Winter break

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Three weeks of break after two months (and a bit) of the first term. On the last Friday before the break, we went on a class trip -- joint class trip between Jews in English-Speaking Lands and Metropolitan Life: Jews in the City; I'm doing both modules anyway -- to the East End, which used to be the Jewish settlement area from the late 19th century to the early 20th.

There was another visit on the same day, to see bits from the Cairo Geniza (which I'd wanted to see since forever!) at the British Library (which is normally very, very strict about everything, so this was a now-or-never chance, probably), but I had to make a difficult choice. Geniza manuscripts vs a guided tour of the East End. I'm only sitting in for the Survey of Jewish History and Culture class (under which the Geniza visit is organised), so I picked the East End.

I've never been to the London East End (Stepney, Bethnal Green, Whitechapel, whereabouts) before. We met at the Liverpool Street Tube Station, began with the Kindertransport monument there, and walked our way to various other places.

Sandy's Row Synagogue. Nobody answered the door.

The anarchists (down the alleyway marked by the KFC sign next to the Whitechapel Gallery).
The Whitechapel Gallery is lovely, too, and free.

This used to be the Soup Kitchen (for  the Jewish Poor, like it says). 
Fortunately the front was preserved. Not many of the other Jewish buildings (shops, theatre, etc) remained in their original forms.

Fieldgate St. Great Synagogue. No one answered the bell here, too.

We also stopped by a beigel shop (which sold salt beef beigels that looked really good), but it wasn't a kosher place, so I didn't get anything. The next bakery we went to was,  though, so I bought two crodoughs -- custard and apple pie filling. I like food.

There were also several masjids in the area, and now the Benggalis seem to have taken over the East End -- many of the street signs had a Benggali version underneath them. Because it was a Friday morning, we walked past many Muslim men, women, and children on their way to the masjid. The sign on one of the police stations said "Banglatown". Big cities attract immigrants. Jews in the 1880s, Bangladeshis today.

On Saturday, I went to the Senate House and then SOAS to return a load of library books, and then popped in at the Brunei Gallery to see the Zoroastrian exhibition. I'd been meaning to go since I saw a poster for it at a Tube station about a month ago, and Dr. Damsa suggested that we have a look after we discussed Zoroastrianism in class. I didn't realise the religion is still alive...

Some stuff.

The Videvdad Sadeh, or 'Law against Demons" in Avestan script, copied in 1647.

A book. The History of the Chaldaick Philosophy, I think. Maybe.

The eternal (electric) flame.

Three class-less weeks! I miss going to uni, I miss the Tube ride from Royal Oak to Euston Square, but I still plenty of excuses to go to the libraries over the break...but now I have time for (not-in-the-syllabus) fiction, and for visits to various interesting places in London (the other half of my education).

May this break be a fruitful one!

Sunday, December 15, 2013

Winter break

Three weeks of break after two months (and a bit) of the first term. On the last Friday before the break, we went on a class trip -- joint class trip between Jews in English-Speaking Lands and Metropolitan Life: Jews in the City; I'm doing both modules anyway -- to the East End, which used to be the Jewish settlement area from the late 19th century to the early 20th.

There was another visit on the same day, to see bits from the Cairo Geniza (which I'd wanted to see since forever!) at the British Library (which is normally very, very strict about everything, so this was a now-or-never chance, probably), but I had to make a difficult choice. Geniza manuscripts vs a guided tour of the East End. I'm only sitting in for the Survey of Jewish History and Culture class (under which the Geniza visit is organised), so I picked the East End.

I've never been to the London East End (Stepney, Bethnal Green, Whitechapel, whereabouts) before. We met at the Liverpool Street Tube Station, began with the Kindertransport monument there, and walked our way to various other places.

Sandy's Row Synagogue. Nobody answered the door.

The anarchists (down the alleyway marked by the KFC sign next to the Whitechapel Gallery).
The Whitechapel Gallery is lovely, too, and free.

This used to be the Soup Kitchen (for  the Jewish Poor, like it says). 
Fortunately the front was preserved. Not many of the other Jewish buildings (shops, theatre, etc) remained in their original forms.

Fieldgate St. Great Synagogue. No one answered the bell here, too.

We also stopped by a beigel shop (which sold salt beef beigels that looked really good), but it wasn't a kosher place, so I didn't get anything. The next bakery we went to was,  though, so I bought two crodoughs -- custard and apple pie filling. I like food.

There were also several masjids in the area, and now the Benggalis seem to have taken over the East End -- many of the street signs had a Benggali version underneath them. Because it was a Friday morning, we walked past many Muslim men, women, and children on their way to the masjid. The sign on one of the police stations said "Banglatown". Big cities attract immigrants. Jews in the 1880s, Bangladeshis today.

On Saturday, I went to the Senate House and then SOAS to return a load of library books, and then popped in at the Brunei Gallery to see the Zoroastrian exhibition. I'd been meaning to go since I saw a poster for it at a Tube station about a month ago, and Dr. Damsa suggested that we have a look after we discussed Zoroastrianism in class. I didn't realise the religion is still alive...

Some stuff.

The Videvdad Sadeh, or 'Law against Demons" in Avestan script, copied in 1647.

A book. The History of the Chaldaick Philosophy, I think. Maybe.

The eternal (electric) flame.

Three class-less weeks! I miss going to uni, I miss the Tube ride from Royal Oak to Euston Square, but I still plenty of excuses to go to the libraries over the break...but now I have time for (not-in-the-syllabus) fiction, and for visits to various interesting places in London (the other half of my education).

May this break be a fruitful one!