people keep telling me that I never really saw London - not that I really give a shit but I thought it could
be interesting to calculate exactly how much of it I saw regularly.|
so I scanned a part of the A to Z and started drawing.
my flat was on the top of monmouth street (or rather where monmouth meets neal). it was a wonderful location (if you like that sort of location that is). I had cable tv, a 1.5mbit DSL line, a nice bed (and an even nicer pillow) a desk, a britelite and all my toys.
the db office wasn't too far away (it took about 10 minutes to get there walking, if I didn't get sidetracked at one of the arcades) - it was in pollen street (which cab drivers had the annoying habit of mishearing as poland)
not quite halfway was the zoom office - in dean street. I spent a whole heap of time there aswell doing anything from setting up modems before the pollen street ikea populated space existed to masterminding takeovers of the british free internet service provider market.
on the way to work, from work, or just when wanting to waste 15 minutes or so, I would stop at borders (either the oxford street branch, or the charing cross road one). I fell for borders in kahului of all places, and didn't spend a significant time in bookshops prior to their oxford street branch opening.
|  ||1. my flat
2. the db office
3. the zoom office
5. chez gerard
7. sainsbury's, tesco, harts
9. oasis gym
although I ate mostly the same stuff (even when I cooked it myself) I still ate in a bunch of different places. my favourite was (and still is) chez gerard. when you sat down you could eat hazelnuts, the french bread they served was (almost) always fresh, and more importantly always white. they had poulet grille on the menu - and it tasted like I wanted it to. in fact the only way they could have improved on the meal is if they'd had granny smith apples as a desert option.
course I bought all too many of those at the various food shops I frequented. a special word for harts grocers. it sucks, we all know it sucks - but the fact is where else in the area could you buy parmalat peach juice, mini choco-leibniz cookies, extra-wurst, hershey bars and coke in bottles that was open 24 hours. those facts coupled with the fresh bread you'd run into at 2 am if you were very lucky combined to make it a frequent speed stop.
slightly more lengthy trips were made to tesco metro in bedford street. again nice bread and apples (and the ever edible tortellini with smoked ham and cheese) this is where I learned about the wonders of fresh pasta (note to lazy cooks - it cooks faster...this was a big deal for me since it meant missing less of the buffy the vampire slayer episode I was always missing while cooking). bizarrely it also had the most wonderful fresh lemonade available in the UK - which for an annoyingly long time kept being sold out when I got to the shelf. much better sour cream than sainsbury's as well - in fact there were only two reasons I went to sainsbury's - (1) it was open longer on weekends - dumb motherfuckers at tesco decided to close early and (2) aromat. enough said.
lemme see, what does that leave me with. oh yes, the cinemas at leicester square. I could walk to a cinema in about 4 minutes - which rocked. I always remember wandering down long acre on a weekend and feeling sorry for all the poor bastards with massive shopping bags who need to lug them back SW52 or wherever it is they came from.
and last, but not least (in terms of the amount of time I spent there) is that bastion of gayness, the oasis gym. it was so incredibly gay it was borderline offensive and it freaked me out every now and again - but I learn to ignore the staring faces in the showers and the ridiculous workout outfits. (what could I do ? it had a power shower, indoor/outdoor pool, and was 30 seconds walk away)
so that's it - my life in london.
back to that calculation - the scanned map is one fifth of a page of an A to Z with 138 pages of maps.
this makes approximately 0.1%.
so there you go. they were all right. big deal.