SW9 Bar, Brixton, London   Leave a comment

Pub #2047:

We were meeting a guy in Brixton and were early. I did a bit of food shopping (the market is a wonderland of Caribbean and South Asian treats and everything is reasonably cheap and mostly decent quality). Done with that and still early, we repaired to the SW9 Bar for a beverage.

 

The food here looked grand and the Sunday roasts were only £10. But, we were mostly just here to talk with this like-minded individual so drinks only it was. Jackie put in our order to the waitress whose accent had already toggled my “home girl” alarm. “Where are you from?” she asked Jackie. Turns out, she’s from Virginia Beach and has family in Chattanooga and Atlanta. Small world. She was also pleased to hear that we have been here the lion’s share of 10 years; “at least I know I can keep my accent.”

The music was pretty cool. I noticed one jazz cover of some pop tune early on but, when the drinks arrived, there was a Samba version of “Poker Face” (which sounded a lot cooler than this description).

Our new friend showed up and we had a jolly but short conversation as he had double booked some other business. I spent the rest of the stop chatting to the Irish husband of our Virginia waitress about hurling and Gaelic football. Nice bar.

 

this picture linked to the StreetView at https://tinyurl.com/yd78zwm3

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Posted January 15, 2018 by Drunken Bunny in Pubs

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Metropolitan Line Completed (with bits of other lines), TfL Run Project   Leave a comment

 

I finished two more lines on the TfL Run Project Sunday, large sections of some others, and some wee bits of three more.  This is about the 2nd to be completed, the Metropolitan Line, and some of the other lines that overlapped after the District/Hammersmith & City  and, before that, the Central Line sections that occurred earlier.

 

Aldgate

 

This was the most complicated section so far since lines that don’t share rails or stations in sequence with each other do, after all, have their stations in the right order for themselves intercalated into the path I was taking. That is, they all had entrances on the same street so I decided these were clean kills even if they were collateral casualties. More after King’s Cross.

 

 

 

 

In addition to the Metropolitan, the Circle Line picked up at Aldgate.

 

 

 

Liverpool Street was finally found after some blocked alleys and footpaths sent me off my map printouts.

 

 

Liverpool Street

 

At Liverpool Street, the Hammersmith & City Line rejoined the trail.

 

 

 

Much more construction around the market area led me on a search for identifiable bits of Moorgate and Barbican Stations.

 

 

Moorgate

Barbican

 

Farringdon Station was easier and looks marvelous when you don’t have to mind traffic or pedestrians.

 

Farringdon

 

Finally, there was King’s Cross’ Crackhead Entrance, which appears to be out of use at present.

 

King’s Cross

 

I added the Northern and Victoria Lines…

 

 

 

 

…at King’s Cross St Pancras (same station but the part most people would think of):

 

 

King’s Cross/St Pancras

 

This is where life gets complicated. The next station down the road is Euston followed closely by Euston Square. The Northern and Victoria Lines stop at Euston while Metropolitan, Circle, and H&C all stop at Euston Square:.

 

Euston

 

Euston Square

 

The BT tower used to be a dominant feature here. Now, it is a nice, 60’s relic that pops up from time-to-time. I can relate to that.

 

 

 

At Warren Street, I wave goodbye to the Vic and Northern Lines.

 

 

Warren Street

 

The next station on my main journey is Great Portland Street but just a hundred meters or so up the road is Regents Park Station which has the Bakerloo Line meeting the remaining 3 at Baker Street Station.

 

Great Portland Street

 

Regents Park

 

 

Baker Street

 

 

Not only was that exciting, but it made real progress on the overall system map.

 

 

 

West Ham to Aldgate East, District/Hammersmith & City, TfL Run Project   2 comments

West Ham

I finished two more lines on the TfL Run Project Sunday, large sections of some others, and some wee bits of three more.  This one picks up where the Central Line finished at Stratford and leads into the completion of the Metropolitan Line with a trot along the DLR (earlier segments) to West Ham to commence this section’s effort.

 

 

From there, I had an uninterrupted trot down the District and Hammersmith & City Lines to Aldgate East:

 

 

Dunno why, but gas storage facilities make me happy:

 

 

Not really sure why there is a whale fashioned from plastic waste securely behind a fence in a privately policed and patrolled industrial estate:

 

Bromley-by-Bow station is wrapped like a parcel:

 

Bromley-by-Bow

 

Love may not enter this street.  We are watching you.

 

 

It was a mite nippy in the early morning gloom, but the streets weren’t crowded until the last station or two.  A fairly pleasant jog from Bow Road to Aldgate East via Mile End, Stepney Green, and Whitechapel rounded out this section of the run.  From there, it was only a few dozen meters to Aldgate to start on the Metropolitan line section of the days runs (write-up soon).

