Oops. I’m doing London. Again.

Just beachy electronic music

Laurie Anderson is doing a tour! I had no way of getting away from work until one of the last dates on the tour: Performing at Antony’s Meltdown thing in London. Which was fine by me. Lots of other shows at that thing that I’d like to see, like Matmos. And Antony.

So I ordered the tickets. And then it dawned on me that this was taking place during like that sports event you know.

Eek time.

But you know. It’s been just luvverley. Sure, there are more people here than usual, but it not a catastrophe. It’ more of an apostrophe.

There’s a bazillion nice people kindly directing the excess touristry (“Oi! Get off the road! It’s a red light innit?”), and while the tube may be crowded sometimes, it seems like there’s a train everywhere every minute.

Boris makes the trains run on time. You know what that implies.

London is the same as always, only more so. You can’t pass through any park, no matter how minuscule, without happening upon a pavilion with some ladies singing. Pass through the South Bank Centre and watch the 20 ballet dancers that seem to happen to spend all day practising synchronised break-dancing in the basement. And walk along the beach and listen to a busker performing abstract electronic music on his two Korgs.

It’s just kinda awright, innit?

Oh! And the Tate Modern. In the Tanks they had a new exciting artist called Unilever, who was doing a piece involving like 50 people running around in a whopping big room. Or standing around and singing. Or sitting down. Or doing nothing.

They were dressed normally, so during the more dormant periods the audience would sort of wander amongst them, until they realised what was going on.

The unsettling thing about the piece was that occasionally one of the performers would leave the herd and come sit next to you. Then they would tell you a story. About something awkward. Or something they were ashamed about, I guess.

It’s very odd sitting there listening to somebody tell you something personal and not saying anything in return.

I give Unilever lots of thumbs up.

It’s apparently gonna run until October. Those people must get tired of running and confessing after a while.

Oh well.  That’s art.

Tentacle Mystery


I ordered…  something… as the appetizer at the restaurant tonight.  I’m pretty sure I didn’t expect this tentacle plate to appear, though.  Did I order it?  Was the waiter just having fun?

Anyway, what it is?  It kinda looks like octopus, but not quite.  The tentacles don’t quite look octopussey enough.  And the texture wasn’t squid-ish.  At first I thought it was mozarella.  Then I thought chicken.  Then I thought…  I don’t know.  Anemone?

It was delicious, though.  But mysterious.  Does anybody know what the tentacle platter might have been?

Baffled Pizza

Take your backpacks off!

There’s a pizzeria just down the street here that almost always has a long queue outside.  Pizzeria da Baffetto. Naturally, if there’s a long line, I want to be there, too.  Or perhaps not.  But I was thinking that that might be the reason that all these people were standing out in these rather cold Rome February evenings when there are oodles of perfectly fine pizza to be had virtually everywhere.

The self-perpetuating queue model.

Anyway, I Googled the place, and it’s apparently “the most reviewed restaurant in Italy”, according to my guide book.  It didn’t mention what the reviews actually say.

The second review on Google Reviews says I could find this place, and gives it one star.

More forthcoming are reviews like this:

Unacceptable behaviour. If you go there be prepared to very rude staff. It’s not about the typical roman style that makes many places so unusually attractive. No, they are just rude in a way that makes going there an annoying, embarassing experience.

So it’s not the typical Roman style of rudeness we all love (but I haven’t actually noticed), but a special form of unattractive rudeness.

The unique “no backpacks” sign shown in the picture above is apparently no joke, either:

Those with backpacks had them ripped off their backs

I think that’s an eminently sensible policy.  You shouldn’t wear backpacks indoors.  Or outdoors.

The American reviews are often unintentionally hilarious:

I’m from brooklyn so i didn’t have high expectations to begin with but this did not live up to the hype at all! the pizza! the pizza is very thin and the sauce does not compensate

I’m guessing this Brooklynite may also have been dismayed that he was expected to eat the pizza with a knife and fork.  It’s provincialism at its most amusing.

I still haven’t dared visit the place, though.  Too much drama.