Rescue at Heathrow, London 6

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Last entry in Rob Matthews’ London Journal

Saturday July 31, 2004

The next morning we tubed to Harrod’s, the most over-the-top, out-of-control store in the world. “Egyptian” decorated escalators for 6 floors of shopping in a store that carried nothing but the most fashionable and most expensive goods in the world. Rumor is that no one in London buys anything at Harrod’s at that the only people keeping the store open are tourists and oil tycoons. Prada shoes were low-end at this place.

We were there about 30 minutes, realized we weren’t going to buy anything and then left. From there we tubed to the Victoria and Albert Museum which is a decorative arts museum that on the inside looks shockingly like Harrod’s.

Tracy found a nice dishtowel with some birds on it.

We walked up to Hyde Park afterwards, got lunch, sat under a tree and fell asleep for a while. We watched guys play soccer for a while and then walked to the Serpentine Gallery, which is a non-profit contemporary art space in the park. There was a Gabriel Orozco show at the gallery. We walked in and the first thing I saw was the piece that the Philadelphia Museum of Art loaned to the show–“Black Kites” (the skull with the graphite diamonds), a piece that I’ve probably dusted 50 times.

We looked at the show for a while, walked back to the restaurant in the park where we had lunch, bought a beer, and then went back to the same tree and fell asleep again. Watched some more soccer, walked to an Italian place for another early dinner, tubed to the hotel, watched TV, fell asleep (image boring BBC lady), woke up, had breakfast in the basement and then headed for the airport.

Heathrow was a mess. We stood in the line for Sri Lankan Air for about 20 minutes before an airport employee went through and basically started pulling all of the white people out of line to make sure we were in the right line. Once we got in the right line, the nicest airport employee in the history of aviation helped Tracy e-check us in to avoid the mile-long line. He also managed to “involuntarily” upgrade us on our plane so we sat in two cushy seats without anyone in our aisle.

[ed.note: Matthews told us he finally found Courage, beer that is, in a beer depot in his Fishtown neighborhood in Philadelphia.]

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