Friday, July 29, 2016

LASSCO - Goodies, Part 2

No words.  Literally.  I have a summer cold, and frankly, I'm a little talked out after our two weeks of political conventions here in the U.S.!!!!!!  So enjoy the pics.  Here's the link to LASSCO.



Monday, July 25, 2016

Rope Walk/LASSCO Part One, and The Elegance of the Hedgehog

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.

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Awash in Violence and Grief

I understand now the utility of religion in a way that I never have before.

(Francois Mori/AP)

I know that many human beings on this planet suffer greatly daily, and have done for a long time

(Boris Horvat/AFP/Getty Images)

without hope for respite, relief, improvement, change.  I had always had hope for them, even if they could not have it for themselves.......

(Eric Gaillard, Reuters - all pics via the Guardian)

The past year of atrocities and trauma have caused me to lose optimism.  I know that I am not alone, that you, like me, just want it to stop.  Please stop.  But when?  But how?  The "Powers that Be" who run our world these days seem utterly incapable of finding ways to stop the pain and the destruction.  

We churn out violence and fear in our political spaces, media and "entertainments" and merchants of war flood our neighborhoods with weaponry.  Our political leaders seem blind to the chaos and seem only to create more of it, and work for the enrichment of a careless few.  It's o.k. to be ugly to each other.  It's o.k. to hate.

The Hating.  I hate it.  

It is in this pit of desperation that I understand that when it feels you have nowhere else to turn, but a great need to turn away..............appealing to a higher power feels to be the only hopeful remaining option.

Please GOD, please GODS.....make it stop.  We are better than this.  We have better things to do than to destroy ourselves and our beautiful world.  Please make the ugliness go away.

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Ye Olde Antiques Market at Camden Passage, Islington

Do you have a weakness

dear visitors

for lovely old things?  (I suspect you might.)

You will find some here then

at the Camden Passage Market, Islington

on a Saturday (8a.m. - 4 p.m.)

or, Wednesday (7 a.m. - 2 p.m.)  

or Thursday (7 a.m. - 4 p.m.) in London.

The prices can be gentle

for odd bits if you don't mind a bit of a rummage

and some good-humored haggling.

For Mlle Paradis with her

magpie eye........

it was the usual delicious tortured bliss......

of imagined worlds, imagined needlework projects, imagined adventures.....imagined times - past. 

I did manage to carry off with me one of those bone edelweiss'es (in the top left corner)  for pinning on my person eventually. I had never seen such things before.  Apparently they are souvenirs of alpine visits to Switzerland and Austria - also sometimes made of ivory.  (The lady who sold them was super nice.)  Fascinating!  Like sea anemones I thought.

And - this one couldn't be pinned down - but a little blouse 'caused very acute past memories to wash over me - not at all imaginary.  In a burst of recognition.  Odd how these things happen.

Not so odd was Mr. Paradis - after much patient hanging about and talking records and rock'n'roll with an amiable silver plate seller (as in forks and knives, yes!) finally dragging me away from a table full of goodies like this........with the promise of a pint.

Anyway, must leave something for the next time, NO?  And for all of you out there too, YES!?