will I ever shut up about london?

probably not, but no one is forcing you to read this site…

things I miss about london include….
1. my top buddies, natch. and my blood relatives in the uk are pretty great too.
2. highgate. waterlow park. archway video and always running into my neighbors there and discussing hugh laurie or any other silly nonsense with the ladies who work there. the southbank and especially going to see things at the NFT, queen elizabeth hall, royal festival hall, hanging out in the bars there, etc. walking along the thames from london bridge to the NFT.
3. sipping laphroaig at the wrestlers, especially when there is a fire in the fireplace. going to positively 4th street or the phoenix theatre bar.
4. sitting in the photographer’s gallery reading the paper. having a flat white soya coffee from flat white or a soy latte at ray’s jazz cafe.
5. the spitalfields city farm and the whole area around it — it’s changing faster than clinton hill and I’m not sure I like where it’s going.
6. walking endlessly through the east on a weekend. wapping, whitechapel, etc. are great when emptied of city workers.
7. picking blackberries and elderberries in my own back garden.
8. knowing that if I got sick the NHS would take care of me. there is no such security in the US, even if you have health insurance, as michael moore’s sicko illustrates.
9. the weather. I know I’m alone here, even among londoners, but I love summer weather that requires wearing a jacket!
10. some beloved culinary delights to which I had become accustomed, including mushroom ale pie from mildred’s, butternut squash curry with a side of chinese broccoli at busaba; clearspring sweet white miso, which is like gold dust to a vegan; the hummus at tas or yarden hummus — I have yet to find anything comparable in the US, apart from going to the lebanese taverna in d.c.; shopping for goodies at carluccio’s, yum.

things I don’t miss about london include….
1. the night bus and hearing stories like this, about average nice people being attacked by undesirables for no good reason. this is the kind of thing that leads to members of society doing nothing rather than doing something.
2. it’s too expensive.
3. too many people. oxford street. same thing.
4. mould (or mold) and the landlords that choose to ignore it.
5. everyone is a little more pickled than they should be. dude, it’s like the national sport.
6. the live music venues suck. the whole situation there is unfriendly to music, musicians and everything associated with it.
7. the wine served in pubs is very, very bad (in general). yes, I guess we shouldn’t expect any different but I wish they cared more. if you ask what kind of wine is on offer in some places, they say “red or white.”
8. big brother and the glorification and celebritization of hideous people covered in fake tan for no apparent reason (see katie price, posh beckham, etc.) (oh, and yes, the US has its own lion’s share of such terrible tv and overly bronzed idiots.)
9. people are repressed (just like the stereotype, yes, it’s true).
10. hatred, as embodied by things like yobs, gingerism, bullies, adult bullies who spit at other people on buses, and other forms of antisocial behavior. we have vile and hateful people in the US too, don’t get me wrong, but it generally feels less violent and threatening than it does in london.

photographs: lupe nunez-fernandez, london (uh duh!), 2007