Friday, March 1st 2013
One of the useful functions of Blackberry Messenger is that it enables Tigger and me to meet with precision. This evening, for example, she messaged1 me as she left work and again as her bus, the 153, passed Finsbury Library. On receiving the first message, I gave Freya her evening meal and got myself ready. When the second arrived, I set out for the bus stop, reaching it just as Tigger’s bus pulled up.
The 153 bus stop is beside the new Angel Building. I call it “new” because it replaced an older structure (the skeleton of which was retained) and we watched it being created. For these reasons, it feels new to us but has in fact been open for quite some time. At night, lights set in the pavement come on and I liked the way they illuminated the branches of the tree.
One of the most recent businesses to be installed in the Angel Building is a bar restaurant called Naamyaa Cafe. I knew that Tigger was determined to try it out so we went there this evening. When you enter along an L-shaped passageway, you are greeted by rows of golden Buddhas, each with an arm raised in greeting. The rows continue inside the restaurant running the length of the rear wall.
Naamyaa describes itself as “An all day dining modern Bangkok cafe” and, as I have never been to Bangkok, I will have to take their word for it. We started with jasmin mango tea. This turned out to be as thick as a soup but was quite pleasant. It is served in a glass teapot that helps to keep it warm throughout the meal.
The menu offers snacks, “small plates” and more substantial main dishes, but there is very little choice for vegetarians. We had daikon and shitake noodle soup, followed by Puy lentil and feta salad. Both were quite pleasant, and the soup had a chilli kick to it, but I think they were rather expensive (£8.50 and £7.50, respectively) for what they were. We have at least satisfied our curiosity about the new place.
As we left the cafe, every waiter and waitress said goodbye to us, and there were quite a few. They obviously take customer service seriously but by the end I began to feel as though I were running the gauntlet!
The Angel crossroads is a very busy intersection, even at night. To the left, you go to King’s Cross, St Pancras and Euston; to the right, City Road leads to the City, as its name suggests; straight ahead is the road that carries traffic to the north; and behind us, along St John Street, is the old Priory of St John, home of the Knights Hospitallers whose modern descendant is the St John Ambulance. Along this road also, live cattle were once driven for sale and slaughter at Smithfield Market.
We found darkness and light haze in Pentonville Road. There are often tailbacks here as vehicles queue for their turn for a green light to cross the junction. In the daytime, it merely looks untidy but at night, the lights add a touch of poetry and romance.
1I know that message is a noun strictly speaking, but it is increasingly used as a verb in the context of communications.