 

Bow Road

Mile End

Stepney Green

Whitechapel

Aldgate East

 

After all of Sunday’s runs, here is the system map:

 

The Metropolitan, Westbourne Park, London   Leave a comment

 

Pub #2046:

At the end of the run Friday, the Metropolitan was a welcome sight (although this last leg of the run was only about ¼ mile from The Italian Job).  I was cold and my shirts were soaked with sweat and I just wanted a drink.  The bartender stared at me as I made my way to the ale taps then finished one guy’s order took the orders of the next three people to step up.  Eventually, she wandered my way.

“I didn’t see you there.  So sorry.” I ordered a Truman’s and found a seat near the bar.  If invisible, I reckoned, I could just strip down here and dig out my dry kit to change into right there.  And, I was right.  In a bar full of children, anyone older than 30 is a ghost.

 

 

Posted January 15, 2018 by Drunken Bunny in Pubs

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Central Line Completed, TfL Run Project   2 comments

 

I finished two more lines on the TfL Run Project Sunday, large sections of some others, and some wee bits of three more.  The first to get attention — and completed– was the Central Line.  This started at Bank Station after taking the first train out of Ruislip, arriving about 7:25 in the morning:

 

Bank

Emerging in the dawn’s early light, I had no bearings at all.  While taking in the street names to decide which way was right, I came across a number of monuments I haven’t noticed before in daylight.

 

 

Liverpool Street, Bethnal Green, and Mile End Stations saw the nonexistent sunrise as the skies turned from black to ashen grey (worst sort of Winter day…cold, damp, overcast, more than a light breeze):

 

Liverpool Street

Bethnal Green

Mile End

 

Approaching the end, one of the least attractive relics of the 2012 Olympics imposed itself:

 

 

Then, Stratford emerged and the Central Line was history.  The day was still young, though, and I continued the run down to Mile End to clear off some other segments on the District and Hammersmith & City Lines…

 

Stratford

 

Relegated to the archives, the entire Central Line:

 

The system map at the end of Sunday:

 

 

Posted January 14, 2018 by Drunken Bunny in Running

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The Italian Job, Ladbroke Grove, London   3 comments

 

Pub #2045:

Confronted as I was with The Italian Job‘s long line of taps mostly serving IPA or American-styled pils, I finally spotted some Five Points Brewery Railway Porter…result!

The chatty barman poured half my pint then set it aside before giving me a tedious and unnecessary (and unrequested) lecture on how dissolved CO2 works.  At one point, he suggested that if you are careful with the pour then stick a knife in the glass, bubbles will form.  “That’s because the imperfections at the edges of the knife act as nucleation points,” I tried to say but he interrupted to continue, waving his hands around frantically.

Eventually the pint was finished.  I never got a chance to ask why someone might WANT to plunge a knife into a beer; nor could I find an opening in his endless stream to tell him to put a sock in it.

So, he’s eager and excited and this was not at all what I expected a pub to be like here.

Other denizens of the pub included several 25-35 year old, thin, white fellows with beards.  Hipsters.  I should have known from the taps.  I am de-pressed.

 

Posted January 13, 2018 by Drunken Bunny in Pubs

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Hammersmith to Westbourne Park, Hammersmith & City Line, TfL Run Project   1 comment

 

Actually, this section of the TfL Run Project also includes the flagellum from the Circle Line, but it isn’t on my master map of the Circle Line, just my (more accurate) system map.  So, I haven’t updated the Circle Line (only) map.  Speaking of maps, I started the run at the Oxford Tube coach stop for Shepherd’s Bush:

 

 

I hoped to crowbar some meaning into the New Year balloon trapped in the tree on the approach to the bus stop, but I guess it has to be enough that, for garbage, it is kind of pretty.

 

 

Vandals are missing a trick in Hammersmith.  Spray paint an “O” here and you have “OMFG House.”

 

 

Just over a mile from the start, I picked up my first station, Hammersmith.  I like the H&C/Circle terminus better than the Piccadilly/District station across the road:

 

Hammersmith Station

Goldhawk Road

Next was Goldhawk Road and mostly a walk through the still somewhat busy Shepherd’s Bush Market to the eponymous station on the far end:

 

 

Shepherd’s Bush Market

 

Next to fall was Wood Lane but here I had to change my planned route due to construction blocking pedestrian access.

Wood Lane

 

Finally making it to Latimer Road, I hoped to make up some time with a pedestrian pathway to Ladbroke Grove only to find it barricaded.  What the fuck?

 

Latimer Road

 

Now dark, I decided to cut the planned run (which would’ve included some of the Bakerloo and Overground) down to just the final two stations.

 

Ladbroke Grove

 

Between Ladbroke Grove and Westbourne Park, I found two lovely but painfully youth/hipster/middle-class oriented pubs: The Italian Job in Ladbroke Grove and The Metropolitan almost next to Westbourne Park Station (write-ups to follow).

 

 

Abridged though it was, this seemed a successful journey.  At this point, much of the Hammersmith & City Line that remains to do overlaps other lines, so this should clear up quickly:

Today’s segments can be found in sectors D3 and C3 of the System Map, below:

 

 

 

Posted January 13, 2018 by Drunken Bunny in Running

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