Wednesday, January 28, 2004

All My Soho Loves

Office girls in white shirts and black skirts and patent leather heels standing in doorways taking cig breaks. Bar Italia spivs, corrupt club football on a large screen, postcards from Amalfi on the wall. Camisa & Son for Parma ham, olives, and cheese. Nino's Salon and its glass door pin-ups and Audrey Hepburn cut-out (4ft high). Angelucci's coffee beans. A fat plate of spaghetti in La Centrale; chain-smoking waitresses, your own wine. Lambrettas in Little Italy. Downstairs in Harold Moores records (they're not his) discussing the Hutton Enquiry, crowded by classical vinyl. Chefs squatting on milk carts, smoking in damp alleys. Berwick street fish stall with swordfish, squid and spratts. The one next to it, selling tacky Russian dolls and Soviet souvenirs to idiots. The Duke Ellington tip, or Blackmarket's bangers. Snow-capped Soho Square, this Wednesday evening. King prawns in Chinatown, not chopsticks ("I want to eat!" "Stab 'em, O!"). The strip club door girls, old UK garage tapes, vivid lipstick. The Agent Provocateur girls, on lunchbreak, uniform covered up, make-up immaculate. The Quentin Crisp fops, not the body builders. The market stall men, when they get down to a game of poker, all sat around a wooden box. Maison Bertaux: reading until 8pm, eye the continental boho crowd with disdain or lust, depending. Clocks, lights and chains: clogged metal in W. Switch & Co. Paving stones and iron lamps on Meard Street. Portuguese women in St Patrick's, singing broken plain chant in ropey unison; swathes of dying light, candles. Jean Cocteau's mural in Notre Dame (just off course, but there in spirit). An Off License on Old Compton Street: ask them for any spirit or wine from anywhere in the world (Polish Brandy?) and they will go to the back and get it. The school with the roof-top playground. Dankness and decay kept at bay by the spirit of the old village. You have to search to uncover the secrets of this maze: a mental slant can reverse the malaise. It's worth the endeavor. Everywhere is rich, otherwise poetry is a pox.

posted by oc  # 5:25 PM

citta vecchio

October 2003   November 2003   December 2003   January 2004   February 2004   March 2004   April 2004   June 2004   October 2004   November 2004   December 2004   February 2005   March 2005   July 2005   January 2006   September 2006   December 2006   November 2007   March 2008   April 2008   May 2008   July 2009   August 2009   November 2009  

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?