Field Notes: London, England

The Underground

The Eye of the Storm

The Eye of the Storm

 I wonder.. what is the rush

Always directional

Shuffling of a city

Hamster wheels

 

The Tube is packed —packed in during rush hour. The tunnels funnel you underground through twists and turns. I get so confused I can’t find the way out. Narrow passageways can barely contain the volume of people. I am getting claustrophobic.

 

 Brixton

Brixton Market

Brixton Market

 White women read Zadie Smith

Next Stop…Brixton

 

Reminds me of Williamsburg in New York City. The new “hip” shops with boutique coffee or the latest craze of “authentic” ethnic food position themselves next to long established food stalls, grocery stores and gathering places. This Caribbean community is being transformed into a utopia for woke young professionals and creatives looking to be close to “the culture”. So much gentrification— it’s cliché.

I walked into a book store and a man was speaking to friend on the phone. Laughing, he seems to be in good company surround by books — he has three in his hand. I notice the Bruce Lee cover. I think maybe we could be friends. He wraps up his call with a “bless”. What a great way to end a call.

Walked a little further under a bridge and turned the corner — I hear sounds of reggae and dancehall. The smell of jerk, curry goat and beef patties fills the air. The flags of the Caribbean dawn store fronts. I walk up to a food truck called “One Love Café” and the man greets me with the warmth a blanket gives you on a cold fall day. I order curry chicken and as he preps my plate I tell him I am visiting from New York. He smiles and says that is closer to Jamaica than London. He hands me the Styrofoam container and exchange a fist pound. The chicken was delicious.

Dinner at Barrafina

Perfect meal for one

Perfect meal for one

Men have a responsibility

Each one teach one

We can be…more

 

Dinner for one — Treat yourself. For me that is seafood. This place has amazing dishes and wine. I end up sitting next to a man from Iowa. We talked about family, travel, sports and growing older. He is honest, reflective and all about family. He seems happy being a dad and coaching his daughter’s softball team. He tells me to continue to challenge myself and keep family and friends close — Bless.

 

Morning Walk Along the River Thames

Breath in………

Breath out..

Breath in………

Breath out..

 

There is something about the early hours before the city wakes up. The stillness of it all. Allows me time to reflect and breathe in the calm. In my crazy life, these are the moments that keep me balanced.

 

Getting to the Airport

 Leaving places is hard for me. I wait until the last minute to get to the airport. Thankfully the Heathrow Express is convenient and quick. It is always nice to have time before a flight to relax. A nice drink at the bar and I head to the gate.

Thanks London, here are some more images….