Nov. 2nd, 2016

millionreasons: (london)
I have been doing stuff….We went on a coffee tour around the City with professional Jack Whitehall lookalike Dr Mathew Green and his pal Pasqua Rosee. I'd previously seen the plaque to Pasqua on the side of the Jamaica Winehouse, but had no idea who he was. Most of the info from the tour is here, should you be a social history nerd comme moi. Interestingly, Dr Matt pointed out that the decline of the coffee-house was not so much to do with Britain's literal empire building and tea production but the rise of the telegraph. If news could come via newspapers, there was no need to find out what was going on over a cup of joe. As well as the dry facts, there was out of work actor Pasqua making proclamations and reading poems and giving out free shots of 17th century style coffee, which was pretty tasty although the Costa Coffee crowd claimed it was too bitter. No pumpkin spice corn-syrup in it, you see.

We (or rather Dave) went on the slide at the Orbit. I just sat on a bench with a coffee and admired the autumn foliage in the Olympic park. We went for lunch at Shake Shack, which is the hippest place you can go to in NYC (we queued twice in Union Square without getting anywhere near the front) but in England is in Westfield. I can’t speak for the meat, but the veggieburger was a mushroom injected with molten cheese and you can’t say fairer than that.

The Avenue, a newly opened railway arch opening in E7, also does a Portobello mushroom, blue cheese and red pepper brioche bap for a highly reasonably £4. None of your GBK £9.90 nonsense here. There, I met the lovely cat, Dave, who came to sit on me without any kissy-kiss noises or entrapment.

We took the Jubilee line to Bermondsey where we walked through the slice of hipster Hackney in south London that is Maltby Street market to the White Cube for an Anthony Gormley exhibition. Anthony Gomrley basically makes statues of Anthony Gormely, here there were Cubist-style Tron Gormleys, Tetris Gormleys, electricity pylon Gormleys and a Gormley having sex with the floor. The best bit was a walk-in robot Gormley where, in pitch black, you walk to the end of the tunnel, which was white-ish so you don't smash your nose on the far wall (I kinda expected a little ghost to jump out). People coming back out looked like they were emerging from a portal to a Being Anthony Gormley dimension.


I did wonder if Anthony should paint himself bronze and pose as a living statue in one of his own exhibitions. We walked back down Bermondsey Street, me pointing out what had changed since I worked there 1996-2001. I felt like when my dad used to drive around his home town of Blackpool telling his uninterested children what used to be there in 1965 and going the wrong way down one way streets because traffic directions had changed.

Sunday, we had a somewhat traumatic journey to Chadwell Heath, which involved lurking ‘round Ilford as the sun went down and taking a rail replacement bus commandeered by a man who’d a) never driven a bus before and b) had no geographical knowledge of the outer east echelons of London. Anyway, we were going to the Moby Golf Course, a whale-themed mini-golf course (there used to be a whalebone here on Whalebone Lane), which tonight was Hallowe'en themed, i.e. they'd stuck up a few plastic pumpkins and some cobwebs. It was fun playing in the dark under floodlights though. The game was a dead draw, although Dave let me cheat a little. We got one bus back, watching Diwali fireworks light up the sky.

millionreasons: (marnie)
Euphrates isn't just a river in Egypt, it's also a Pixies song. I like the way the tune starts as if it already began several minutes ago and you were just too slow to catch up. A rousing chorus, a zigzaggy guitar, plaintive vox, all done in 2 mins 32: there's nowt not to love here.


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