Wednesday, March 18, 2015

A Trip to London Part 5: London by night

The Sun Ra Arkestra played in the afternoon, leaving time for a contemplative drink before dinner. We visited a charming Dalston hostelry with signs everywhere informing patrons that "POLICE CARRY OUT FREQUENT AND UNANNOUNCED INSPECTIONS OF THIS PREMISES". One of my associates made friends at the bar with a London Irish guy from Central Casting. He took issue with (i) my insufficiently Irish accent and (ii) my asking for an orange juice.

We found seats at a table but then an older woman came in an although she found a seat at another table she seemed to keep looking over towards us disapprovingly. Maybe she was wondering what those ponces were doing in her pub, but I also feared that we might be sitting at her usual table. Or maybe she thought we were undercover cops carrying out a frequent and unannounced inspection.

In any case, we soon left Dalston and made our way to Brick Lane, where we had a frank exchange of views with a restaurant tout. I should perhaps have brought our party to the Bangla Café, my late uncle's favourite place and the home of the Princess Diana painting and some bizarre fantasy lady art. But I went with the flow and we ended up somewhere else and had a pleasant meal at which things were said.

After walking one of our group back to his hotel, where his pipe and slippers were calling him, the night really began for the rest of us as we hit the bunga bunga bars of East London; my lawyer has suggested that I make no further comment on certain events that are alleged to have taken place. Actually no, we went for one last drink in a nice enough bar that seemed to be the kind of place that was popular with the young folk.

And then we went our separate ways. The night being yet young I decided to walk back to my hotel, even though it was quite a bit away. This provided me with another opportunity to photograph Christchurch Spitalfields on Commercial Road.

Passing through Liverpool Street Station, I tried to recreate my great photograph, without much success.

Walking through the City, I espied what used to be the Nat West Tower reaching to the sky.

I also passed a building in which I was once stuck in a lift.

The round building I think stands on the site of a sandwich bar in which Sylvester Stallone's more rotund twin worked.

The illuminated St. Paul's against the night sky created a strange luminous dissidence.

The bridge at High Holborn featured a winged lion holding an orb.

After that I saw nothing worth photographing. I made my way back to my hotel and went to bed, but not before I looked out over Russell Square to Centre Point.


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