Friday, August 31, 2012

English Garden Tour:transit and arrival. Day 1 in London.



Of all the big, truly bigsprawlingstinking, rightonthecusp of whoknowswhatnext cities of the world  we've been to,London is the most fun . Great people mover underground. Tiny jewel like stamp shops cheek to jowl with bold be-flagged tourist traps. A city on the edge: a vehicle incident, ripples pass through the system. Three jolts,and yer sitting, maybe in the dark.  It all works, mostly.  Great suits, bespoke or not.  Cheers.

July 3. Fuddruckers "restaurant" (booth, really) at Dulles has elk, ostrich (in season), and boar 'burgers. My elk was dry. Get "Premium Economy" seats on Virgin Atlantic. Six inches extra space is worth it. Decent swag. Much booze, little sleep. Entertaining this sheep w/ Isle of Man TT documentary. Hit Heathrow ground feet running.Turn on 'phone: it screeches WHEREAREYOU?ADJUSTTIME! and curls into a digital fetal ball. It is a.m.;can't check in 'til the p.m. Mill around mill until luggage catches up.London is packed, more than usual. London festival, Jubilee, Olympics coming up. We score tickets for  Buckingham Palace tour, including special jewelry.  Queen's paintings, GORGEOUS, could spend weeks gawping. Wee Rubens: works on a small scale, pleasant seasonal vignettes. Canalettos.  Jewel display was a mosh pit: Chinese have an entirely different sense of personal space than RR. Late lunch, dim sum at Grand Imperial. Spot of window shopping; we saw loads of Queen stuff, "Stay Calm" paraphenalia. I can see where we get the "Yay us" attitude. Must confess to buying a Clockwork Orange shirt, a walking copyright violation I'm sure. Dinner at the hotel: salmon; bangers and mash; lemon tart; Guiness draft. Drinks at the ReUnion bar: Bailey's for her, a French 75 for him. 

To bed.













1 comment:

Lorenzo da Ponte said...

I'm on record as saying London's the greatest city in the world, but there's a subjective statement if you like. How about (from personal experience) San Francisco, Christchurch, NZ (pre-earthquake, alas), Tokyo, Dublin - shet ma mouf, I could go on and on. We left the London area in 1998 when I was 63 which was two or three years too early; now, though, I'm not sure I could stand the day-to-day hassle and I (we) just sample it as visitors now.

London requires a breathless reaction and that's what you've served up. The fact that a digital phone - a perfect symbol of the oughties - can't keep up says it all. Some of the reductions (mosh pit, "Ya us") are beyond me. A French 75 for you - isn't that a piece of artillery? Doesn't matter, the cloven fire of London has descended and you're speaking in tongues. I imagine the pair of you walking back to the hotel singing alternate verses of A Foggy Day. Good on yuh