Monday, September 10, 2012
Bec and Broadway
I visited Tooting yesterday, which along with Dorking and Frognal tops my list of London-area communities with the silliest names. I took the tube to Tooting Broadway, which is way down in south London, and walked north past Tooting Bec, all the way up to Clapham Common. The weather was fabulous.
Among the amusing storefronts I found: Belly Heaven, a jerk chicken restaurant. As I photographed it, the fairly intimidating-looking proprietor called out to me, and I thought, Oh boy, I'm about to get in trouble. But he turned out to be a totally nice guy and even offered me free jerk chicken. Unfortunately I couldn't stick around for the next batch, but maybe I'll take him up on it in the future!
What else did I find? Another Carribbean joint called Tickle Me, a halal food place called Freezeland, a video store (!) with a life-size Star Wars stormtrooper in the window, a window full of mannequin heads sporting cheap wigs.
After my long walk, I ducked into Caffe Nero -- an Italian-style coffee chain -- at Clapham Common. I got a latte and a chocolate muffin and listened to a heavyset man at the next table expound to his companion about the brilliance of British movie and television adaptations. He was especially taken with "The Jewel in the Crown," E. M. Forster and Evelyn Waugh. I was privy to exclamations like, "Oh, and the music in Brideshead was perfect. Perfect!"
It got kind of a kick out of it, since I'm into all those British adaptations myself. But I resisted chiming in on the conversation. I wasn't sure I wanted to open that door, you know?
At any rate, I'm so glad I got out. I get stir-crazy if I sit around the house all day, and I unexpectedly had to do some work in the morning and that made me cranky. Walking it off made all the difference.