From Londonhua WIKI

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Grant Zahorsky
Grant Zahorsky


In London, I will focus on the photography/videography of the culture, people, historical sites, abandoned buildings, and graffiti in England. Each photo/video will all make a statement on society/environment or how nature can affect manmade object and vice versa and will have a brief historical background along with other information as a caption. At the end of the 2 month stay in research, I will gather all of the background and photos and videos and create a portfolio style website from scratch that contains all of the media I will have captured along with its respective research.

Milestone 1

The Unknown Monet of London
Objective: Analyzation of Impressionism and Oscar-Claude Monet's time spent in London creating the 'London Series', a collection of 94 surviving oil paintings.

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Milestone 2

Support Systems and Homelessness
Objective: Assessment of legislation and organizations that relate to homelessness in Britain.
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Milestone 3

Homelessness Through a Lens
Objective:Analyzing the process of creating and managing a charity in the United Kingdom. This will cover the different types of charities, tax benefits, etc.. The culmination of this project will be the foundation of a charity that I would start in the UK, including a mission statement, governing document, and all other requirements that are needed when creating a charity.

Below the objective statement, Insert a one or two paragraph summary of your findings from having reached this milestone. If this milestone, for you, represents a humanities and arts capstone, please indicate so. Edit the link below to link to your milestone page.
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Activity Journal

The activity journal represents an ongoing log of reflections gained through each and every project activity on the calendar.

Westminster Hall and the Tower of London

Today, we explored the Westminster Hall and the Tower of London. This was extraordinarily exciting for me because I am very interested in buildings and their history and architecture. Since my milestones are about the culture and affect of nature on buildings and vice versa, today fit perfectly into helping get a better grasp on my topics. I am also a very devout Christian, not a Catholic though, so it was incredible to see one of the world's most famous churches. It was much different than I thought: not architecturally but I was surprised by the amount of people. I knew it was a huge tourist location, but I thought it still functioned as more of a church rather than an exhibition hall. This, of course, shouldn't have been a surprise because consumerism and tourism is taking over some of the most incredible cities and locations on the planet. Even then, I thought there would be more reference to the religion of Christianity and less to the people buried there or the marriages that happened there. Again, this is a ignorance on my part because the target demographic is not Christians seeking more knowledge and a closer relationship to God, but rather tourists who will make the owners and the city money that really care more about the people buried there and its history. All in all, it was still an incredible tour and they definitely know how to do their job and provide an excellent and immersive experience for tourists of all shapes, sizes, and ages.

Although I was familiar with Westminster Hall, I honestly had no idea what the Tower of London actually meant. I had heard the name, but never done any research on it. Because of this, I literally assumed it was a large tower that was historically important. I was half-right. The Tower of London is an incredibly fascinating place with more history than I could have imagined. I realize that I didn't grow up on English history, but I do feel that this should have been mentioned at least once. Walking around the walls and seeing what the people would have seen at the time, minus the modern buildings, was absolutely incredible. And then going from there to immediately seeing the Crown Jewels was an experience I won't forget. Honestly, seeing the jewels wasn't about seeing such large, expensive jewels, but more because I am very intrigued by all of the conspiracy theories. People come up with the most insane ideas, but yet still somehow make them make sense. It fascinates me that people can be so detailed, that they can create a "logical" story from the tiniest details with the weirdest conclusions. They even made a whole video game series on it! Who does that!? In the end, seeing all of these different monuments and memorials and items, was absolutely amazing and a great way to start the term.

National Gallery

The National Gallery is a place that I've always wanted to visit, especially when I was a child. My dad and I used to take trips around the United States and visit as many art galleries as we could so going to one across the ocean was incredibly special. When we got there, we met up with our group and waited in a surprisingly short line to get inside. Immediately, we went upstairs to the first set of galleries and saw some of the most incredible pieces of art I have ever seen. Incredibly, the Getty Museum in California was up to par with this museum and some parts of it reminded me a lot of the Getty. This made me think back to the time I went to the Getty with my dad and I remembered how we used to count the amount of Monet paintings in the gallery because he was one of my favorite painters. I set out to go count how many Monet's they had (there were 10) in the National Gallery and on the way I saw a sign for Van Gogh, another one of my favorite painters. Unfortunately, the Van Gogh exhibits were all closed until later in the week so I couldn't see any of those, but we were able to see incredible Rembrant's and Ruben's. On the way to the Monet's, we also saw The Repentant Magdalene by Cagnacci. This is a painting that I have never seen but was absolutely incredible to me. The artist actually had a different plan for the painting than what is the final product. He had painted the Vice has a standing figure and added another woman behind the repenting Magdalene. In his final product, the Vice is pictured falling and the other woman is no longer there. It's actually possible to see a little of the older painting still on the canvas! All in all, this was an incredible time and I learned a lot. It was very relatable and it was amazing to see all of the altar pieces and the da Vinci paintings, but it not relate to my milestone that much.

