Sunday, May 15, 2005


temporary insanity

so i woke up this morning and realized i must have been possessed with an unknown form of passing madness, because it's true: for some inexplicable reason, i appear to have left wimbledon voluntarily.

london is fantastic, albeit unwelcoming -- if only someone would open a open a coffeehouse like monmouth but with a more modern roaster. . .

i did manage to pick myself up off my big leather couch and dry my frantic tears -- those sarcastic english people do grow on you even as they break your heart, those wombles of wimbledon roaming the high street -- thru a consoling audience with my italian princess the rancilio silvia and a fresh pound of the classic batdorf dancing goat.

decent cappuccino in hand, and as the warm late spring day blossomed over my view of manhattan from the verrazano bridge to the chrysler building, i began to feel better and better. it took just a quick glance over at p. ackroyd's biography of london -- i love the completely non-english romantic passion with which he writes about his beloved london, he must be a coffee drinker -- to give me another case of the transatlantic blues.

as a dyed-in-the-wool new yorker, i was quite surprised at how fond i grew of london, with its short buildings, short business hours, and eccentric but beautiful characters. even tho' i did too often have to put up with all the usual gibes about being a stupid, neurotic, poorly-dressed, shallow, tasteless person with puerile fast-food conversation: an american.

it just gave me a severe case of the mixed-feeling thing, you know? i wanted to like all the english people i met and they are quite charming, but again, as my russian friend reminded me, i am a foreigner to them and they can never truly get over that. . .

the whole election there with the hue-and-cry about foreign affairs really stirred up a rather french-type anti-americanism and casually open anti-semitism (prince harry was just following public feeling with that armband thing after all), it seemed to me. and of course i couldn't expect them to understand what being from a blue state means, you know?

to the majority of them i appeared little different than a stereotyped texan. . .and of course if you politely challenge them on it, they then turn on a dime and accuse you of having no sense of humor. . .but politics is boring, while coffee is interesting.

i will close my london travel journal by remarking on a wine i had for dinner the last night i was there, back at the enoteca turi, with its famed wine cellar. this was a chardonnay from piedmont, rivetti's 'lidia' la spinetta 2000.

i generally dislike chardonnays, but this was easily the nicest one i have ever, ever had. unlike the reviewer, i didn't find it overly oaky, but rather enjoyed the vanilla and passion fruit creamy flavor. . . .

it graced a lovely bit of roast guinea fowl with fresh silken asparagus and a delicate puree of the sweetest young peas i've ever had the pleasure to eat. highly recommended.

posted by fortune | 8:53 AM | top | link to this | email this: | links to this post | | 0 comments

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