Tuesday, July 26, 2011


Our first order of the day was to celebrate Emily Smith's birthday at Nando's Chicken Factory. The Brazilian music was pumpin for da party, as this video clearly shows:

Then we took off for a tour around the neighborhood. We spend so much time in the West End or South Bank that we sort of miss the fact that we live a block away from two major museums (the Natural History Museum and the V&A) an incredibly ornate and impressive catholic church (the Brompton oratory) and Harrods - which is like nothing else. So that's where we went today. To our own backyard.

Of course we all got separated in Harrods, but I was counting on that. As long as everyone finds something shiny to look at, we're good. I always like looking at the furniture. And I found a very special corduroy armchair. Comfort, with a touch of bemusement.

Jaron and Zoe and I, an hour or so later, fled the tourists (we pretend we aren't tourists) and hit the bikes. I learned today that these bikes are called Boris bikes, named after the mayor who promoted them (thanks, Kate.) We hired a few Boris' and sped through South Kensington. We dominate the streets. We fear nothing (except errant scooters.) Eventually we found Battersea Park, and had a really nice bike ride through it. Jaron and Zoe were impressed by the randomness of Battersea - what? a Buddhist temple? - and I like all the big trees lining the bike path. It was really great.

On our way back we stopped and took a picture of the Battersea Power Station, made famous for being on the cover of Pink Floyd's Animals album with a giant inflatable pig. I didn't know any of this, but Jaron did. So I took this picture completely out of peer pressure.

Tonight's show, Roadshow, was at the Menier Chocolate Factory. I love seeing musicals there. You are right up just feet away from the actors. And the actors are always so energetic and committed at the Menier. Fun to watch. Roadshow is a Steven Sondheim piece that has had countless revisions and has still never had a Broadway premiere. This production was actually the first in Europe. I'm not sure why. It's an interesting story and the music, while it borrows really heavily from Into the Woods and Sunday in the Park with George, was beautiful and really well sung. I enjoyed it a lot. Even though I sat on the front row and got hit with fake money about 12 times. That's show biz!

PS. Before the show started I had to use the bathroom, and there was a little bit of a wait at the urinals. Long story short, a really creepy middle aged man came in, took his shirt off and wet it in the sink, and proceeded to wipe his chest and hairy back with it. Then he pulled another shirt out of a sack and put it on. Then he watched the show. Why two shirts? Why the bath in the middle of this crowded restroom? So many questions.