British Museum

The British Museum is a museum that I've heard about in passing, but never gotten too much information about it or what is inside of it. Today, as we got lost in the insanely massive building, I figured out that they have almost everything a museum could have. It was incredible. The building was styled in such a Greek/Roman fashion that it came to life as we entered the Greek and Roman eras. They have everything from the Rosetta Stone, to old African artifacts that I have never seen at any of the other museums I've been to in my life, to almost the entirety of the Parthenon. This place is amazing, but honestly, it mad me a little sad and disappointed in today's culture. Most of the items in the museum were made before the birth of Christ. And they still exist today in our museums. That is an incredible feat, but what will be left of us in 2000+ years. I don't think much of anything. Yeah, we will have phones and computers and cars, but no monumental statues or buildings like we have in today's museums. I personally think that is pretty unfortunate. I'm sure most of our culture will change by the time this happens, but once it does what will be left?

This museum was not too related to my milestone other than how time affects these gorgeous buildings. It is unbelievable that buildings built around and before the birth of Christ still exist and I think it is sad that many people take this for granted.

St. Paul's Cathedral

Today's trip to St. Paul's Cathedral was an incredible one and kind of did have to do with my milestones. Christopher Wren designed the building and started construction in 1675 to bring more of a protestant church to the once Catholic church that stood on the site. As time went on, this church finished its construction and it quickly became one of the most famous churches every built. This is related to my second milestone because I am studying the affects of time on manmade buildings. Though this building has undergone some intense cleaning and modernization and refurbishments, it is quite amazing that it is still standing with very little, if any, problems whatsoever. Not only did that relate to my second milestone, but Wren also designed and built another church, called St. James church, in London that I visited by accident the other day. We were walking through and exploring London and we came across a church that looked beautiful and had a plaque on it that said it was designed by Wren, so we went inside. This related to my first milestone because inside the church, in every pew on the left side, there was a homeless person sleeping. Every. Single. Pew. on the left side was taking my a homeless person getting inside out of the weather and away from the noise. This was incredibly sad to me and I felt very bad that I couldn't do anything to help, but I am very glad this church is doing something for them.

Going to St. Paul's really was an incredible experience. It was so amazing to see how the way people worship has changed since the 16th century. I wish we had more churches that would be similar to it without being Catholic churches. It really is fascinating to me and so was the entire Cathedral, especially the Whispering Galleries because I have a terrible fear of heights. Walking up those stairs without being able to see how high I was really threw me for a loop and disorientated me. Once we got to the top, it was a whole different story. The first thing I saw was wood and I thought I would have to walk on it which was immediately a turn off and gave me a "nervous giggle" which is always a fun time. Anyways, I was able to make it around to the exit, after much struggle, but it turned out I was going to another entrance, not an exit. So when I got to the real exit, the two security guards, who saw me struggling, pointed out that I was right next to the exit. It was hilarious and they laughed while I laughed out of nervousness. After finally getting down, I got to explore the crypt and was so relieved I was finally on the ground. In the end, this experience was amazing and I learned a lot about the church and history that I never knew beforehand.

National History Museum

Today, we went to the National History Museum. It didn't relate to any of my milestones but it was still an interesting visit. Honestly, I have been to some incredible museums before like the National History Museum in New York, an extension of it in Kansas City, and many more across the country, so the one in London didn't really impress me too much. I had a great time but it very much felt like it was more targeted to the audience of kids rather than adults. If I went as a child, I would have been losing my mind at how cool the crystals were, or how big the dinosaurs were, or anything else because it was indeed very cool, but as an adult who has experienced lots and lots of museums, I wasn't too impressed. Rather than having lots of exhibits, they had a lot of screens that showed you information and exhibits. The building itself was magnificent and had an incredible amount of character to it. It was also really easy to get to via the tube. I absolutely loved the architecture and also the set up of the museum. It was very easy to get around and looked beautiful. I just personally wish there were more exhibits that were unique, rather than the same and even less than other museums I have visited.

I had a really great time nonetheless and did learn a few things that I had not known as much about before visiting the gorgeous museum.

Tate Modern

Our visit to Tate Modern was definitely something unexpected. I knew that it was going to be interesting, considering it was a modern art exhibit, but I had no idea what was inside. The architecture was absolutely magnificent and blew me away. I love the minimalist design and that mixed with the industrial look and high ceilings is definitely something I want in my future home, and that is exactly what Tate Modern looks like on the inside. Though this did not relate to my milestones, this was an absolutely incredible visit. I was able to enjoy the architecture and also each exhibit in the museum. My favorite exhibits were definitely the Monet painting of the lilypads, the "potato" exhibit, and the orchestral exhibit. We have one of the most famous lilypad paintings by Monet at the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art in Kansas City, so seeing yet another one was incredible and very memorable. I think my favorite of all exhibits was the "potato" exhibit. Honestly, I'm not sure of the name, or the purpose, but it was a massive room with what looked like big and small sacks of potatoes all over the floor. Walking into the room was mind-blowing because that was definitely the last thing I had ever expected when walking into that room. I will admit, I did laugh when we walked in there. I just couldn't help it. It was too funny to walk into a room and see bags everywhere full of potatoes. It was also amazing seeing everyone else's face and emotions as they walked through the room. I have definitely never seen a piece of art do that to so many people at once. My next favorite was the orchestral one. It was a large, cement room that had only two benches in it. Around the benches were 40 speakers that were in five different groups. Each speaker had the recording of one person on it so when all of them were played, a magnificent acapella orchestra commenced. It was one of the most peaceful things I had done in a long time. This museum was very interesting and very surprising. It didn't have much effect on my milestones but I absolutely loved the museum itself.

