city. But anyway-- I thank you and my pocket book thanks you too.

My final thought is that art always should be shared so here's some of my favorites I saw today:


I think the blue one above is Titan and this drawing is by Leonardo da Vinci


Michelle said...

how fun to see some of your favorites! and how lucky to be so close to so many wonderful works of art! i'm glad you appreciate it. good luck on the job market!

sherrie said...

love da vinci's sketch of madonna with child. he had such amazing talents - not just as an artist. i love his attention to anatomy.

have you ever been to the british museum? i'd love do go there someday especially to see the egyptian and aztec/mayan displays. i've always been a bit obsessed with those cultures.

christine said...

The British Museum is to die for. Unfortunately you can see a better collection of Egyptian artifacts at the British Museum than actually in Egypt. It's got some of the best things to see including the Rosetta Stone and its all FREE! They do kick-butt exhibits--this spring they are bringing China's terracotta warriors to the museum.

sherrie said...

that is awesome - ever since my college asian art history class i've thought those terracotta warriors are amazing! you'll have to go!!!! i'm jealous ;)

yeah i've heard that a trip to the british museum is just as good as a trip to egypt (although egypt is one of my dream destinations). in a way it's quite sad, but makes sense because all the archeologists back when they were finding the egyptian artifacts were either british or funded by the british.

christine said...

That's kind of exactly why the British have most of Egypt's artifacts. Unfortunately--Egypt has asked for all their stuff back and england won't give it to them because they don't have the means of preserving anything. The Cairo museum is incredibly sad--things are still on wood blocks because they don't have enough room to put things and there's no air conditioning. At least at the British museum everything is temperature controlled and it will last forever. Egypt is awesome though--would definitely recommend going. You can crawl inside the pyramids now which is a one in a lifetime thing (although awkward). Its a bit weird how close they've put the town to the pyramids--you can go have a falafel and then a 5/10 minute drive later you're there. Its a bit 'Vegas-esque' but still absolutely amazing.

Elizabeth C said...

Da Vinci is a Brilliant artist, I am amazed by his work...I love that you post all of this art on your page...Very cool