In brothel creepers and draped jackets, bequiffed Teddy Boys lurk malevolently on street corners. The first Mini motor car goes on sale...
Wednesday, 19 June 2013
Like fraught fellow dipso Blanche Du Bois, as imagined by Tennessee Williams, I too have "always depended on the kindness of strangers." A free meal here, a Press trip there, the occasional (sole) useable content of a goody bag, and a bottle of a client's dubious rocket fuel, palmed off on me by their hopeful PR. Vile booze that is finally succumbed to in desperation - faute de mieux at 4am - unleashing a one-man Country and Western cat's chorus and much hollering from those poor bastards I've just woken up, fellow slum dwellers in a ramshackle tenement that , anywhere else but in K and C, would be rented out for 10 quid a month - 'roach spray not included. Yes, I really should have stuck with that 'promising job' in the City but. oh now-long-dead sneery old careers master - you who sniffily suggested this pupil woulds be lucky to get a job flogging lucky bags at his local tuck shop - would life, however precarious, have been so much fun? And just how many duvet days can a high-paid/ bored rigid wage slave at Deloitte take without getting fired, by the way? Tonight, in a fairly faithful pastiche of a steamy seen-better-days Big Easy pile, I am relying on the kindness of a lovely Big Apple-born door whore called Elle to score me drinks at a bar besieged by greedy hooch Hoovers. Result! Not only does said stranger/ guardian angel set up me up with a nob-stiffeningly sexy sazerac, the barman recognises me from God-knows-where and decides I'm cool enough to be plied with de la Louisiane and similar New Orleans swallows. Joy! Meanwhile, Blues Brother Dan Aykroyd - flown in for tonight's heaving launch party - whips the place into a frenzy with his roisterous line in boogie woogie and hellcat rock. The launch is a happy-fuzzy blur but I've been back since. All in all, I find myself most taken with NOLA, a bar that comes on like a crazy Shoreditch night back in the days before dick-head ad agencies moved in and - always the kiss of death, this - Italian Vogue latched on (about 3 months before the blonde breadsticks at British Vogue did, I shouldn't wonder). Take the Overground Train Named Desire to the ' Ditch. Yes, even if you're well over the ol' 'hood, I urge you to check out this peeling sepia tone Basin Street film set, not least for its fine range of drinks inspired by that other fact of N'Orleans life - hurricanes: in NOLA's case, stiff breezers fit to blow your toupee off.
66 Rivington Street EC2A 3AY http://nola-london.com/