August 24, 2003
MarkBernstein.org
 
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London

When I arrive in London, I walk too much.

First, there's the jet lag problem. Flights these days are always full, sleeping is hard, and Boston-London is just too short for sleeping well. So, on the first day, it's good to keep moving.

Then, of course, it's London! There's always something, just around the corner. And even if there isn't something, there used to be. This is the wonder that Sarah Smith captures so well in Chasing Shakespeares; everywhere you look, there's an office block where Dudley and Cecil liked to play tennis. Or there's the bar where Tom Browne left for Rugby. Or something.

Today, everyone seemed to be headed for the Notting Hill Carnival. So, for the afternoon, having misspent the morning among the Egyptian oddities of the British Museum and the Bloomsburians in Beford Square, I headed for Notting Hill.

I always seem to hit street festivals on jet lag day. The best part of street festivals is street food, but here I'm afraid Britain beat carnival; even the plantain were expensively awful. Lots of people watching, dancing, and wishing from the windows of their flat.

I ran off 190 shots today -- a new record. Perhaps I'm finally learning that bits are renewable.