Tuesday, June 3, 2008


Still looking forward to London. Still pouring over the Time Out guides and maps. Found out last night that it's Hampton Court palace I want to go to. It's off the main maps, down south by Kew Gardens. But no worries, I'm sure there are trains or something. Tudor central. My guide says you can sometimes hear Catherine Howard shrieking. Cool. Now, if only I would bump into Jonathan Rhys-Meyers trolling the halls there......

Really looking forward to dim sum in Chinatown as well. London's Chinatown is so cool, way cooler than New York or D.C. I don't know why I like it so much, it's more decorated or something. And at night there's lots of neon, bright colors, really great food.

I first ate dim sum 12 years ago on a 4-day visit to London. I stayed with a friend and his Japanese girlfriend in a tiny flat above a porn shop in Piccadilly. At night the neon would flash red, reflecting off the pools of water between the cobblestones. The clanking of pipes banging together, market stalls being constructed, would wake me up every day at 5 am.

I remember his girlfriend was so friendly and helpful during my short visit. She directed me to the Doc Marten store in Leicester Square (one of my many meccas) and when I wanted to visit the Nicole Farhi boutique, she traversed the maze of tiny mews off Bond Street with me despite protestations from boyfriend that he was "bored!"

And that Sunday, we went to Gerrard Place for dim sum. New World (at 1 Gerrard Place) is one of the last restaurants in the area that does the old-school practice of wheeling the trolleys of dumplings, buns, and other goodies around to the hungry masses. The place is huge, three floors, and I remember my friend and I being the only Caucasians in the place. Always a good sign of yummy things to come.

His girlfriend helped steer us to the best stuff - "Oh yeah, try that!" and "Ugh. Stay away from those," and as we stuffed ourselves she translated the conversations and drama going on around us. "That couple is Taiwanese and they're fighting about money," or "This group over here is Korean and they say they're hung over," and "This group of girls is Chinese, and the one girl is mad at her boyfriend." It was cool - a running, gossipy commentary as we stuffed our faces with Chinese goodness. Great hangover food too.


where i've escaped...

template by suckmylolly.com - header image by Martin Walls