Friday, April 9

Tube And Arab

My friend from the go-go years, Azeem Azhar, takes this photo using a Helga Viking lens, 'float' film without a flash. Way cool.

So here is my weird Underground factoid which, dear reader, I consider more often than sometimes when on the tube: the record for visiting all 275 stations is 18 hours, 35 minutes and 43 seconds. No kidding. It was done by Geoff Marshall from Epsom, Surrey, and Neil Blake from Deptford, south-east London, on September 28, 2004. They have kept their route secret, God bless.

My first commute in London originated from our flat in north-central Maida Vale: I caught the Bakerloo Line from the Warwick tube station (in Duffy's '09 Billboard top-ten hit "Warwick Avenue") to Oxford Circus then the Central Line to Chancery Lane and Botts & Company. The trains crowded and the transfer not pleasant - we marched long, florescent tunnels affronted by bill-board advertising and cinema posters. Sometimes a dude would read The Sun with its Page 3 girl - tits! - and I always thought: no shame? There are serious women in pantyhose on the trains. But The Sun is Britain's #1 daily so what did I know then (and now)? My favourite commute, BTW, several years later from Lauderdale Mansions (Maida Vale) to eZoka's offices, a strait shot from W9 boarding a route-master on Maida Vale Avenue to the Edgware Road (once a Roman thruway) to Nutford Place. This strange area, a few blocks north of Hyde Park's speaker's corner, most Arab. London perhaps Europe's most accommodating city and the Edgware Road where the wealthy Middle East comes during their summer when temperatures 35-degrees C or higher. From June to August it is also 24/7 and young people and men smoke hookahs, spilling onto the busy street from restaurants like Abu Zaad, Patogh and Beirut Express. Sonnet and I once had Friday dates at Lebanese Fatoush where I ate raw, spiced lamb and tabouli. These are good memories if not always the best times.

"I tried many times before, but not managed it because of the trains or injuring my knee."
--Geoff Marshall on setting the Tube record