Tuesday, July 01, 2008

where I am going

The first thing i noticed as soon as i got out of the train station was a signpost to the public library, which is called the CLR James library. This was, in itself, a good sign. The high street is overwhelmingly Turkish. Turkish restaurants every 10 steps serving lamahcun and kebabs, Turkish food stalls, Turkish newsagents, Turkish banks, Turkish travel agents, Turkish hairdressers, Turkish (em/im)migration assistance offices, even a soon-to-open Turkish hamaam. Apparently there are also enough Kurds around for the local cinema (3 minutes' walk) to have a Kurdish film festival, in addition to their Turkish one of course. Most of the people on the street today seemed to be Afro-Caribbean, and the local bookstore (2.5 minutes' walk) specialises in Black writing (there is a tiny section entitled 'Western views'); the cafe is Jamaican. Wikipedia reports that Jews and lesbians are also to be found here in large numbers. This is not a fancy high street. It's a lot like the yet-to-be-gentrified middle section of Cowley Road. There are no fancy coffee shops full of Macbook users. These can be found about 10 minutes away in the sort of Islingtonesque trendy barland called Stoke Newington Church Street. But because I am a latte-sipping fill-in-the-appropriate-noun, I should note that such cappuccino as is available can be had for 1 quid - which is just as well, because the one thing I am not going to have much of in this next phase is money; I am really beginning to identify with those poorly paid clerks in mid-19th century Russian novels. But there are *lots* of food stalls and the famous Ridley Road open-air market serving 'every fruit and vegetable you could possibly want...mangoes' (said my landlord, searching for the fruit I must have looked like I was most in need of), in addition to the obligatory Tesco Expresses, laundromats and dry cleaners, wedding photographers, mobile phone unlockers, cheap gyms in serious competition with one another (one for men over a certain BMI only), really everything one could possibly want. I want my new life now!

Comments:
It sounds really exciting! I hope to see you before you leave Oxford but I definitely want to visit you in your new poco place. Mmm, mangoes...
 
yes, am around till the end of the month. and definitely in the new place - we should have follow up soirees! it's the sort of place that demands that sort of thing.
 
What's this about a turkish hamaam?! Do you know something I don't?!
 
hi fuse! if you head north up kingsland high st from dalston kingslad station, look on your left at the corners of bradbury, or gillett st, or maybe crossway (i cant remember which corner). it hasn't opened yet, but there's a sign!
 
Hey, you'll love it around here. And yes - the food is great. And the Rio is great.
 
thanks ms baroque. that's a great blog you have there. have fun at your launch!
 
Cannot cannot wait to come visit, eat lahmacun, steam-clean in the hamam. Are you using your Turkish vocabulary at all?

And CLR James Library is the most perfect touch. Of course you live there.
 
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