Here in England, 1963 seems to be the year The Beatles made their splash. In the States we had to wait until 1964 for them to land and change our teenage world. What was it that made them so special? I guess because they were so cute — and of course never underestimate the power of an English accent, even in this case where the accent must have been Liverpool "Scouser" perhaps the nation's least favourite accent. Somehow there seems like some mystical symmetry between the dawn of the Age of the Beatles in 1964, and my being 64. Perhaps the mystery is just that never in my wildest dreams in 1964 would I have imagined I would be living in London when I turned 64. Living not too far from Paul in St John's Wood! There are always anecdotal reports of people seeing Paul on the bus so maybe I should pay more attention when I am on the 46 which runs between Hampstead and St Johns Wood.
We met up with Susan and Cato at the South Bank Centre for supper — burritos from my favourite food truck. Mexican food is now very popular in London. There always were a few Tex-Mex places, but now there is a burgeoning number of places with "authentic" Mexican food. The dawn of trendy Mexican food was the opening of Wahaca — conveniently Anglicised to prevent mispronunciation! — by a young English woman who won the grand prize on a TV Masterchef competition and used the money to live in Mexico and learn to cook like the locals. I just read Calvin Trillin's New Yorker piece on eating in Oaxaca while visiting his daughter and family, including advice on the best way to eat grasshoppers (pull off the front legs). I doubt if our Wahaca serves grasshopper, but I can't say for sure. The American chains like Chipotle have recently moved in too — not sure if there is a Taco Bell.
England has also borrowed the German style Christmas Fair and the South Bank is lined with booths selling gifts and gluhwein and doughnuts, but no Lebkuchen or Potato Pancakes, so what's the point really.
|Cato extracting a prize from a block of ice sponsored by Swiss Air.|
He won a chocolate bar.