November. At home in the states, this means stripping the aftermath of Halloween from your trees and cars. In the United Kingdom, it means getting ready for Christmas. This seems a bit early, but the UK only started celebrating Halloween recently. If it wasn’t for this pseudo-holiday, Christmas preparation would begin in the middle of September or something ridiculous.
This is yet another week of work and normalcy. The only new introduction into the work week was an excursion in the East End with one of the firm’s partners. We walked through Shoreditch High Street and into the Hoxton area to visit the Geffrye Museum. We came upon a beautiful square that was guarded by high stone walls. Mr. Geffrye was a wealthy merchant in the Shoreditch Area who took a large plantation style house and converted it into a large, multifamily residence for elderly people. Mr. Geffrye decided that it was time to give back to pensioners and give them a safe and cheap homestead. Effectively, he designed the first retirement community. Since the original plan of housing pensioners, the buildings are now used to house a furniture museum. The first part of the building contains model rooms to walk through. Each parlor creates the ambiance of each decade from the 1600s until 1900. The next part of the museum featured living rooms from 1910 to the present day. If I can criticize one thing: is the 1990s the real era of the loft apartment??
By the Thursday of this week, the end of the work week was celebrated in style by seeing Bon Iver at Wembley Arena. In the most accurate way to describe our journey, one could say that we made a hajj to Wembley with all of the hipsters in London. Tweed blazers with elbow patches and cuffed trousers with Dr. Martens boots flooded the tube and spilled out onto the street. Although I have always wanted to see Bon Iver perform in person, I was nervous about a large arena performance like this. His angelic falsetto and quaint melodies could captivate me in a dive bar or some random European terrace, but could the timidity of Justin Vernon fill a venue of this size? I was proved wrong. Bon Iver performed with MORE than a full band. Everything was performed live. Every loop, every voice, every effect was manually performed infront of us on the stage. Despite my skepticism, they filled the entire venue with organic musical growth. Everything was produced as a layered wall of sound. In addition to seeing him live, we were lucky enough to see a great opening act too! The Staves are a local trio of songstresses who specialize in beautiful melodies and simple, but catchy tunes.