Sunday, January 22, 2012

"Zoe Why?"

So, I was writing this song inspired by the first season of the BBC show, Luther, and it was just a casual thing, but then my friend CP insisted that it was the best song he had ever heard, ever, so I'm sharing it with the world. Or the five people who ever find their way to this site.

WARNING: SPOILERS re: Luther, Season One.

Also, I'm not certain that other dude's name was Mark(c?). But I think so.

Thursday, January 5, 2012

The Dubai Mall Courtesy Card

They give you this, at the information station there. 

The first request is notably flouted by, in my observation, a host of young eastern European women whose shoulders and knees looked pretty visible.

The Mall is amazing; go if you can. There’s an aquarium big enough to scuba in, a re-creation of the Bellagio fountain that’s kind of bigger and better, and it's all… forgive me I’ll just say the thing I always say in conversation about it: you know that scene in a sci-fi movie that’s like a trading outpost or a cantina, where they sort of ostentatiously show you all the kinds of aliens that reside in this sci-fi universe? The Dubai Mall felt like that, for people. A Wall Street Banker, a Kazakh family, an Indian family, a Chinese tourgroup, a London banker, some randoms like me and P. to whom I still must write.

Matchboxes (1)


I am going through matchboxes that I have kept for years and writing what I remember about them. I am doing this because I have a hellaciously bad cold and am kind of delirious and can’t seem to concentrate long enough to do any real work. It may be a stupid idea. Whatever; no one’s forcing you to be here.

The Grove: Bar & Restaurant

This place is in London. In Hammersmith. I associate it with vague disappointment; I think it’s one of those corporate-y pubs with not-very good food and sort of an overly open, Borders-books-ish ambiance. Maybe not. That’s pretty much what I’ve got. But I associate that feeling with these pubs often; like hoping that they’d be warm and sustaining respites from the cold, and finding only overpriced crisps and alcohol.

That makes it sound like I found London cold and lonely. Totally inaccurate. Anyway moving forward.

57 Jermyn Street

Also London. I am resisting the impulse to Google any of these, working totally from memory. Such as it is. I THINK that this is some kind of members-club dining-club place, where you go down a flight of stairs to a subterranean bar/club. A friend of mine worked here and got us in in small groups in my later days in London and perhaps on some subsequent visits there. I liked it, although one time I was there and kind of tired and it was way too loud.

192: Wine Bar & Restaurant

Okay! I remember this. I ate here once, with my friend L. It was upscale, north of Notting Hill Road I think, and it had these nice very London candelabras outside, like torches burning in the night. It was pretty good food actually I don’t remember the freaking food at all, but I remember a nice uncluttered room and a good conversation, I think me and L. were both having a hard time and had stuff to talk about, and…yeah. Good spot. Hope it’s still there; guess I’ll see.

Met Bar

Ah. Okay, my lovely and wonderful then-girlfriend V. worked here. She was a waitress. I remember once picking her up from work from here and we were going to Nobu and she was wearing a short-ish skirt and did a hop-skip of excitement to see me and go to the dinner and it was like the cutest thing I’d ever seen. W/r/t Met Bar, we were about a decade late to the party- it still had some cache, but I think it was really in the 90s that it was like all Gallaghers and what what. But I had some really nice times there; it’s a plain little dark room, off to the side of the lobby of the Metropolitan Hotel. I think I found the drinks fine, although I really wouldn’t have known. I took my parents once, and I think they had a surprisingly good time – it wasn’t such a loud bar, and the atmosphere was certainly not sedate but wasn’t too intense. I remember being surprised by how okay a time they had, and appreciate V.’s impulse to have us come. I think she might’ve also stuck some high-rollers with a few of our drinks. Don’t tell.


This is apparently a place in the world where I once was. Honestly, I have no freaking idea.

Notting Hill Brasserie

Uh oh. Okay, I’m pretty sure that actually everything I wrote about that place “192” belongs to this place; no no wait darn it. Hold on, just hold on. No google. Okay, they were on Kensington Park Road. Nice road. And they were both warm and had good food – I think I have both of these associations, maybe? I think that yes I think that this place was the place I thought “192” was, and “192” was a place I went on a later trip with that same lovely friend L., possibly also for an intense conversation about the tough time we both were having.

In front of this place – whichever it was, the one with the torches outside – I also demonstrated a butterfly block for my friend A., making a point about the elegance of karate, in a way that I think we both found pretty satisfying.


Hoo ho. Okay. Well, this is easy. Easy peazy. Lemon squeazy. This place was opened with the art/design/money/name help of that famous artist who did all the auctions and who puts cows in formaldehyde. It was mostly considered, I think, silly and overpriced. It was a few blocks from my house in Notting Hill, where I lived my first year in England. Highlights include: doing a Brooklyn/Bronx accent (did this really happen? Are you kidding me?) for N. before our disastrous semi-dating experience. I think she wanted to hear the accent, and didn’t realize how unqualified I was. Or something. Anyhoo. More really: getting pretty upset about 9/11 sitting here with V.; it was early days, so I’m not sure how we got into it, but we got into it and I got all upset. I’d been drinking, also. But yeah, I do get upset about that, so that one makes sense. And having a nice “sophisticated” dinner here with my friend A. (different A., although from the same ridiculous posh British boarding school)-  a dude-dinner we’d planned for some time, away from the hustle and hurly-burly of drama school machinations, to enjoy fine fare and elevated conversation. Or something- I think we had something like that in mind. It was nice! I like A.; good guy.

I think it’s closed, since. Not shocking. It was kind of hollow, as a place; no heart.

Langan’s Brasserie

This place, according to its matchbox, is in Stratton Greet, Piccadilly. Other than that, I can tell you nothing about it.