Museum of London

Another museum that I had not heard much about, the Museum of London, was an incredible visit with so much more than I would have thought inside. It had a fantastic layout, as everything very clearly had an end point and entrance to the next exhibit. This way, unlike a lot of other museums that cram everything into multiple rooms, we were able to see everything in the museum very efficiently. When we went to the British Museum, everything was rushed because there were so many items and so little direction that we didn't know where to begin or end. In the Museum of London, we saw everything very quickly and easily while still being able to read anything we wanted without rushing. Obviously this museum had a lot less than the British Museum, but it was definitely much easier to traverse. It was really interesting to see the development of only London rather than all of Europe as you see in most museums. It made me feel much more like I was actually living in the place that it happened, rather than the general location. I also really enjoyed seeing the Cauldron from the 2012 Olympic Games. I didn't watch the games that year for whatever reason so I didn't exactly know at what I was looking until someone pointed out to me what it was. I was definitely blown away when I was told that it was the torch for the games and that apparently this was the year they "had" the Queen skydive into the stadium with James Bond. I had heard about this but never watched it so I will be doing that as soon as I can.

Today didn't have much to do with my milestones, but it did get me a little closer to a camera store that I had been wanting to visit about getting a new tripod. I didn't end up buying anything but all of the research and practice with some new techniques I have learned have helped me capture amazing photos of the life of the middle and lower classes in London and the drastic differences between the two. I will be going out today in the rain to get many more, and hopefully better, pictures for my first milestone as I explore the differences between the two lifestyles.

Hampton Court Palace

This was by far one of my favorite places we have gone on this trip. It did not relate to my milestone but it was beautiful and really intrigued me. It was so amazing being able to walk around the same places that the most important and influential people of that time walked around. I took some of the same steps as those incredible people! The palace was gorgeous too. The gardens and maze and everything was so beautiful. The interior of the palace was beautiful and the handiwork some of the people had back then is unbelievable. Thought I will admit, I was confused by some of it. I am not sure if the rounded corners on the ceilings and the paintings that cover them is a modern design to help with structural integrity and also looks, or if that was original. I was also saddened by the amount of modern work they had done to the building. In some of the galleries and exhibition rooms, They had put up modern walls around the old, original walls. I assume this was done for electricity or for some other reason but I absolutely hated it. They completely took the history from the room by adding modern walls. It was sad but I was easily able to overlook it as the rest of the place was incredible. We ate lunch at the cafe inside of a courtyard in the building. We ordered an afternoon tea but unfortunately it wasn't ready, so they gave us free BLTs and drinks to compensate. That was definitely one of the best BLTs I have ever had. Then, after we finished eating, we went out to the gardens. They were so fantastic and so peaceful. We took pictures and explored and had a great time before finally leaving 4+ hours after we arrived.

Museum of London Docklands

I had a ton of fun at this museum and the surrounding area. Though the museum didn't relate to my milestones, it was interesting to walk through and experience the setup of the building. We were the first people there so we basically got the building to ourselves as it was not busy at all. We were able to take our time and read what we wanted and explore as we wished. I loved how they made some rooms a replica of the life back then and the streets people walked. That plus the sounds the filled the rooms with made it feel like we were really there. It was amazing but honestly, the museum felt pretty empty. Not because we were the only ones there, but content-wise. I felt like there was a sufficient lack of what they could have had and explained. Still, I found it very interesting. After the museum, we explored the surrounding area and went over to Big Easy and One Canada Square to see the incredible gardens on the roof and eat some food. We eventually landed at The Breakfast Club and had the most amazing brunch ever. I asked our server to surprise me with his favorite item on the menu, and he replied with, "Oh..haha well I am a vegetarian and I don't want to push my beliefs on you...that is considered terrorism in some places." He was awesome and chose the most wonderful pancakes topped with berries and cream. We talked a little bit about our projects and why we were in London and had a great conversation. All in all, 10/10, would recommend to a friend for brunch.

Activity #3 Name

A paragraph for your personal reflection for another activity on our calendar goes here, just it was outlined in the previous example. Repeat this same process for the remaining activities. Whenever there's an activity on the calendar, complete an activity journal reflection. You can make it easy for your advisors to give you a high grade for your journal entries by ensuring that they are thoughtful and reflective with regard to your project milestones. Don't make the mistake of assuming that your activity and your milestone are automatically unrelated just because one relates to art or music (for example) and one relates to another theater or history; part of the activity immersion as to experience the overlap of London-based culture. There are numerous ways that specific elements of one discipline influence elements in another. In your journal entries, note these connections as best as you can be explicit when mentioning articles that you contribute to and create.

My Complete Contributions

The journal section should end with the following link to your complete contributions (new articles, edited articles, added media, etc.); delete this sentence and replace the username Vjmanzo below with your own username:

All of My Created Content and Edits