Wednesday, August 29, 2007

To the Thames

Landing in Heathrow makes you remember how drab England can be. Sure, in memory it's Chelsea and Knightsbridge, Kensington and Notting Hill, but on arrival it's a dingy terminal from the '70s and the sense that tradition has a leg up over modernity.

I took the Tube into the South Ken station, and made my way to Simon's Morgan Stanley flat. Located only blocks from Hyde Park, it's not shabby. I went for a run in the park and stumbled upon Princess Diana's 10-year memorial celebration at S Ken Palace.

London is chalk full of an international moneyed elite racing a Ferrari from one stop-light to the next. With darting black spikes of hair, forehead-to-cheek-bone sunglasses, and palpable attitude, the proverbial "that guy" is ubiquitous in London.

We had good nosh at Eight Over Eight on the Kings Road Chelsea, had a few beers, and made our way in for the night. After an English Breakfast in South Kensington sitting next to Carla Bruni (I argue it's true), we walked Knightsbridge, and took Charlotte, Simon's daughter, for a stroll in Hyde Park.

After one more encounter with "that guy" in the Tube line -- who when I affirmed that I was in front of him, retorted "yea America, I know, that's how it works hea,'" -- I made my way to Heathrow. I pondered the root of all evil as tough guys. More than an individual seeking retribution, simple-minded tough guys who act according to a plight not their own cause the most trouble in the world.

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