first snowfall!

day 4.
(this is kind of a long post, but a lot of photos!)

this is a cat and a bird. in snow.

 SNOW!! I woke up to lots of snow pouring outside my window, and I stood there with my jaw slacked for a while, wondering how to cope with this new development. Eventually I decided that, yes, I can defeat snow, and just piled on three extras layers to my normal three and stepped outside with my camera. My last memory of real snow was about 3 years ago during a retreat to Tahoe when I unfortunately encountered a blizzard and was forced to wait in a McDonalds for four hours, and then help someone put on snow chains on the side of the road on a mountain under heavy snowfall. So I was a little apprehensive… but this snow was different. There was a lot that piled up on the railings outside the building and when I poked it I realized that it was actually really soft, like thick moss on a stone. I poked a lot of holes into the snow right there outside the door, anyone passing by later would’ve wondered why the snow was deformed.

You could make awesome taiwanese shaved ice dessert with this.

I was really excited by the snow, and since the Victoria and Albert art archives didn’t open until 10 am, I went to the nearby park to… MAKE A SNOWMAN! It was interesting how there was no one enjoying the snow there, I guess they were all to busy doing real things like going to work and class. So I kneeled down next to the snowy bench and made a cat. 

A really nice old man laughed at me after I told him I was making a cat. “Oho! A pussycat? Give it some eyes! No. put more snow there. More snow.” But the cat got lonely so then I made a bird. A little kid, maybe 2 years old, came by with his mom and stared at me intensely. But other than the old man and the kid, no one really seemed to care, they were probably wondering, who is this delinquent that’s skipping class… Eventually some good man who has an appreciation for great artwork stopped by just as I was admiring my handiwork and asked me, ‘Did you, make that?’ and then ‘That’s very nice indeed!’ Haha! I impressed a Briton. 

I modeled it after my cat at home. I think this just about rivals anything I saw at the British Museum.

The wings and beak are made out of tiny leaves. The snow itself looks very moss-like after it's just fallen, I don't know if you can tell from the photo.

To congratulate myself I got a full English breakfast at this little pub cafe. For £5.20 I got a latte, eggs, toast, bacon, sausage, tomatoes, mushrooms, and beans. It’s Denny’s! British style. The lady selling the food was nice and called me (and I think everyone else) ‘bella.’ A lot of old people came in to get a cup of joe and read the paper. It was a relief for them, I think, to get out of the snow.



Seemed to be popular with a lot of locals, so it must be good.

The breakfast place was right next to Russell Square station. 

The tube is amazing. BART should upgrade to something like this.


Anyway, then I went to the John French archives and spent about 4 hours looking at prints and press cuttings from Vanity Fair, interesting to me but probably not so interesting to read about. Here’s where they were located: 

Blythe House near Olympia. Ever MORE security than the Brit Library Reading Room. I went through 2 heavy gates, 1 security desk, and 3 locked doors to get to my destination. Jeebus.

One of the journals with press cuttings.

 Like the day before, all of the materials had to be brought up in separate boxes, ordered 3 or 4 at a time. Once the boxes got to the front desk, you can take out one book or one folder at a time for viewing. The objects are weighed before handed to you, and then after you hand them back, I guess to ensure that you didn’t steal any random bits of photographs or paraphernalia. Everyone in here looked extremely intese, as if they were researching to write the next great British novel or something—especially the tubby old man with the gold glasses and bushy mustache, wearing a tweed jacket and multi-colored scarf.

Loose misc. photographs... I can't believe I actually got to see the contact sheets for these photos! This one above is especially famous, of French and one of his models. Photography nerds, are you with me??

Afterwards I decided to go back to the Kensington area to take another stab at shopping, since I felt a lot better than the day before (I really should’ve gone to Oxford Circus, didn’t realize until a couple days later that that’s really where the shopping epicenter is).

If I were rich I would've bought the entire outfit on this rack, plus the boots that were below it.

I did end up buying a few small items that were all on sale. At first I thought that I hit the jackpot because everything was on January sale, but then I remembered the pound to dollar conversion rate and was sad (it’s about £1 to $1.69). Half the week, over!

There's construction going on everywhere, on the tube, the streets, all the tourist attractions..


~ by robinlam on January 15, 2010.

2 Responses to “first snowfall!”

  1. ooo does your thesis have to do with fashion photography? i saw some fashion sketch snapshots in the previous posts
    YOUR SNOWCREATURES are so cute! 🙂

    • yea! my thesis basically is looking at the emergence of fashion photography as a genre in postwar europe, and the changing representation of women in this new genre during the ’50s. well, that’s what i hope works out, but you never know where your research will end up!

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