Saturday, September 29, 2007

gorge-fest 5000 at Borough Market

London has seen a dramatic increase in favo(u)r in the past 12 hours. last nite, i saw none other than the ethereal, marvelous, unparalleled talent that is Ms. Joanna Newsom. i swooned, i sang, i grinned goofily to myself, i bobbed along to the harp beat in my velvet chair. it was wonderful. Serendipity rang again as I was walking thru the entrance and ran into one of the 27 people in my Master's program. what a small world of newsom lovers it is!!

(photo courtesy of the telegraph)

Truly, her sea-gull caw and her milky sweet mews soared in the massive Royal Albert Hall like nothing i've ever experienced. What a venue. What a voice. What a harpist. What a night. And my smoked salmon & cream cheese sandwich & accompanying glass of rose at intermission was delicious, too.

This morning, I sprang over to the London Bridge for Borough Market. Meg met up with me and we indulged in foodie passions the likes of which I have never indulged in -- all at once, that is, like I did to-day. I'm guessing there were around 100 stalls, clustered all around the archway under the railroad, and next to a beautiful, soaring Southwark Cathedral, the oldest gothic cathedral in London, under whose impressive spires we shared a carrot-cake cupcake with magical EDIBLE GLITTER on the frosting. Amazing. i want some edible glitter of my own. to have and to hold forever and ever. the pastry chef told me when she first bought it for the cupcakes, she was putting the glitter on everything: cereal, curry dishes, everything.

Then, back to the stalls. I bought fresh figs, peaches, tofu, and baklava to start with. Every stall has samples, so you could conceivably go to Borough Market, not spend a penny (sorry, pence) and walk away full. Walk away full we did, but not until we bought some gorgeous fresh, locally-made food. We split a brie & leek quiche, had about a thousand mini samples of cheese, I bought a half-bottle of red wine (the "single's bottle," I call it, as I am sadly writing this blog all by my lonesome on a cold Saturday night), some fresh baguette, membrillo quince paste & manchego cheese (both of which I fell in love with while working at a Spanish restaurant in Phoenix) to take home and re-create a favorite tapas dish, and a slice of banana cake.

MMMmmmm...I could have bought even more. There was every kind of food from England to France to Spain to the Middle East and back again. Teas, cheeses, baked goods, freshly-baked breads, fresh, local fruits & veggies, meats (terrifyingly, I walked by a group of hanging rabbits, with the fur still attached and everything...a very unfriendly sight to this vegetarian), and the brownies, my god THE BROWNIES. Look at this pile!!! :

I walked away with a heavier tummy and a happier heart. So, Borough Market delivered. Thank you. You are DELICIOUS, and my new weekly Saturday routine.
Below: Meg biting into our quiche. That's the face of happiness, people.

Friday, September 28, 2007

welcome to londontown.

hello again, dear readers!!

it's been faaaaaaar too long. i have maintained a rather infrequent contribution to this blog up to now, but now that i'm alone in a new city, with a fresh slate, i think it's high-time to get to the nitty-gritty.

what's it like to leave everything you know & are comfortable with, pluck down across the pond, and start over again?

i'll attempt to explain in the coming year. i've moved to rainy london from phoenix/chicago (arizona as my university & post-graduation home, chicago as my homehome) for a Master's in modern literature here in london. i am lucky enough to have my best friend here, who will be here working thru december, but beyond meg, i don't know a soul.

it's been a hard go at it. i was so excited to leave, and when i left my mum & boyfriend at the airport, all i could do is cry and feel sorry for myself. i've done this before: i studied abroad for a year in italy & france my junior year at college, but it's harder at 24 than at 20. My life was more ingrained back in the states, and i was so happy with my boyfriend there. picking up & leaving again has proven more difficult, but i'm sure i'll persevere and make friends & ensconce myself in reading & writing, which i haven't had nearly enough of in the past year.
so, welcome to london. i'll keep you posted.
this evening's agenda: Joanna Newsom concert at the Royal Albert Hall. words cannot DESCRIBE my excitement. that makes all my musical concert dreams come true: bjork & joanna newsom, all in one year. wheeeeeeeeeeeeeee!!!!!!!
and if you're in chicago, pet this little fella for me. i miss him & his owner very very much. : )