October 30, 2004


Abigail and I ran 10 miles on Hampstead Heath and had excellent conversation about friendships; making friends, being a friend, deciding to break off a friendship, knowing who your real friends are, how the definition of friendship differs from person to person. I love my runs with Abigail.

The Heath was in full autumnal glory; sunshine, blue sky, firey leaves and rolling green hills. It's good to be in London.

October 28, 2004

Franz Ferdinand

Franz Ferdinand

In tight trousers and polyester shirts, Franz Ferdinand opened the gig at the Brixton Academy with Michael. High energy and tight, quirky guitar licks throughout the show, the crowd loved every minute of it.

According to the story over on Domino Records, the band formed only a few years ago in 2001, Bob the Bassist didn't even play before that year, Nick the guitarist is a clasically trained pianist and double bassist and Paul the drummer started out in the band playing guitar.

These boys should be big Stateside, if they're not already. Let the British Invasion begin again.

Signor Zilli

Phil from 5th Dimension took Robin, Brian and I out to lunch at Signor Zilli in Soho. I had the swordfish (again!) and caesar salad. The fish was fab but the caesar mediocre. I'm beginning to think that good caesar salads don't exist in London. I ordered the tiramisu on the advice of the waiter. I found that I don't really like tiramisu, although I ate every last bite.

October 26, 2004


Dublin Ireland

October 25, 2004

Dublin Marathon

Dublin Marathon runners

October 23, 2004

Dublin Street

A Dublin Street

October 20, 2004

How Much Is A Bill?

Heard the term "bill" used several times on the bus tonight. As in, "it's gonna cost at least a bill, mate." At first I thought perhaps 5 pounds since that's the smallest note. But then the conversation included, "that's room, food, everythin' bruv," and concluded it must mean something larger, like 20 or 100 pounds. I'll ask my English slang informant, Sucad, tomorrow.


In spinning class today, the instructor played Star Guitar by the Chemical Brothers for the cool down. I was ramped to start my workout rather than end it upon hearing that tune. It was the first song on my 2004 marathon training mix. I listened to that mix several dozen times in lots of weather.

You know the feeling you get when you're moving to those songs you associate with good, hard physical exercise?

I can think of another such mix that I'll always associate with running...Romeo Night by the Boogie Boys, but I don't suppose anyone else knows that one. Did I mention I like Interpol?

October 16, 2004

New Music

My latest fav groups are Modest Mouse, Interpol and Franz Ferdinand. Not bad for being stuck in the '80s. Maybe not really branching out though when you consider descriptions like, "...draw heavily from the Gothic and Post-Punk bands of the 1980s" found on Rhapsody.

Five Thousand Days

My Friday photography class walked over to the National Theatre to view the Five Thousand Days exhibition, a collection from British press photographers between 1989 and 2003.

Last flight of the Concorde

I love this shot of the Concorde, not only because of the composition, but also because of the description of how the photographer got the shot; standing out on the pontoon of a helicopter, fingers numb from the cold, he had to pan with the plane to freeze the motion.

October 14, 2004


Kikuchi Japanese Restaurant in Fitzrovia, London
Brian, Masa and I ate at Kikuchi, a Japanese restaurant just off Oxford Street. Brian and I have been there several times before. It used to be that they charged a minimum of 20 pounds per person but I'm not certain if that rule still applies. We had no problem accumulating such a bill though.

Kikuchi is an Izakaya, a restaurant mainly for drinking that serves a wide variety of dishes. The portions are typically small, the prices reasonable and the atmosphere informal.

Masa was impressed. We had a few different kinds of maki sushi and he commented several times that it was some of the best sushi rice he's ever tasted. He ordered some Tengu-no-mai sake for Brian. It was cold sake and came with a small wooden box to drink from. To my surprise, Brian loved it. I had a couple sips and it was quite smooth. I stuck to my pints of Asahi super dry. They go so well with edamame.

October 13, 2004

In Search Of

After the rain subdued we made our way over to the Tower of London. We hung around photographing the historical stone building and the contrasting glass highrises next to it until the sun set. Then we turned our lenses onto the stunning floodlit Tower Bridge.


It was a fine evening, so we walked down to St. Katherine Docks, admiring the fine yachts there and selecting which ones we might have for ourselves someday. We popped into the Dickens Inn to check out their fish and chips offerings. It looked like the pub on the ground floor was finished serving food for the evening. The 1st floor only had pizza and pasta. The 2nd floor had fish and chips, but they were pretty dear at 14.95 GBP. And I recalled from my excursion with Mom last summer, that the food at this place was less than mediocre. 28 dollars for lousy fish and chips; not worth it.

Hip chick awaiting

By this time, we were in phone contact with Brian and we agreed to meet at Angel tube staion where the hip and trendy hang out.

Not this one

Brian initially had in mind this Fish Shop, but upon closer in spection we found the place almost empty and a bit too stuffy for our casual-chich look that evening. So we headed back to Upper Street.

Already been to one of these
Nope, already ate at one of these today.

We walked on toward Essex Road and came across this French place.
Nor this one
No fish and chips here.

More walking. Masa's right foot is hurting from the old hiking injury I gave him walking up Mt. Sy 6 years ago. We peeked in at this place.
Bit too trendy for our crew
Too trendy and again, no bloomin' fish and chips! Time to take a taxi to Happy Holloway.

This one is just right
Ahh yes, on Brecknock we find the perfect chip shop. This is real English eatin'.

