From Desk Till Dawn

My mainly music & nerd bird blog

Posts Tagged ‘Food

Sunday Swoon. September 22nd 2013.

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George the Dog John the Artist

George the Dog John the Artist

1. Any Shoreditch local will recognise George the Dog and John the Artist from his usual spot outside Dishoom on Shoreditch High Street. John Dolan is an amazing London artist and has often found himself homeless, I got to meet both man and dog. He has sat sketching the ever-changing surrounding area over the past couple of years and this has resulted in his first exhibition, hosted by Howard Griffin Gallery. Well known street artists have collaborated with him for the exhibition. When I visited all but one of his paintings had been sold, one that praised David Cameron on a bill board (yet look closer and you’ll see what John really thinks, don’t be fooled). The exhibition is due to end this Thursday but Bird at the gallery told me they’re hoping to extend it. Do whatever it takes to visit. My cockles are throughly warmed this evening.

by John Dolan

2.  I have just finished Falling and Laughing: The Restoration of Edwyn Collins by Grace Maxwell. Told from Grace’s, Edwyn’s wifes, point of view after he unexpectedly suffered a stroke in February 2005. An honest account of the long road to recovery, the effect it had on both Edwyn and his family, the small and significant triumphs, the precious moments of laughter and the steely determination it takes to keep taking one step at a time. A book that will make you count your blessings and help find perspective.

3. Solange has released a video to accompany her amazing track Lovers In The Parking Lot. I desperately want light up laces and acid house pants now. Stylish and sharp. Oh to have one bone as cool as her in my body.

E.Mono Shawarma

4. I’ve been meaning to visit Kentish Towns E. Mono since Giles Coren gave it a glowing review in 2011. Slightly tipsy I stumbled in there Saturday, finally at a meaty mecca. I don’t care what zone you live in this place is worth the trek. Friendly service, the shawarma was stuffed full of sweet tasting pickled peppers, crunchy red cabbage, shredded salad, chilli  and garlic sauce with chunks of partly fatty, part crisp chunks of lamb. All for £5.

5. Finally the latest video from Local Natives for Ceilings. Hummingbird has to be one of my favourite albums this year. This song wraps up the summer for me, especially seeing flashes of Glastonbury in it.

East London Loves. #1

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I suspect this will be the start of a number of fawnings I have over East London since moving a month ago. In anticipation of this I shall mark this as number one.

Aubin

1. My nearest cinema is now The Aubin Cinema in Shoreditch. I got to stretch my legs, sink a beer and nerd out over Star Trek last week. This is independent cinema at its greatest. 3D capabilities, cosy sofa’s and arm chairs draped with cushions and blankets. The attention to detail is above and beyond. They were playing William Shatner’s and Leonard Nimoy’s Spaced Out album as we waited for the film to start. Genius.

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2. You have to love London. Friday it was announced that Canalival was cancelled, Saturday everyone turned up and went for  it anyway. To everyone I came into contact with (hipsters, the fuzz, soaked through to the skin drunks with missing shoes and wet iPhones, all the people who came out this morning to help tidy up the carnage) thank you for being hugely entertaining, happy and hysterical!  If you were there you’ll be smiling through the severe hangovers today I am sure.

street feast

3. Friday nights are swiftly turning into “bunk off work as early as possible and head to Street Feast” nights. My flat mate rightly summed it up as “like having a food Glastonbury right on our doorstep”. I’ve had hot dogs and jerk chicken followed by tiny Tiramisu and stunning ice-creams. The atmosphere is always incredible. People always have huge smiles on their faces when it comes to food and drink. Real joy to feel part of the happiness at the start of a weekend.

jam

4. Last Sunday morning I sat out on my balcony with lemon tea and toasted crumpets slathered in London Borough of Jam, made in Hackney by Lillie. I picked up the Strawberry and Verbena flavour from Leila’s shop of Cambridge Circus. It’s sweeter than any jam I’ve ever tasted. Wish I was as talented as my mum when it comes to making scones.

5. Within moments of moving I felt an overwhelming urge to cut something asymmetrical into my hair. One feels the pressure standing next to Hipster’s at the bus stop. It so happens I ended up going through with it in a place that can’t be disguised (my fringe which has been the same for twenty years) at a place of friendly brilliance. Rockalily’s on Kingsland Road is creative and not once did I hear any inane hairdresser holiday chat. It wasn’t until I watched Star Trek a few days later that I realise this new look has actually turned me Vulcan. I’m embracing it.

