The great thing about London is that everybody comes here — including my friends from the Kennedy Center in DC! I worked with Jennifer, Jean, and Leslie fundraising there ages ago when I was a recent college grad trying to figure out what I wanted to do with my life. Those eight months were an absolute blast and we’ve stayed in touch ever since.
This time they were in town with the Board of Trustees for the National Symphony Orchestra, and they generously invited me to tag along for the day! We met up at the V&A for an early tour of the Christian Dior exhibition. The clothes were exquisite and the private tour guide highly informative, but we only half paid attention as we caught up on each others’ lives in whispers at the back of the group.
After leaving the museum, we made our way over to the original West End location of The Ivy, a storied London institution famous for being the watering hole of the actors, playwrights, and other glitterati of the London theatre scene. Tradition has it that the name comes from a period when the building was undergoing significant renovations — the loyal clientele proclaimed that they would “cling like ivy” to their beloved institution.
I broke from the group for the afternoon activities and met up with them again in the evening at the Barbican.
Gianandrea Noseda, the artistic director of the Kennedy Center and principal conductor of the National Symphony Orchestra, was conducting the London Symphony Orchestra. He’s marvelous, the LSO is marvelous, and both lived up to expectation during the performance.
Afterward we gathered in the Barbican conservatory for a post-concert seated dinner.
Noseda joined us and we hobnobbed until it was time for everyone to turn in. They were all flying out in the morning, and I needed my beauty rest before work the next day.
How great to spend the day catching up with friends and experiencing great art in a very “London” way!