Bank and Leadenhall Market

Got off the bus at Bank and took a few photos of the Bank of England. I turned around and was about to get a shot of the interesting building behind me when it started raining...hard! I quickly packed up all my photo gear and we headed for the cover of Leadenhall Market.

Leadenhall Market, London. Photo by Stacy Munn.

I shot a couple more photos and finally finished the roll for my photography class assignment. Conveniently, there was a Snappy Snaps right there in the market, so I turned the roll in for 1 hour processing while we had lunch at Pizza Express. Masa ordered a pizza with his beloved rocket and I was still stuck on the salad nicoise from my recent days in Paris.

The food was good and Masa was intrigued by the unisex loos downstairs. He took photos, of course.

Unisex bathrooms at Pizza Express in Leadenhall Market, London.


Masa still wanted to see the Hokusai works at the British Museum, so we made our way back to Bloomsbury. While Masa headed to the Asian section of the museum, I took some photos of the museum building outside. As I was setting up my tripod, a museum guard came over and asked if I had "a permit for that".

"A permit to take photos?" I asked innocently.

"For the tripod," he replied.

Damn. So it was all hand-held shots of the museum.

I met up with Masa and asked about the Hokusai pieces. He informed me that the Japanese galleries were taken up by a special sword exhibition, so no Hokusai on display. Strike 3.

October 12, 2004


Indian Ocean restaurant on Holloway Road

On Abigail's recommendation, we went to the Indian Ocean restaurant on Holloway Road. When I asked Masa if he liked Indian food, he said he'd never tried it. I thought that odd because Indian dishes are pretty common in Japan and one of Masa's favorite meals to cook is curry rice.

On the tube, Brian leaned over and said, "I think Masa thinks we're going to have Native American food."

Me: "What makes you say that?"

Brian: "I said the food is hot and he said something about buring totem poles."

Turns out Brian was spot on.

Food was tasty, prices reasonable, but the service was ultra snooty.


We still had 45 minutes before the museum closed for the day, so I lead Masa to the mummies upstairs since these I had seen on a previous visit. After a bit, I sensed this wasn't quite what he was after. I soon found out why. He pointed to a photo in his Japanese guide of the solid gold mask of King Tut's mummy. I had doubts that this relic was in the British Museum, but Masa felt it probably was since the photo was in the Japanese guide. We asked a couple security guards who clearly didn't realize it was King Tut that Masa was pointing to. One of the guards said it was probably down 'that row over there'.

We went back downstairs to the Egyptian sculptures in room 4 and asked a guard there who announced rather loudly, "He's in Cairo. You'll have to go to Egypt to see that one". Strike 2.

The More I Learn

the more I realize I don't know.

Dr. Paul Roberts, our upstairs neighbor and curator of the Ancient Greece and Rome collection at the British Museum lead us on an educational highlight tour of relics from these great civilizations. Paul met us at the lion in the Great Court and first talked about the amazing feat of constructing this beautiful covered space designed by architect Norman Foster.
The Great Court in the British Museum

Foster also designed the Millennium Bridge
The Millennium Bridge, London

the Erotic Gherkin
The Swiss Re Building at 30 St. Mary's Axe, London

and the Greater London Association (GLA) headquarters, aka the new London City Hall.
The GLA headquarters, London

The British Muesum - Part 1

Masa Suzuki at the British Museum, London

After the Photographer's Gallery, we hit the British Museum. The Great Court is always astounding to gaze up at.

Masa Suzuki at the British Museum, London

Masa was most interested in seeing the Egyptian Book of the Dead written on papyrus, a mummy and works by Hokusai, a Japanese artist who created The Wave and Thirty Six Views of Mt. Fuji.

We asked at the information desk where we could find the Book of the Dead and were told that it was being readied for a special display in March 2005. Strike 1.

We had a little lunch at the museum cafe then browsed around for an hour until it was time to meet Dr. Paul Roberts by the lion for our personal tour.

Sign of the Times

Masa helped me bring 5 bags of old clothing to Videotel. Belinda, the woman who cleans the offices, distributes them to other Columbian immigrants who have escaped the political chaos of their home country. On the bus, I very nearly lost my Canon 10D but Masa saved it!

We stopped in at the Photographer's Gallery which was showing an exhibition titled "Mediterranean: Between Utopia and Reality". Most striking to me were portraits of children from the 1940s. They were young children, but their faces looked incredibly old. I don't mean aged, wrinkled or weathered, but their expressions looked like those of 50, 60 or 70-year-old men and women.

Perhaps it was because they were not smiling. Kristin once asked Grandma Boone why she wasn't smiling in the wedding portrait of her and Grandpa hanging in Mom's hallway. Grandma said it wasn't considered appropriate to smile for a photograph at that time.

The exacting, stiff poses in these Mediterranean portraits were contradictory to those carefree, energetic postures I typically associate with kids. And it's quite possible these children from Lebanon and neighboring countries had already been faced with some very serious life issues at an early age.

October 03, 2004


Le Tour Eifel
Took the 10:30am Eurostar from Waterloo into Gare de Norde. Unable to figure out how to buy a carne of tickets at the self-serve machine before the natives in line behind us got restless, we purchased our 't' tickets from the tourist information window.

The Villa Eugenie at 167 Rue de Rome was a 10 minute walk from the Rome metro station. We dropped off our luggage, hopped on the bus and started our tour at the Arc de Triumph. We walked past lots of embassies on our way to the Trocadero Center. I took a few photos for other tourists of them in front of the Eiffel Tower, then we headed down to the Seine for an evening open-air boat ride.