Seems like yesterday I was sharing photos from October, but November has passed as well now just as quickly. I managed to cram in a trip to New York, my first solo photography exhibition (which involved a surprise visit from my Dad who came over from the States), finish all of my Christmas shopping and attend quite some events like Mama Brown’s Pop Up Experience launch party and a private event to celebrate Bob Dylan’s exhibition at the Halcyon Gallery on London’s Bond Street.
December also has a lot to look forward to including a trip to Spain and my 30th birthday, but here’s a look at my 16 favourite Instagram images from November.
1. Autumn leaves in North Tonawanda, New York. I spent the first handful of days in November visiting family and a few friends upstate New York. The typically leaves peak in colour mid-November, but despite some bare branches, there was still some vibrant red, orange and yellow foliage. I spotted this bright red bush along the five minute walk between my parents’ house and my grandmother’s.
2. Gourds for the harvest season. When I think of Autumn, and more specifically, the time around Thanksgiving, baskets full of gourds always come to mind. They appear in the house as seasonal decorations around that time. My grandma used to hang Indian corn outside the front door. This is a basket from her house. She was telling me that some of these gourds are new, but others have been around for years. I’m always fascinated by their so many different shapes and colours.
3. Fresh fish caught in Rhode Island. The last day I was in New York, my dad pulled out the last of the fish him and my brother had caught on a trip to Rhode Island. He dressed it up with lemon, butter, parsley, Greek spices and Chardonnay before popping it in the oven ready for lunch. Turned out to be really tasty and it was fun to watch him prepare and know that we were eating something that they caught themselves.
4. Flying above the UK. I’m not a huge fan of red eye flights because I never sleep on the plane, but I do love flying in to a brand new day, the morning light soaking the world below when the shades are finally pulled up and we’re preparing to land. This was outside of London, about 20 minutes before we reached Heathrow. That brilliant blue sky, of course, quickly turned to grey and rain a few hours later but it’s always great to be back.
5. Ben Wilson’s chewing Gum Art. I’ve been following Ben’s work for a while now. The post I wrote about him in February 2012 on Little London Observationist has turned out to be one of my most popular and I also had the privilege to interview him this year. Ben created my own Little London Observationist chewing gum piece in July and came to my exhibition last month. Just before the exhibition, he came to CAPA International Education where I work to create a CAPA chewing gum piece and make a little film for us. This photo below shows a piece he brought with him on a brick as a sample. He’s currently working on a gum trail over London’s Millennium Bridge.
6. Christmas Windows. I try to finish all of my Christmas shopping in November so I don’t have to brave the shops or the queues in December and it leaves me plenty of time to ship everything before the queues in the post office start too. I love seeing all of the Christmas windows – especially the Selfridges and Harvey Nichols ones. I spent some time in Fortnum & Mason a few weeks ago and was amused by their moving displays. The cab driver looks amused too, but at me rather than the windows!
7. Carnaby Street Robins. Early November, London lights up for Christmas. While the plain lights on Regent’s Street and King’s Road are nice, Carnaby Street usually does something a bit more creative. This year, it’s robins strung along the famous shopping street. Looking for a break, I stopped mid-shopping at my favourite cafe on Ganton Street around the corner, Sacred Cafe, for a savoury muffin and relax tea.
8. Anna’s Little City Observations Cupcakes. My talented colleague Anna Shoemaker made 108 delicious red velvet cupcakes for my exhibition launch party on November 11. She took a cut out from the main image in the show to get edible wafers printed for the top. They were definitely a hit; everyone loved them. If you have an event in London and are looking for someone to make some memorable treats, let me know and I’ll put you in touch with Anna!
9. Little City Observations at The Chance Gallery. From the 11th – 17th of November, I had my first solo photography exhibition at The Chance Gallery in London’s Chelsea. There were 18 prints in the show and we had an opening party full of guests, with canapés, wine and the cupcakes above. My dad showed up from New York as a complete surprise so it was definitely a night to remember.
10. My office during the exhibition. The Chance Gallery has two amazing fireplaces. It wasn’t the warmest time of the year and I wanted to leave the door open so people felt welcome to wander in from the street. So, for the week of the exhibition, I set up office next to the fireplace. I was enjoying my tea from Paul, as I do every morning.
11. Aperitivos from Barcelona. The week before my exhibition, Jorge went to Barcelona to visit some friends. They took him to a place called Mitja Vida Bar (which he wrote about on his blog) for some traditional aperivitos. They were so good, he stocked up and brought home a giant tin of anchovy stuffed olives, peppers, mussels and vermouth which we now have in London.
12. Private Event to Celebrate Bob Dylan’s Exhibition at The Halcyon Gallery. The week after my exhibition, we were invited by the talented Spanish artist Pedro Paricio to a private event at The Halcyon Gallery on Bond Street to celebrate Bob Dylan’s exhibition. I had no idea he was also a visual artist so it was a surprise to me. The best part was the people watching, hands down.
13. Lucky Charms. A favourite cereal growing up, I was happy to receive a big box of Lucky Charms in a gift basket full of American food from Ocado. They are full of sugar and you can’t really find them here in London unless you want to pay a fortune. They have been my morning treat for the past few weeks – magically delicious!
14. Meringues at Duke of York Square Market. The square in front of Saatchi Gallery on King’s Road in London fills up on Saturdays when a weekly market takes over full of vendors selling everything from oysters to cheese to chorizo sandwiches. There’s usually someone playing live music and at this time of the year, Christmas trees. More photos on Little London Observationist this week.
15. A tiny blue car. Turning the corner from Bond Street, I spotted this mini blue car parked on the side of the road. It looked so out of place, like it came out of a cartoon. Nothing to do with the car, but after a manic day of shopping, I finished everything and decided this was the last time I go anywhere Regents Street or Oxford Street until the Christmas rush ends in January!
16. 7 Meard Street, Soho. I’ve been meaning to take a photo of this sign for quite a while now. It can be found at 7 Meard Street in Soho and is on the door of Sebastian Horsley‘s house before he died. He’s an artist known for undergoing a voluntary crucifixion in the Philippines to prepare for a series of paintings and his writing usually centred around his drug addictions, his dysfunctional family and his reliance on prostitutes. Though he died of an overdose, he “romanticised dying ‘destitute in the arms of a prostitute’.”
Hope you all had a fun, relaxing weekend.