Someone in London had recently recommended Maltby Street
to the Paradis family. Some Borough Market renegades are supposed to have decamped here
after an argy-bargy over gentrification, and raised rents......
On Saturdays, it is apparently CHOCK-A-BLOCK (see Maltby Street link above)
but on a week day, its less than weekday-ordinary bleeding of food, funk, and fun
lures, intrigues and beguiles. (I so need that rainbow sign, do I not?) LASSCO seem to have pioneered "the
Ropewalk" and "anchors" the various food vendors and service providers
who have washed up here. I adored this cheery beach hut incongruously tucked into a railway arch.
Above which trains rattle in and out of London Bridge Station. (Your Tube stop close by.)
Note to Paradis selves: Must return on a Saturday for fresh crab - one of London's surprising and great glories. The Paradis family are always on the hunt for fresh whole crab which can be reasonably easily gotten in London - (with several hours to pick through it in) - since it is puzzlingly and disappointingly rare on Southern California restaurant plates.
Famous St. John, purveyors of nose-to-tail trad-English cuisine have an outpost here, with very casual seating
if you can keep your stomach and your mind concentrated on the food and less distracted by tantalizing LASSCO bits and bobs.
The appearance is that much of Ropewalk is LASSCO storage, workshops, small tradesmen,
who, in a very up-to-date sharing economy fashion, give their spaces over to bikers and bakers, and also tapas and cocktail makers - on weekends and at the meal-time hour.
The English do seem to have this cheery particular talent for making a mash up of salvage rakers
and barrow boys work so casually and beautifully together.
Give yourself a little time - if you wander down to Ropewalk.....because the wander inside LASSCO - (post to follow!) is not one to be rushed.
If, like me, you like the old and the beautiful, the travel through time and space, the recycled and the refurbished, the twee set against the untidy. The fragile, the fleeting, and the misunderstood. Ropewalk is yes, another Passage Paradis, for those of our persuasion.
Thanks to Otli, Krista and Suzanne for their encouraging notes. All of America seems to be throwing our toys out of the pram this month. I don't mean to be funny about this. It is dead serious. I just hope that we all who want peace and reason and compassion, as Otli has reminded me, who must number far more than those who don't, will find a way to prevail. Going shopping (contrary to post 9-11 exhortations in NYC) is not the answer, I don't believe. But savoring the wabi-sabi, the beautiful, the honest, the purity of an act, the essence of a thing - and/or its maker, a moment - and sharing it with others - IS. It's why I do what I do and I suspect I am not alone in the blog world. In fact I know it.
I've come very late to the following particular discovery but what landed on my lap this past week - (though it was recommended to me six months ago) has helped to soothe and remind me and put things in perspective: The Elegance of the Hedgehog by Muriel Barbery. I haven't finished it yet but if you don't know about it already, it's worth checking out.