Thirty Thousand Streets

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Troy Bar, Trocadero, Before the Devil Knows You're Dead

On Friday night I headed up to Shoreditch to meet an old(ish) friend, Sarah, who is over visiting from Spain, and who I hadn't seen in over three years. We met in the Troy bar near Hoxton square, where they have a jazz jam session on Fridays. It was good to catch up, though it did get really busy later on, and both her and my friend Al stepped to the stage to perform, him on keys, her singing at the very end. Altogether the music was fine, though some of the shifting lineups didn't really gel that much.

At closing time we parted ways, my friends to Wood Green, me to Camberwell. The weather was foul as I waited for the bus, a sparse rain, a keen bone cutting wind slapping reluctant pigeons into the air like grey litter. All around me the exiles from Shoreditch's clubbing Eden shuffling past: a girl in her mid-twenties pushing a chopper bike, lads in drainpipe jeans and hightops.

After about thirty minutes the bus rocked up, and for once didn't park up at the previous stop to thumb it's nose at everyone for ten minutes or so, though the downside of this was that it was already rammed with drunken revellers, especially upstairs, where from the sounds of it, someone had installed a mini German beer hall, replete with chanting and syncopated foot stomping.

I arrived home, drank a pint of water and slid into bed.

On Saturday it was a nice day and I fancied getting out and about so headed up to Portobello Road Market, where I bought my annual black beanie from
stall there, which I'll probably leave on a bus at some point in the next six months. They do incredible hats and scarves, and are one of those outfits who seem mostly to be 'big in Japan'. They don't seem to have most of the styles on their (wholesale only) website on their Portobello road stall though, annoyingly.

After that I headed into the centre of town to meet up with Sarah again, who I caught up with in the Trocadero centre of all places.

It's odd, though maybe not all that odd, that despite having worked mostly around Soho for the last three years, the square half mile or so around Leicester Square is a kind of geographical bindspot for me, marked "here be tourists" on my mental map. The Tracadero centre especially, though I do have vague memories of wandering in there with Will around seven or eight years ago. It's like a bit of blackpool, transplanted to central London – though more warren like – with a dizzying array of balconies, stairs, escalators and the like, all festooned with flashing lights and kiosks vending tat. It's sort of a modern consumerist rendition of one of Piranesi's imaginary prisons.

After I finally caught up with Sarah, we headed up to Denmark street where she got excited about guitars and I mostly stood about, before going for a fairly average meal in Chinatown, then a pint in The Angel, before parting ways.

At eight fifteen I met up with Will, Ade, Helen and Rachael at the Leicester Square Odeon, where we went to see 'Before The Devil Knows You're Dead', which I'd heard absolutely zero about, but was a really good film, though probably the bleakest thing I've seen since Requiem for a Dream. After that I got a lift back home.

Today's been Sunday-ish. Toast and coffee for breakfast, while reading the paper, then went for a walk up to East Dulwich, where I bought some wildly contrasting records (Silva Bullet's 'Bring Forth the Guillotine and Louis Armstrong and Ella Fitzgerald's 'Porgy and Bess', since you ask) before heading to the Chinese Supermarket on Denmark Hill to get some tuna steak. The light at the minute is odd, and tinted with blue. Very melancholy and January.

Last weeks booking wound up, though I do have some work pencilled in (potentially) for the end of the month. This might be a week of re-jigging my CV and sending it out, along with tax stuff and more enjoyable personal projects.


Zeno Cosini said...

If only life were one endless weekend, with no CVs or tax to worry about. I wish I were a nineteenth century gentleman of leisure. Maybe from an alternative version of the nineteenth century, though, where they'd invented anaesthetic dentistry. And films. And computers. A bit like the one depicted in The Difference Engine by Bruce Sterling and William Gibson.

The Eyechild said...

Yeah that sounds pretty good.. maybe quartering in Marylebone with an opium habit a la Sherlock Holmes..