Sunday, September 14, 2008

this is N16

The book is getting written and in the meanwhile, I am shamed into working by the abundance of talent around me. Just heard the Don Weller Quartet at the Vortex Jazz Club, which is down the road from me. At £12, tickets seemed a bit too pricey for Dalston, but the music was smooth and sexy and sophisticated and the audience intently appreciative (but have you ever noticed how real jazz afficionados don't dance?). The quartet comprised three grizzly old men and a BOY playing what i usually consider the old man instrument - the double bass. Jazz is the new sound of my life. Goes well with wooden floors and period features. Am mining dear S's old CDs - Ella and Louis Armstrong and Bebel Gilberto and Getz & Gilberto and Marlene Dietrich are all getting a good hearing. Saw The Duchess at the Rio a couple of days ago. The Guardian review seemed to think it made Georgiana look simpering and victimised and took all the politics out of her. I think I agree, though I felt for the character - all the characters as a matter of fact, including the manically misogynistic duke played by Ralph Fiennes who seemed as much a victim of the social codes of his time. The Rio is a fabulous art deco cinema with a big curved ceiling that makes you feel like you are sitting inside a gigantic clam. I have to pinch myself to believe this is all on my doorstep. I think I'm going to give up on my LoveFilm membership. It livened up the evenings in the old life, but somehow doesn't seem necessary anymore. Entertainment is becoming public. Almost no one in my new gym (populated entirely by Caribbean, Turkish and East European men and costing £20 something per month, if you have an annual membership) carries an iPod, and the communal music is played really loud. It's a great basic place - just a big room with a corrugated iron roof, but packed with equipment and full of very friendly people, including some who talk to you and spot for you when they think you need their help, without your asking (this has never happened to me before!). And the great thing about living in an Afro-Caribbean area is that you no longer have to buy latin music - you simply have to fling your windows open most days. Saw Matthew Bourne's Dorian Gray at Sadler's Wells last weekend (ok this is outside N16, but only slightly). As these pictures and videos will attest, the show gets 5* for gorgeous eye candy. The first thing that needs to be said is that Richard Winsor in his underwear makes the audience lean forward in a collective gasp, wanting to reach out and hold his luscious perfect butt. This funky contemporary reworking of Oscar Wilde's obviously timeless narrative, re-set in the London fashion world (it's so ironic that these gorgeous people are probably playing themselves), will make anyone who has never watched ballet before a regular. It's hedonistic, dark, nihilistic, beautiful and self-combusts in a ball of white heat. Watch this if you like boys, Bourne, dancing or Oscar. I'm drunk on this neighbourhood.

His "luscious perfect butt" reminds me of the poetry on our fridge :)

This is a marvelous post. Marvelous.

And reminds me that I shouldnt be so complacent now that I am finally in New York. I should be gulping up the city, as well. Hungrily.

Happily missing you, my love ...

Dear S
I write from san francisco (or environs) to say I'm delighted to see the words luscious perfect butt on an intellectual blog. March on!

Also yesterday I met a lovely Turkish woman who lives in the N16, and conducts research in concert with an old acquaintance of mine from Seattle...
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