Wednesday, June 10, 2015

open city | open heart

Living on the fringes of big cities as the wonder | wander | women do, we often get friends passing through. But after hitting the big tourist attractions, taking in a couple of shows, and having tea at the Savoy or drinks under the King Cole mural at the St Regis, our friends can tire of the crowds and famous sights. So we take them to places beloved by locals.

Image courtesy of Lola Abrera

An old friend who now lives in Berlin (another great city which we would love to visit!) was in town. She loved the Kensington museums and the Tate Modern, so we went to see the strange half-world of the Barbican.

We talked about the concepts of brutalism and retrofuturism, and how the starkness of the red and grey architecture set off the beauty of the green water and marsh plants.

We talked about loving our adopted cities, and about our daily routines and other things in life.

Walking with my friend she noticed something about the Barbican interior that I missed on the last visit. One reason we like the stark modern look so much is that it reminds us of another great modernist building from our childhood, the CCP (Cultural Centre of the Philippines).

Of course, because we are who we are, we had a little bit of fun with the optical illusion of the architecture. What we thought was a mirror was actually extra space, and vice versa.

Image courtesy of Lola Abrera

We went on to Liverpool Street, the site of Spitalfields Market and some of the public art formerly featured in our inspiration blog.

Just down the street was the art district of Brick Lane and Whitechapel, where my friend was strongly drawn to the local street art.

Image courtesy of Lola Abrera

We ended up eating at a fusion restaurant near the market and talking until we had to head home. It was great to share my favourite places in my favourite city with one of my favourite people.

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