There’s something refreshing about seeing someone familiar in a place that you live in, unless it’s in Tesco Extra Risca after your Mum insists you go food shopping with her when you look like a gremlin and the last thing you want to do is run into someone familiar.
For two years I saw my friends at University almost every day. You settle into a routine around each other’s’ timetables. Now, we’re at that weird middle part of our degree where people are scattered across the globe on placements and university exchanges and we’ve gone from casually running across one another in Off the Wall to not seeing any course mates since April last year.
Having visitors gives you an excuse to try new things and visit new places. I’ve discovered Il Giardino Della Nonna which was spectacular and dangerously close to my flat. We also stumbled across a café called Nostrum, which fascinates me because you choose your food and you can heat it up yourself in the microwaves provided. We also were taken to a bar by the river on Saturday night that one of my friends knew, and we were treated to magic tricks until the finale went horribly wrong and the magician didn’t pick James’ card. It’s safe to assume I’ve drank a lot of wine this weekend.
Speaking of things I love, having visitors also gives me the opportunity to show them places I love. Bars like Mr Marvellous and Gin Fizz, restaurants like La Fontana and Foodoo, and coffee shops in between that we happen to stumble across.
We also ticked a bucket list item off for my friend as we visited the Guggenheim. This was my third time visiting and I was still wholeheartedly enthused. Although one of my favourite exhibits by Bill Viola was no longer there, it has been replaced with an entire exhibit about Space and Time, and it was just as fascinating. One exhibit that completely filled us with awe was a wall that had been manipulated to make it appear as if two halves of the room were separated by a glass window, almost like a real life optical illusion. (You’ll be pleased to know my two favourite paintings are still on the top floor).
Another new exhibit was Amie Siegel’s Winter, a European premiere of her video art depicting a human settlement on the brink of extinction, which is accompanied by live music. What is unique about this piece is that each time she exhibits this art she selects local musicians to compose music to accompany her work, which gives each exhibition a fresh, eye opening and ear opening experience.
Thank you, Ellen, for gracing me with your presence, and bring on my next visitors who arrive on Sunday!