Live Long and Prosper.

Sunday Swoon. March 10th. 2013

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1. Immersive cinema has been on my to-do list since I first heard of Secret Cinema screening One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Next back in 2010. So thanks to Twitter (huge thanks to Drew) I unexpectedly found myself waiting outside East London’s Troxy on Sunday evening waiting to see Casablanca for the first time. Without any expectations I was completely wowed. I’m not sure I even blinked, I was too busy drinking up the experience. I think part of my delight was in the unexpected so I won’t blog in too much detail. Just to say I highly recommend it. Tickets for extra nights are still on sale from Future Cinema.

2. John Green’s The Fault In Our Stars is perhaps not one to read on public transport after the tears I shed on the underground this week. The books main characters are two teenagers suffering from Cancer. It is bleak, tragic, real. But above all these things the author manages to convey beauty amongst an ugly and unfair illness. That is what I came away with, it’s sad but beautiful. It’s rare that I read books for a second time, I can see myself picking this up again down the line.

 

3. All this year The Southbank Centre are putting on a series of events called The Rest Is Noise broaching a wide range of topics through a series of lectures, live music performances and film. We went along to Berlin in the 20’s and 30’s. Yes, I felt idiotic (especially when the middle-class shared in-jokes over classical music and I found my blank expression mirrored back at me when I turned to my friend Jo) but I find a ton of joy in learning and so can deal with the shame. For example, I learnt that it was cheaper to burn money than buy coal after the fall out from the first world war as Berlin’s economy suffered. That The Doors Alabama Song was actually composed by Kurt Weill and Bertolt Brecht as part of an opera. Tickets for future events are still available. Go see what you can learn.

4. The second film that stole my heart this week is Celeste and Jesse Forever. From the opening scenes I thought it would be a typical American Rom Com but it’s far smarter with unexpected, witty and warm scenes. It also has a fantastic soundtrack. Starring Rashida Jones of Parks and Recreation fame and Andy Samberg.  Don’t read too much about the plot beforehand!

5. My new favourite budget restaurant is Ariana II in Kilburn. Typically I discover it just as I start to plan a move to East London. That won’t stop me jumping on the train to come back time and time again. For five of us to eat on Friday it came to £13 a head. This included plates of the best hummus I have ever tasted, warm naan breads, panner salad, cubes of tandoori lamb, fried aubergine, baklava. You can BYOB to this restaurant which is what makes it such a bargain.

Sunday Swoon. February 3rd 2013.

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1. Another new track from Suede. It Starts And Ends With You makes me even more hopeful that Bloodsports will be an album harking back to one of my best bands on form. A reunion that gets my blessing. A rare thing.

Proof that ugly looking things taste beautiful. Mussels.

Proof that ugly looking things taste beautiful. Mussels.

2. This may be a betrayal to the fishing town I grew up in but the Mussel Men fed me the most amazing Mussels I have ever tasted in my entire life. A day later and I’m still thinking about them. They popped up at Brew 4 Two in Hackney this weekend to serve Mussels, Frites and Prosecco. I highly recommend stalking them via twitter or their website to make sure you book up.

3. I have just finished Capital by John Lanchester. One of those chunky books you find yourself flying through but can’t put your finger on why you’re itching to find out the ending. The characters are at times selfish, spoilt and self-absorbed but I found myself wanting to find out their fate in the tale of Pepys Road.

4. Album of the week goes to Local Natives with Hummingbird. Beautifully emotive, a mature progression from their debut offering and perfect for the evenings as it slowly gets lighter. Listen to it if you like Grizzly Bear during the Blue Hour.

5. Hauser & Wirth present Bruce Nauman’s mindfuck. Definitely worth visiting if you are passing through central London and don’t suffer from Epilepsy (his art works contain constant neon strobing). I love light installations and the main piece really is hypnotising.

Sunday Swoon. January 27th 2013

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1. If you’re looking for a warm, funny and intelligent film to go and see at the cinema then The Sessions is currently playing in UK. Based on the autobiography of poet Mark O’Brien, a man confined to an Iron Lung, who is determined to lose his virginity at the age of 38. He is helped by his priest, friends and a therapist. Starring Helen Hunt, William H Macy and John Hawkes.

