Wednesday, February 13, 2013

28 Bus To Wandsworth

I had a little adventure yesterday morning -- I walked to a bus stop near our house and hopped a bus bound for Wandsworth, a borough of London south of the Thames. I thought it would be fun to just ride along, see where the bus took me, and then get off at the end and have a wander with the camera.

I almost never ride the bus in London. I always opt for the tube instead. Buses tend to be slow, their routes convoluted. In fact I almost forget they're available -- sometimes when I'm on a long walk and my feet are killing me, I think, "Geez, I could just hop on the bus." But then I never do.

But when you don't have anywhere specific to be, at any specific time, a bus ride can be interesting -- all the people and shops streaming past the windows. This one took about an hour, with one agonizing period of being stuck in traffic in Kensington. Then, when I got off in Wandsworth, I walked a few hours more, along some of the main thoroughfares and across Wandsworth Commons, where the dog walkers were the only people out on such a chilly day.

When I finally hit my limit with the cold -- it was about 35˚F -- I popped into Starbucks and used my Christmas gift card to get a coffee and granola bar, a welcome break for my frozen hands. I also bought a couple of novels from the £1 table at a used book shop.

Ultimately I got some good photos, so I was happy. I used a combination of overground train and tube to get home, and came walking up Pembridge Road just in time to meet Dave headed in the other direction, off to a lunch meeting with a coworker. I spent the afternoon with Olga, content in our warm house.

Last night, Dave and I went to dinner at a place down the street called Bloody French. We thought it was adequate, but we got to bring our own bottle of wine (no corking fee!) which brightened things up. Oh, and I forgot to mention: On Monday night we went to see "Hitchcock" at the Electric Cinema, a landmark old movie house on Portobello Road. It's almost ridiculously opulent -- patrons sit in red leather armchairs with pillows, ottomans and cashmere blankets, and there's a full bar. There are even "beds" for customers who'd prefer to watch the film from a horizontal position. Dave has vowed never to return to any other movie theater.

(Photo: Wandsworth, yesterday. I almost never see a functioning CD store any more. I used to spend hours and hours in used record and CD stores...but iTunes really IS a lot easier!)


Ms. Moon said...

You are a braver soul than me to go out in that cold. If I went to that movie theater, I'd fall asleep.

Nancy said...

This is something I would do if I lived on a bus line, hop on and ride for the sake of the ride. I would also end such a day just as you did, dinner and a movie. Hey... are you me?

Sharon said...

Phoenix has a couple of those types of theatres now, both operated by United Artists. The seats are so comfy and a glass of wine with the movie is welcome but reservations in advance make it hard to get into and the food is outragiously expensive and not very good.
Love the bus trip story. Many times when I've been in London, I'll spend the whole day walking in areas I've never visited before. I love doing that.

Photokismet said...

The number of interesting store fronts you have access to never fails to amaze me. Loved this story of your impromptu bus ride...that is something for my 'list.'

Elizabeth said...

That movie theater sounds even more over the top than the similarly luxurious ones here in La La Land.

Steve Reed said...

Ms Moon: If I were in one of those horizontal beds, that would be a definite risk. (And what about bedbugs?)

Nancy: I am you and you are me and you are we and we are all together. Or something like that.

Sharon: Yeah, a couple of Odeon chain cinemas here do something similar too. This one is nice because it's an independent theater.

Helene: London is FULL of fascinating storefronts!

Elizabeth: I've been to some of your La La Land theaters. The Arclight, I think it was called? Quite groovy.