Happy Chinese New Year of the Snake. Snake! It’s not Rat, so there’s that.
We absolutely intended to head to the super fun, exciting parade ending in Chinatown and then the all-day festivities in Trafalgar Square. I have actually wanted to go every year we lived here and this year we finally decided to do it and even stepped outside the house with good intentions. Plus, I knew a trip to Chinatown meant I could stock up on packaged ramen.
But the weather was so dreadful – so rainy, cold and raw – we decided instead to go to John Lewis were the kids could at least play with some toys Made in China. According to Bryan.
At least Melissa took the kids to Chinatown the other day and today we had family dim sum dinner at Royal China. It’s kind of an institution and I can’t believe it took us this long to go. Nothing like waiting until their busiest day of the year.
Otherwise the past few days have had a coincidental starring-actors-of-Wreck-It Ralph theme. Matt was able to get tickets to see John Reilly and Friends Thursday night – a beautiful acoustic show in the lovely St-Giles-in-the-Fields church in Soho comprising John C Reilly and his two band mates covering old bluegrass and country songs.
They are all incredibly talented and the show was produced by the very cool Black Cab Sessions, so check out John Reilly and Friends on it:
Then Saturday day we went to a 4 year-old birthday party and we got the little girl a toy with Vanellope (voiced by Sarah Silverman) on it.
Then Saturday night we went with the Trumbells to see Sarah Silverman at the Bloomsbury Theatre. (Are you catching all these tie-ins with the Disney movie premiere in London?) She definitely killed it, and me. Better than when we saw her early on in our London life. And we weren’t alone in feeling that way. This, from The Times:
She opened with a rape joke and ended by singing a stream of C-words. But in between Sarah Silverman went a good way towards atoning for her last British appearance, a notorious Hammersmith Apollo gig in 2008 at which she performed barely 50 minutes of mostly old material and then reacted with startled petulance when the audience wanted more from her.
I like how she infuses a lot of her off-the-cuff stand-up with actual messages she wants to deliver about feminist and being a strong woman. In a shocking turn of events though, Bryan and I got in not one, but two altercations with strangers at the show. I am never on my guard in London because in so many ways it is the antithesis of New York. There is so little confrontation here generally. The details are not important (also they might all be my fault), but Bryan definitely called a guy a d*ck twice to his face. My baby’s gotta get back to Gotham.
Speaking of the dark city, he was there on business all last week. I said “did it make you excited to move back?” and he said “I forgot how dirty and loud it was.” #cantwait
I may think there is very little confrontation in the UK but that doesn’t mean the pleasantness is all genuine. My brother Josh is trying to upset me and sent me this interesting article about how Pret A Manger (my favorite fast food on Earth) forces behavioral norms on its staff through mystery shopper reviews and a unique bonus scheme. Essentially arguing that “emotional labor” (people being forced as part of their jobs to be incredibly warm and happy towards customers) as a growing trend in the workforce is bad. Wait, what? How about you be fake nice to me and I keep buying your wares, mmmkay. Glad we could settle that.
Finally, America f*ck yeah. Tesco announced several months ago it was dedicating store space to special sections of American products. And now it’s all available on-line. Two Americans forwarded me the email within a 5-second span. It is kind of life changing.