…they wanted Shoreditch back
Only in London: Manga Shakespeare!
And an Imperial Star Destroyer crashed just behind the Tate Modern gallery…
PS: went to see the Sonia Delaunay exhibition.
At 16 quids, a bit meh.
The lady did nice work in abstract paintings, but showed no great sign of evolution for a whopping 40 years of career. Her fabric patterns were a bit more complex but less garishly coloured than the Marimekko ones. Marimekko btw, are also still repeating the same patterns since the seventies
The paintings I liked better where the very first ones, portraits which could easily be described as “Not quite unlike Picasso, with bright patterns in the background”. Picasso btw, was exposing GUERNICA at the Paris exposition in 1937 while the Delaunays where displaying brightly coloured canvases with motor parts and technical drawings. Talk about being abstracted from reality…
What would the Londoners do if they did not have an event every weekend as pretext to go out, picnic, have beer and chat? Surely invent another event!
Today was “record store day”, so I strolled across London, north-east to south-west, to go listen to some Ambient House mixed by none other than Alex Paterson from The Orb, at a very small but friendly shop in Northwood. A bit of a shame that it is so far away from my daily home – office commute that I won’t be coming back often.
In the end, I bought no vinyls (did I mention I do not own a turntable?), but still did not came home empty handed. The book selection seemed hand curated, and the owner’s taste fell quite in line with mine. Time to fill some gaping holes in my classics!
As part of the effort to become real Londoners, last weekend me and aussie colleague Daniel decided to join the feasting crowds watching the traditional boat race between Oxford and Cambridge.
The first thing we noticed: there are a LOT of people out there, along the 4 miles of the race track.
The second thing: there does not seem a lot going on…
Everyone is having a nice picnic, plenty of booze, chatting and profiting of the sunshine.
But nothing moves on the Thames…
…up to the moment the boats arrive!
There are in fact 3 races in the day: women, men 2nd teams, men.
And each race occupies your field of vision for a total of about 30 seconds! unless you came in early enough to get a place next to one of the big screens which broadcast the whole thing live.
This reminds me of my first – and only – experience going to watch an F1 Grand Prix – a whole day of waiting, and when the cars finally whizzed around our corner, they were so quick I could not even identify them! The most climatic event was one driver going off-track just in front of me
Luckily for all, a few more boats do show up, following the racing ones, adding a bit to the overall enjoyment:
more motor boats…
… and finally the sun settles, giving me an opportunity for a nice shot from the Hammersmith bridge. Time to pack your empty beer cans and go home.
Oh, I was almost forgetting: Oxford won the 3 races by quite a margin.
And there was something else to make the cheer up the day: scantily clad ladies showing their brazilian dance skills!
Not a bad day in the end…
Two sure signs that spring has arrived for real:
PS: while talking about Brick Lane: it seems that it boasts the most hipster coffee shop of the whole city!
Beating hands down ‘The CoffeeWorks Project’ in Angel and the Talkhouse in Portobello Road, you can line up here to get:
– an overpriced espresso (no single shots, 2.2 pound minimum)
– plenty of time to admire the cool customers, while the baristas take about three minutes per brew
– a friendly race to grab the stool which occasionally frees up for 3 seconds
As promised, I began my hunt for Udon joints, and I was not disappointed.
Udon are japanese noodles, round and thick, like fat spaghetti. They usually come with some broth and various seasoning. I am in love with them ever since eating them from a huge, steaming wooden bowl in Matsuyama on the island of Shikoku in Japan.
The first London restaurant recommended for Udon, but even more for sake tasting is Zen Mondo, in Islington (pics)
The atmosphere is quiet and cosy, the waitress bows and smiles constantly, the udon, sushi and tempura are good, and there is a nice selection of sakes available, all of the bottles carrying a short explanation in english. Prices are affordable (menu online at www.zenmondo.co.uk).
Could a japanophile ask for more?
Of course there are a lot of nice-looking shops in Liverpool road, so singling one out feels unfair. It has to be said though that most of those have incredible prices. Take twentytwentyone for example: it must be the only design outlet in the world where Scandinavian furniture costs more than in Oslo!
One the least hipster-looking places in Hoxton, within walking distance of my cozy small flat, is F. Cooke’s “Pie & Mash” parlour.
So far I had not managed to try it out, maybe because there’s no menu on the door and I’m a bit scared of getting a pastry stuffed with eel, or because there’s no opening times written, either, and I tend to pass by late in the evening or on sundays.
This time I carefully planned my visit for a Saturday afternoon, hungry like the wolf after having dutifully swam my weekly kilometre.
Atmosphere: 9 – everyone seems to know each other (except me).
Food: 6 – maybe this is the best pie in London, maybe not. I think I am not a great fan of pies after all