February 11, 2013: King’s Road

What a day. I love when plans disintegrate. I’m the least spontaneous person I know, but my Sarah walks London project makes the unknown and the unplanned the most appealing thing ever. And as I typed that sentence on my iPhone waiting for the next District Line train I felt compelled to turn around and walk the other way up the platform and I found a glove on the floor. It was mine! Divine mercy. I shouldn’t lose another piece of winter wear.

Lots of thoughts. Mellow racing thoughts. My plan today was to go to the Natural History Museum and the Muswell Hill library and possibly a few other things including but not limited to a trip to the British Library and a return trip to the School of Life. I made it to the Wildlife Photographer of the Year exhibit. Stunning. Left with that competitive drive to submit work to photography competitions again. That feeling should wear off in a few hours. Two images really struck me. Many many were stunning, but these two are etched into my mind. One was called Hare in a Landscape by Robert Zoehrer and the other was Heavenly View by Magnus Carlsson. Have a look.  I bought a postcard of the Heavenly View one and asked the cashier if the other one was just out of stock but she said the photographer didn’t want the image made into a postcard. Well then.

After the museum I was heading to the Tube with intention of getting out at Warren Station, getting a sandwich at Sainsbury’s, and dropping by the School of Life to see if maybe just maybe I left my hat there. On my way to the tube I found a bookstore and perused the titles because I need another book to read in addition to the memory book by Joshua Foer because sometimes it makes me burrow even deeper into my head and I can use a bit of fiction to get lost in.

While I was at the bookstore I realized that I was in South Kensington and I have a few items on the bucket list in the area. So I consulted my red book and low and behold, one place on Brompton Road an two on King’s Road. And so a a domino effect of different plans commenced.

I made my way down Brompton Road and couldn’t find the store. It’s called Few and Far. Either it closed or I can’t follow building numbers. However, as I walked along I found a map store called Robert Frew LTD, Fine and Rare Books, Prints and Antique Maps. I saw that they had a collection of books on sale and that some of them were published by Christie’s. I happen to be looking for a book about antique maps published by Chrsitie’s but alas they didnot have it. The rest of the items in the store were out of my budget, but such a great place. After I gave up on Brompton Road I made my way to King’s Road. Lots of posh stores, etc. Found an Anthropologie and went in only for the retail merchandise experience. Never fails to please. Reignited my need to work there. And I will work there and I will climb that corporate ladder and I will control everything you see in Anthropologie. Mark my words? Glad to see they do a good job in London too.

Also on that street is Green and Stone art suppliers (on the list). I knew that just walking in there would be a commitment to spending at least 20 quid. And what do you know? I’m true to my word! And there were bunnies everywhere. See pictures below. I should have asked what the story was about that. Next time…

Kept walking along and passed this place called The Designer’s Guild and thought hey that looks cool I should go in there but I kept walking. Then I consulted my red book and saw that The Designer’s Guild was the other store on the list. So I went in. So many colors, so many reams of fabric, so many rolls of wall paper. I left immediately.

Next was a plant nursery called Worlds End Nursery. So tranquil, a rush of of calm to the head. A nice peaceful interlude to a day laden with visual overload. I almost bought some lilies of the valley but it was a project I wasn’t willing to take on right now…I’m not so good at keeping plants alive and this required repotting the plant. Do you have a death wish, little flower?

Still walking along King’s Road (it runs for just under two miles, so bear with me now), I came across York Gallery. It was the huge map in the window that caught my eye. It’s a panel of 4 individually framed maps of London and its suburbs. It’s 5,000 pounds. My birthday is in a little over a month! I was about to take a picture and I was told sorry no pictures. So I cooperated and put my phone away. Let’s hear it for good karma: The lady said I could take a picture of the map, but not the entire store. Huzzah! I’ve been rewarded for restraining myself and not taking a single prohibited picture at the Wildlife Photographer of the Year exhibit.

Kept walking until King’s Road became New King’s Road became Eel Brook Common became Musgrave Crescent became Moore Park Road became Harwood Road became Fulham Road and I spotted the Fulham Broadway Tube station and decided it was time to finish my wander.

Went to Slade via Sainsbury’s and updated my Sarah Walks London map. I think I need a new and improved map because some of the parts I covered last Sunday and today aren’t on it and I want credit for every single step. After I ate my sandwich (breakfast) I headed over to the School of Life just 40 minutes before closing. I walked in all hopeful and asked if my hat was left there. It wasn’t. Sigh. So I looked at the titles of all the books that were once so incredibly irresistible thinking that I’d treat myself with some bibliotherapy and left empty handed instead. But as I was walking down the next street I thought to myself hmm maybe they have CCTV and I can rewind a week and a half and watch me walk into the store on that fateful Thursday and finally put an end to this search. So I turned around and went back to the School of Life. They do not have CCTV. Great so now I can break in and steal the books and no one will ever know it was me. Shout out to Adam Boxer. On my walk back to the Slade I took the route I walked that Thursday to see if that route would trigger any lost memories. It did not, but it got me thinking of all the other places I was that day and if they have CCTV footage they’d let me see. Then I decided to just drop it.

When I got back to the Slade I started reading the new book I bought at Green and Stone. It’s a book about books. Specifically, book art and books as art and the intro is written by none other than Audrey Niffenegger, author of The Time Traveler’s Wife (sigh). She makes books in addition to writing them. What a life. I hope this book inspires. I know that I frequently say that at a certain point you need to stop researching and thinking and coveting other people’s work, but to quote the wise Deb Todd Wheeler, I’m a sponge in absorbing mode (sorry if I misquoted you….it was something like that….).

I want to bridge this gap slash define the gap between book binding and making and the installations that allure me at Anthropologie and the paper cuts that I’m enchanted by. I want to make it all and I want to understand what the underlying theme that all these things have in common that have such a force on me. Glowing things, illuminated things. Objects cast in shadow, objects that project light. Paper that cascades from the ceiling. Tree branches wrapped in lights, books that open and unfold and reveal secrets and string and pop up paper people. DON’T YOU JUST LOVE THIS PART? I do (not?). I see it in my minds eye and it will be made somehow even if it changes form along the way.

Cheers, yo. Pictures soon.

4 comments on “February 11, 2013: King’s Road

  1. Barry and Keith says:

    Are you SURE you searched School of Life thoroughly??? You need to go BACK there…….one more time. Seriously, though, I feel like I’m walking around with you there which would be so much fun because I’m a massive Anglophile. During the Olympics I bought a gigundo Michelin map of London and I pore over it longingly. Glad you found evidence of bunnies in Anglaterra. Jumpy is happy and misses you only slightly. We try to keep him entertained but he IS made of WOOD after all. Keep walking and discovering and having fun (are you doing any WORK??)
    Barry and Keith

    • sarahbierman says:

      I still haven’t dropped the hat thing yet. Now I’m beginning to think I lost it on Wednesday and should go retrace by Wednesday steps. Or move on? Sigh. Send my love to Jumpy Ghostface–I haven’t named by bunny yet. There are a couple of Tube stops whose names crack me up so I’m thinking I might use one of those. Preceded by HRH of course. It’s England, after all. HRH Chalk Farm? HRH Canary Wharf? I’ll work on it. The great thing about being in art school for the semester is that ALL THIS qualifies as work! When I’m between projects (as I am right now) I need see lots of things to trigger something to inspire me….so this is really working for me.


  2. GH says:

    When you control Anthropologie can I get everything for free?

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