Every generation has one occasion that defines their era – a watershed moment where everyone remembers what they were doing when they heard about it for the rest of their lives. For the previous generation it was when they heard about Kennedy’s assassination, for ours it was 9/11. I remember it was a Tuesday as I was in my Combined Cadet Force uniform, a rather itchy and uncomfortable blue jumper with starched wool trousers and a beret that was a little too small. I remember my friend Michael leaning over to me in class to tell me his mum, a journalist at the Guardian, had texted him saying New York had been attacked. I remember having to sit through an entire lesson before we were allowed to go and turn on the TV in the Year 9 common room. I remember our common room full and silent with boys cross legged on the floor, leaning against walls all watching the TV in the corner of the room. And I still remember that chill down the spine I got when the second plane hit that I still feel just as vividly today when I see the footage of the Twin Towers.
When I was 15 and I had no idea I would go on to study America at university four years later at uni, let alone live there for a year. Did spending four years studying US history and politics help me comprehend better the atrocities committed on that day? Possibly, but I’m not sure that’s the point. Ten years later that chill down my spine reminds me of the acts humanity is capable of – both of compassion and destruction – and of how precious life is. My thoughts go out to everyone who lost friends and family 10 years ago today.
Where were you when you learnt of the attacks?
For those of you in London, a memorial concert for September 11 will be held in Grosvenor Square from 6pm tonight
A little American wisdom in the depths of South London…
From Forever 21 on Oxford Street and Apostrophe on Regent Street to Abercrombie & Fitch on Savile Row, the past few years have seen big US brands setting up shop all over our nation’s capital. This Saturday was no different. Walking through Covent Garden Piazza on my way to a talk by Lanvin’s Alber Elbaz at the Royal Opera House, I couldn’t help but notice an impeccably dressed, not to mention intimidatingly attractive, cast of characters handing out leaflets announcing the arrival of Europe’s first Rugby Ralph Lauren store. Always a sucker for the beautiful people, I couldn’t help check out the shop itself. All in the name of research of course…
I’m going to go out on a limb and say this is the greatest collaboration of the decade. Amazing.
I like to flatter myself by thinking I predicted the frozen yoghurt craze that took hold of London about 2 years ago with the slew of Snog, Yogs and Frogs that sprung up all over the capital. When I was out in Berkeley back in ’07 I became obsessed with this swirly foodstuff during a rather unpleasant bout of strep throat. Unable to eat anything above room temperature or above the consistency of baby food, I turned to the frozen yoghurt bar across the street for sustenance. And out of my pain was born a rather pleasurable new obsession – one that was apparently shared by 99% of American judging by the sheer volume of fro-yo shops you are guaranteed to find in any one US town. But in my experience none could match Pinkberry for quality. So, after being Pinkberry-less for four years, you can imagine how my ears pricked when I heard they were to open their first European branch this summer in London. What I didn’t expect was that I’d be enjoying the goods for free…for a whole year
Remember these girls? Those were good days weren’t they, when Sex and the City first came out and it was all a bit naughty? The sex toys in LA? The one where Samatha becomes a lesbian? The trannies in the Meatpacking district (oh the irony)? Then she messed up with Aiden (a.k.a. the decent one) twice and ended up with Big in the final episode. Still you gave the writers the benefit of the doubt. “Sure,” you said, “he may have been an emotionally abusive sap the she’s been chasing all over New York for the past 6 years, but he’s flown all the way to Paris to fetch her and…wait, so he’s not going to propose then? Oh…”
Wednesday night at The Garage in Islington. Myself, my boss, my colleague, a PR and his heavily pregnant wife are at the back of the room leaning against the bar. At the other end of the cavernous room a teen heartthrob strums his guitar on stage. Hundreds of screaming girls are in between. The vast majority are holding iPhones and BlackBerries, trying to capture grainy mementos of the evening in the dim pink and yellow tinted ether. Darren Criss, best known for his role in Glee as high-school acapellist and occasional Kurt-romancer, Blaine, is playing one of the songs from the Harry Potter musical that started his impressively quick rise to global fame. The girls are eating it up, singing every word in between giggles. I watch the scene stunned, dazzled and feeling quite out of my depth. Old even. Odd considering Darren himself is only a year younger than me. But boy did he know his audience…
Posted in Listen, Music, Opinion, Review, Watch
Tagged Concert, Darren Criss, Gig, Glee, Islington, Joe Walker, Katy Perry, London, Relentless Garade, San Francisco, Teenage Dream