Saturday, August 14, 2004

Ahhh....the London Pub Experience. July, 2004

I call this "London Pub Still Life". To me it evokes the perfect afternoon, actually. A paper, a beer, a smoke and some chips (er, crisps) in a totally historic old pub. Ah, that's living.

Rich and I were in England in July. I was there for 10 days, he was there for the end part of my stay, for about 4 days. We managed to do quite a few self-exploratory pub crawls, and this photo comes from one of them. This time around we focussed our efforts on the South Bank of the Thames. There are some great pubs there.

It was taken at a pub called "The Anchor" on the South Bank, right next to The Golden Hinde and right across the river from St. Paul's. In fact, this pub is the place where Samuel Pepys retreated to watch the Great Fire of London in 1666! It's pretty cool, half timbered and meandering, and awash with all sorts of different people, tourists and business people on happy hours and parents with kids and a few hard core drinkers.

Rich and I found a table on an upper level of the pub, overlooking the downstairs. Looking directly down from our table, practically hanging over the railings, I saw this view...a guy, by himself, enjoying the quintessentially English pastime of a pint, a paper and a smoke, his packet of Walker's crisps to hand. It almost looked staged, the table was so perfect. Of course I had to photograph it. I especially like the headline on the paper he was reading: "Brits Will Always Be Binge Drinkers".
I love everything about this photo...the wildly patterned carpet, the dinged up table, the arrangement of his drinking paraphernalia just so for ease of access. I tried getting a picture of his hand as it came towards the ashtray to deposit the ashes from his cigarette, but the camera I was using (Rich's digital) was too damn slow and I missed the shot.

Don't you just want to go to a pub right about now? Isn't this just so evocative of every pub you have ever been to?

We hit a few more pubs after this. We were inspired, I guess.

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