Friday, September 14, 2007

The Great Smoke

I love this city. I could really live here and completely enjoy it. It's better than the Big Apple (that city is so overrated). Anyhow, the Big Smoke wasn't so smoky this time around, no fog, just clear blue skies. Like I said earlier, I bring the California sunshine with me wherever I go. That's just how it goes.

Met up with Joe at the new Rough Trade Shop on Brick Lane. Wow. It's like Amoeba size and the Black Lips were playing. Was excited to see them again but the sound was terrible and it was so hot and packed to the gills. They did play my favorite Dutronc cover which was a saving grace.

I guess it's energy efficient and good for the environment but geez, most European places do not have air-conditioning and it sucks. And on top of that, the body odor is crazy insane in this continent. I know it's a cultural thing and it's probably more healthy in the long run, but whoa, it's like you're perfectly content with what you're doing at the moment and then all of the sudden, it hits you, like a slap in the face and you're just like WTF? And then it goes away and you're okay but you're still traumatized.

After a pint in Brick Lane, Joe & I caught the bus to Stoke Newington to catch the Caribou show. He helped me learn how to read the bus schedule. That was one of my goals on this trip, to take the bus and not only the Tube. I want to see London above ground and not some Daily Mail on the floor next to a sweaty Brit in a suit or a Dizzee Rascal hoodie blasting music from his mobile sans headphones. Turns out I was there during the midst of another tube strike so there was no choice but to take the bus! (Man, I can't afford to keep taking non-licensed cabs...) Again, there was no ventilation and we were sardined. It was really like a slap in the face. But a good one.

Anyhow, oh yes, the Caribou show. Again, another slap in the face (it just never ends) with the heat and outrageous smells in a dungeon'ness venue. I was super surprised with their live show. It's not like their new studio record, melodic sweet 60s pop ala Lilys; it was more like Animal Collective/Battles with two drummers, so beat heavy with no audible vocals. The sold-out crowd was so into it, seems like it's the current trend in Londontown. I wasn't so much. Not dissing cuz' I love me some Strawberry Jam.

Caribou's "She the One.mp3"

Stayed with Katrina in Kentish Town one night. She's always there when you need her. Top mate.

Stayed a couple days with my cousin's family in Greenwich. Such a pretty quaint borough. You got the big park across the street, the Maritime Museum down the street, the cutest meat and cheese markets up the street, it's pretty ultimate...

Ava and Victor, the most precious kids I know. They speak French to their maman during the day and when their papa gets home from work, they instantly switch to English.

Not one to succumb to processed candy, I became addicted to these Haribo gummy treats. Had almost every flavor in this picture. Topshop evens sells them! I was like, "I wish we had these back in the States," as I devoured them everyday during my stay in England. And when I got back home, I was jabbering away to a friend about these delicious treats, he interrupted and casually mentioned to me, "oh yeah, you can get them next door at the car wash."

London was awesome. The best bits: catching up with friends, the British Library Sacred show, Haribo!, Greenwich with family, and of course, St. John, my fave restaurant in this awesome town. What can I say? My European holiday was just awesome. Paris, romantic. Newquay, breathtaking. Broadwoodwidger, magical. And London, just the best.