Category: Europe

Iowa in 2008: The Future is Already Here

All my friends at The Warrington in England who didn’t know what or where Iowa is (“sounds familiar though”) are getting their quat-annual reminder today as my fair home state makes front page news internationally, including three front pages in the Guardian, The Independent and below the fold featuring McCain in the Tory Times. As…

The Mark of the Bewildered Wild

Now that I live with a mini forest in my backyard, I am seeing an odd sort of wildlife bewilderment reveal itself that I always felt nearby. In London, it was the foxes. Whilst the debate raged in the countryside and in Parliament about the cruelty of hunting foxes with dogs, the foxes themselves (clever…

Memory, Paralysis and Love

or, How I Go On Loving London After you leave, you can’t go back. It’s good that London is old. It holds memory well. It bears up its edges, the mortar and the crust to take the dusty grime of memory and let it cling. After something is smashed, it’s broken. There is glue, or…

Where to Eat in Maida Vale whilst waiting for Gordon Ramsay and Holdings to get the Warrington Sorted

Or… Hello, lovely Idlewild, so long dodgy Truscott Arms… Somewhere between the time Gordon Ramsay circled the Warrington last autumn in his 4×4 and this week’s first big test match at Lord’s, the Ruby Group of London has SOMEHOW managed to buy, close, gut, decorate, and re-open the council-housing hangout Truscott Arms on Shirland Road…

What the pub did for me

At a pub, I learned the English are hard to get to know. But once you know them, it’s hard to let them go. And they don’t let go easy. They are like old dogs. Completely faithful. But they probably won’t leap up when you come in. In a pub I learned how beautiful cigarette…

Maida Vale is our Local

If you must leave someplace, you should leave it sad to go. After we left our Randolph Avenue flat, we were desperate to stay in Maida Vale. It isn’t the best place in London, just as any single person isn’t the best person in the world. No. Just like a person, You May Also Like:No…

The Bell Ringers of Westminster Abbey

Aimee came to visit me and, so, I did what I do when people come to visit… I made plans. Came across a listing in Time Out London magazine (the website is useful, but nothing beats the actual publication… it is original, poignant and catches the exact tone of London’s edge. Not just a calendar.)…

Treading Water at the Warrington

God, it’s gorgeous right now in Maida Vale… I just glanced down Clifton Gardens one afternoon and, suddenly, every tree is in leaf and the air is full of the smell of hyacinths in bloom. Ahhh, spring… a time for freshness, renewal, of kicking open doors, shaking out rugs, polishing windowpanes, letting in the light.…

Ben’s Thai London… Now Dang!

For those still looking for Maida Vale’s favourite Thai restaurant, Ben’s Thai, formerly of the Warrington Hotel, don’t worry, it hasn’t gone far. Under the new name, Dang at Ben’s Thai, Dang and her clan have moved above another pub, the Robert Browning, on Clifton Road. This gritty old man’s boozer, situated on a properly…

Glad day in London.

 Days and days of beauty and wonder in London… Shhhh!!   …   Can’t talk just now… Too busy exchanging ideas with this flower and listening to Cary… “All the lights on and you are alive But you can’t point the way to your heart So sublime, when the stars are aligned But you don’t know You…

Anyone Seen Ben’s Thai???

Despite the fact that Ben’s Thai in the Warrington closed JANUARY 31, and Ramsay Holdings have owned all of the Warrington Hotel since October 31, 2006, many guests are still caught unawares, wandering up the stairs of the saloon bar for that reliable local Thai in Maida Vale. If you are one of the many…

Amsterdam in Three Days

AmsterdamClick above to view Photos At the last minute, Colin and I decided we couldn’t leave Europe without a trip to Amsterdam. This is the sort of trip that makes me wonder about all those OTHER places I haven’t seen yet: what IF? What if I am missing out on the place of my dreams?…

Hyde Park in Winter

Colin and I went for a walk to Hyde Park last weekend. We’ve been having beautiful sunny weather here so far for most of the winter. Temperatures in the 40s and 50s . We can’t complain. It’s hit or miss, of course, as some days it pours with rain and there is even the occasional…

The Big Issue

Why do I get up early on Friday mornings? Am I gunning to save my soul? What do I really LIKE getting up early on Friday monrings? It’s a good cup of tea, really. At The Passage. Now that two years or more have passed here in London, I can say one thing I love…

Oxford Circus, Never Be Lonely

Oxford Circus is undergoing major renovations, modernisations, refurb, refit… whatever you want to call it. Lately that just means not much to look at or read on the platform if you forgot your Metro or Ipod. On the Bakerloo Line platform there is accidental art: the best use of years of advertising posters, scraped to…