Soon I will tell you all about New York. It’ll be a tale of Bushwick mornings (below), tote bags (several), love-at-first-sight (Williamsburg Bridge) and pizza to rival Naples’ own (no, seriously). For now, though, read this sublimity – Donald Hall, The New Yorker – and weep.
It’s been a while, hasn’t it? Four months, I see. Things have happened in that time – as things are wont to do – but, of course, it needed a quick phone-scroll to tell me what those things were. Turns out they’re both the usuals (birthdays and weddings and Glastonbury and Edinburgh) – and, as good fortune would have it, the unusuals (Lyon via Paris and Radiohead and Slovenia and I’m going to be auntie – auntie logsy! World’s-most-excited-auntie badge in the post!). And, so as to keep on that latter theme of the extraordinary, it’s to New York we go in two weeks, to call a warehouse in Brooklyn home for a few days. Oh – and I almost forgot – it’s September 2016, which means the 30ths are good to go. Oh, we do have some fun.
As soon as I read about Padella (here), it shot straight to the top of my list. And so, after work on Tuesday, we wandered over there and joined the queue. Cut to me, on a loop: Let’s get the burrata with Puglian olive oil and the borlotti bean bruschetta and some bread and share! Then I’m having the pappardelle with 8-hour beef shin ragu! Did you know it’s their signature dish! Then I’m going to have the chocolate tart! You should have the almond one! Do you want wine? I’m having wine! Etc. and so on, until we were finally seated at a table downstairs (which means my one and only photograph is sadly lacking in marble).
The food and drinks menus are small but perfectly crafted. A handful each of antipasti and hand-rolled pasta dishes, plus a couple of desserts. Trustily-chosen wines, beers, a few cocktails – and if you want a coffee? That’ll be an espresso or macchiato or nothing. Our dishes were all delicious. The pappardelle was the type of tasty you never want to end, but actually, we concluded, not a huge leap away from the kind of thing I make at home if I have 4 hours to spare on a Sunday. The taglierini with ‘nduja, mascarpone and parsley , however, was like nothing either of us had ever tasted. Hot, fresh, zingy, incredible. Next time, I plan to skip dessert and order an extra pasta dish – they’re cheap and modestly sized and just because.
My favourite bit of all? That the menu beseeches: please tell us if you don’t want parmesan.
Copying that Ten Things thing I see on so many blogs these days. I’m always sharing stuff like this online – so, after all, why not collate it? Tangents mean some of the ten have ended up combined, but you’ll get the point. Rather than saying I’m going to do this weekly, I’m saying I’ll do it again when I’ve got my next ten [good] things.
If branding is inspired by the Mexico ’68 Olympics font, what’s not to love?
These mountain-scapes by Conrad Jon Godly. Chunky paint is my favourite kind of paint. And, while we’re at it, The Jealous Curator blog itself. As soon as I stumbled across it I thought: Damn, I wish I’d thought of doing a damn-I-wish-I-wrote-that kind of blog.
I have at least three things in common with Skye, author of From My Dining Table: fondness for prose, reverence for Italian cooking and, peculiarly, being a Latin scholar. Thanks to the Polpo cookbook I got for Christmas, I’ve already spent much of this year determinedly turning my hand to panino (pictured below), polpette and cichette, so From My Dining Table only compounds my longing [to at least pretend] to be Venetian. Also, the discovery that writer’s block inspired the creation of this blog has in turn jolted me into considering how I might better channel my creative output. Maybe I’ll get round to doing something about that (sometime soon).
Lily remembering her friend Peaches in this piece is too sad for words – except she somehow finds them. She still she visits me in my dreams. Often as bossy and rude as in life, but always hypnotic. Her visits are fleeting, but she always remembers to kiss me on the lips. And I stand feeling so tender with love, wondering if I should tell her that she’s dead. Always deciding not to, in my dreams, as it’s no good for us both to have a broken heart.
Like Desert Island Discs – but for books. If my Amazon wishlist was a shelf, it would be buckling.
If I’m to be found at Glastonbury, it’ll often be up at Avalon. This year’s line-up was announced earlier this week, so I know for sure I’ll be dancing to Rob Heron & The Tea Pad Orchestra. This Is The Kit are on the bill too, which is imbued with a kind of sadness for me. The last time I saw them was days after the Paris attacks, and knowing that I’ll feel less – terrified – this time around is imbued with a different kind of difficulty.
Finally, since I’ve listened to little else in the last couple of weeks, I give you this.
The Cathedral bell, tolled, could never tell;
nor the Liver Birds, mute in their stone spell;
nor the Mersey, though seagulls wailed, cursed, overhead,
in no language for the slandered dead…
not the raw, red throat of the Kop, keening,
or the cops’ words, censored of meaning;
not the clock, slow handclapping the coroner’s deadline,
or the memo to Thatcher, or the tabloid headline…
but fathers told of their daughters; the names of sons
on the lips of their mothers like prayers; lost ones
honoured for bitter years by orphan, cousin, wife –
not a matter of football, but of life.
Over this great city, light after long dark;
Truth, the sweet silver song of the lark.
Liverpool – Carol Ann Duffy
If there was a list of people who’ve cried at the Saatchi Gallery’s Rolling Stones: Exhibitionism, I’d be on it. The reason it moved me to tears is because, I think, it’s literally impossible to tell the story of The Rolling Stones without a massive injection of poignancy. The exhibition ends by bundling you into a dark room for a 3D airing of (I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction, taken from the Stones’ 2013 Hyde Park gig. For me, the euphoria of this footage can’t help but go hand-in-hand with a sad, sad sense of time passed and passing.
My favourite part of the exhibition (pictured below) was the quaint revelation that Ronnie Wood artistically records rehearsal song-lists – so we can remember what we’ve played – and in what key! Chronological histories of the band’s tours and albums were displayed in impressive digital loops; homage was paid to the reverent Billy Preston and the many, many other collaborators to have worked with the band; there were guitars, costumes, photographs, never-before-seen footage, intricate tales of stage/logo design, album artwork and documentary-making, plus a replica recording studio and even the chance to mix your own Stones tracks. There was no ‘stone’ left unturned, if you will. We visited on the exhibition’s second day, so it has to be said there were some teething (read: crowd control) problems, but I can only assume these will have been smoothed out.
If you love the Stones, there’s only one thing for it: you’ve gotta go. Just make sure you set aside a couple of hours and, if you’re anything like me, take a tissue.
We stayed at the Town Hall Hotel last week – partly for a birthday and partly just because. It’s an original Edwardian town hall turned hotel in Bethnal Green, so it was, of course, non-stop swooning. Ours was the Feature Suite, which turned out to be code for a very fancy bedroom door and oodles of character within. I even went for an uncharacteristic dip in the hotel pool. Our stay also meant a drink at the Peg & Patriot and dinner in The Corner Room, where my food was off-the-scale tasty – though I must admit the absence of side options left me hankering for a potato in any of its guises. Sadly we gave the incredible-looking Typing Room a miss – because they only offer a tasting menu [and have you met me and risk]. We also went for a couple in the very nearby Mother Kelly’s Tap Room [before dinner] [and after dinner]. I loved it all. Bethnal Green, you don’t half scrub up well.
Told you time is disappearing fast, didn’t I? I’m working hard, hatching plans, soaking up the city. Here’s London, as captured by me, in the last few weeks. Featuring [if only by proxy] Mauritian street food at the Tottenham Green Market, The Coral at the Kentish Town Forum, Daniel Kitson ‘blathering on’ (his words) at the Battersea Art Centre, me at home (judging wine by the cover) – and, of course, Euston/the Thames looking nothing less than sublime.