January 23rd, 2005

Whitechapel

Whitechapel is a grim part of town, but full of energy- some of it good. We drank coffee at a pavement table. A really nice guy gave up his seat so all four of us could sit together- then strolled off without paying. A guy who was drunk or stoned or just psychotic wandered about in the general vicinity, sometimes strumming a cheap guitar and sometimes waving it about like a club.

There was an exhibition on at the Whitechapel Gallery called Faces in the Crowd. Picasso, Manet, Sickert, Munch, Magritte- and that’s just for starters. . Most of the art was about city life and the alienation of the individual. I found it oppressive. We came out and guitar guy had moved on and his patch had been taken over by a younger man who was leaning against the wall shouting things like, “I’m homeless, Give me some money for food, you bastard!”