2. Virgin Cure by Ami McKay is the tale of Moth, a girl born in the roughest slum in New York in 1871. When she is 12 her mother sells her to become a maid. From there her tale of survival begins. It’s a charming and tragic tale full of characters with both ugly and beautiful character traits.

3. AlunaGeorge features in the BBCs Sound of 2013 list. Disclosures track White Noise features this young duo and it’s stunning. I’ve played it every day this week.

4. It seems London’s stomach won’t slow down in its mission to fatten itself on burgers. Patty & Bun is the latest no reservations burger restaurant getting top reviews. On this occasion the praise is worth it. My ‘ARI GOLD’ Cheeseburger was the perfect patty, tangy red pickles in a brioche bun. Rosemary chips were salty and golden. The service was far superior to any other place I’ve visited recently, friendly staff clearly enjoying their jobs with huge smiles on their faces. Check out their website here.

Written by Anon PA

January 27, 2013 at 12:22 pm

Sunday Swoon. January 6th. 2013

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1. I cannot recommend a visit to Dennis Severs’ house enough. At 18 Folgate Street in Spitafileds stands a house frozen between 1724 and 1914. While I could bore you with my adoration and excitement of every room from basement to attic part of the wonder was going in blind and uneducated. Don’t read up too much, Dennis Sever intended for us to let the sights, sounds and smells fuel your imagination. I think if I went during each season I would have a different experience each time (so I plan to do so this year). You can book via their website.

2. There’s a ton of new music due out shortly that I’m geeking out over. Starting 2013 off with a new Pulp song produced by LCD Soundsystem’s James Murphy is a start I wasn’t expecting.

3. Life of Pi is one of my favourite books and it’s hard for me to believe I first picked it up 11 years ago, intrigued by the cover. I always get itchy when films do their take on literature. This is visually beautiful, one of those rare films where 3D does add to the overall experience. My only concern is people are going along to look at the animals and missing the spiritual message that is key to Yann Martel’s book.

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4. Voodoo Ray’s on Kingsland Road, Dalston, is officially my number one pizza spot in London (Franco Manca’s held on to its title for a year). Authentic New York pizza by the slice, Brooklyn lager, super friendly service that comes with genuine smiles and a very talented in-house artist who decorates the pizza boxes.

5. I wish I’d had thought to do a Twitter Q&A on The Hobbit when it was released, answers courtesy of my mum who knows everything there is to know about the book. I didn’t realise just how much of a super Tolkien nerd she was even though this would have been one of the fist books she read to all her children. I loved the Lord of the Rings trilogy from Peter Jackson (it’s funny to see how dated it now looks). The Hobbit didn’t disappoint, although no need to pay extra for 3D. Great to see so many English Actors in main roles.

NB: You can tell it’s Christmas blockbuster time at the cinema seeing as I’ve been twice in the space of two weeks. That’s nearly half the amount of times I went during the whole of 2012.

Sunday Swoon. December 16th

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1. John Grant has confirmed a new album Pale Green Ghosts will be released 11th March 2013 and has released a track of the same name this week. A touch of Wild Beasts about it, at least to my ears.

2. I swear on all that is good on this green earth that Bone Daddies cured my hangover by the time I got to the bottom of my bowl of Ramen, served up over a loud soundtrack with a diet coke. I had the Tantanmen, the chilli giving a massive kick to the rich and hearty bone broth. I’m not sure if it was The Rolling Stones blaring out or the food itself but I left with the hangover kicked to the kerb.

3. Easily in my top 50 tracks this year How To Dress Well has released an official video to & It Was U this week in conjunction with Urban Outfitters. A Spiritual gathering waiting for their leader to glide in on a Segway drapes in dandelion yellow. The only negative being I’d have liked for Tom Krell to have been riding it.

4. Two girl crushes, St. Vincent and Alexis Krauss, join my original girl crush Cyndi Lauper (dating back to The Goonies release date when I’d have been eight years old) on stage to perform Girls Just Want To Have Fun. Yes it’s an amateur video but that’s the beauty of the internet. We get to see these little moments happen. Oh yeah, and Rosie O’Donnell is on drums.

5. Although I’m not a huge fan of this particular track I adore this video. Winona Ryder reunited with director Tim Burton on Brighton Beach. I’m off to watch Edward Scissorhands.