And as for the whereabouts of the self-appointed style gurus/beautiful people, just head to High St. Ken and flop your impotent tongue in the gentle smog in the wake of sweeping Sloan stereotypes, waggling their arises and Daddy's credit cards in unison, every deliciously clean-cut Barbour toting man hoping to follow Imran Khan up the Hebrew cabalistic.
Elsewhere? In Camden a.k.a London's Seattle: legions of tight young things preening in obeisance to the ubiquitous Manc Duffers, all slouching like cheap menswear icons to the straight four/four beat of Musical Tedium. Pursuing the grail of Kool through the pages of the NME and championing the most feeble of TRAD rockers through fame/adultery/twilite to the early grave they happily share with the deadened Muse.
You want examples? Jesus, we're only just starting out here. Don't get so impatient, Maaaan. The victims of slavish musical trends are sufficiently known to turn all red-cheeked without prompts from your Man From The UnderGround.
Better to promote the bedraggled few who appear to care sufficiently to pursue their own undoubted inspiration through the hedgerows of anonymity until The Curse of BritPop has passed and died a death at the hands of the Mental Enema Contractors...
There's no confusing some people, as Delicatessen titled their third LP, follows the bewildering disappearance of Hustle Into Bed which, as their guitarist Craig pointed out, truly suffered at the hands of the aforementioned ShitPop and despite being a revelation of sleaze, sex and arcane but Spot-On cultural references, sank beneath retailers' shelves under the godawful 'weight' of the Menswear album. Which even I bought and discarded as jizz tissue.
Anyhows, it looks like the press are finally tired of cocking their ears to the Deli Boyz and a spew of NEXT BIG THING features have already hit newsprint, to be followed by a bundle more if they actually ever manage to release a well-promoted single (the tip-off is PSYCHO on the newie....). And their singer Neil Carlill - so I have it on the blood written testimony of female frenz - IS SEX...
Otherwise the Hip Kids on the streets of Hackney, Soho and selected areas of Islington are getting down in unison and doing the Harlem Shuffle in apelike pantomime, rocking so hard that the roof of the nearby Camden Eiffel Palace literally exploded into love-making shards.
And well too might the Kids, should the Apes reemerge with a new tasty record deal sticking out of their back pockets. Led by Miller, a Scally gospel singer, the Apes plough a juicy furrow between the kickin' monstrous metal groove of DIAMONDS thru the Sunday a.m. on a hilltop jaunt of COUNTRY SUNDAY to the Hard and Blistering Funk of C'MON EVERYBODY DO THE BETHLEHEM SLOUCH, which will have parents worldwide facing a barrage of enquiries from their emulant teens. Their time shall come, brothas/sistas, you better get yer shelter sorted now.....
As for THE UNSOPHISTICATES, little is known; I was told i'd love them EVEN MORE THAN PENTHOUSE (UK band famed for their hard & sleazy sound) but as the Prophets say, Give Me A Brick and I'll Create a CornerStone for Londoners who Know Not What Such A Stone Is. Ignorant bleeders. Their album GUIDO steers irresistibly through eclectic Gallon Drunk fuck'd-with rhythms to torch laments of lovelorn loss, in much the same vein as their equally unlikely contemporaries DAWN OF THE REPLICANTS. Killer, Boss, Killah.
As for the rest, in our rare spare moments, me and the Brothas/Sistas kick back and toast 'London's Only Alternative' radio station Xfm's recent advent - after 5 years of test tranmissions - with as many Big Fat Ones As Possible. then we curse their reliance on the fuckin verve, fuckin oasis, fuckin LL Cool J, ferchrissakes.....Add a comment
In celebration of the Highlands Inn’s luxury accommodations and unique location, the resort has made some exciting improvements, including a renovation project for its guest rooms. Beatrice Girelli is the Principal Designer of Indidesign, the luxury hospitality and high-end commercial interiors designer that is heading the renovation. “Because of the size of the rooms and configuration of the hotel, it was important to provide a cozy residential identity for the guest rooms and suites,” said Girelli.
Taking inspiration from the natural landscape and colors of the area, Indidesign used a palate of light taupe, steel blue accents, and rich browns highlighted with deep caramel tones. The rooms were re-conceptualized with a comfortable contemporary style. Particular attention has been given to the use of renewable, sustainable, and recyclable products. The eco-friendly choices include water efficient faucets and energy efficient lighting, as well as sustainable textiles made of fibers obtained from recycled products.
The resort’s restaurants and lounge have undergone some exciting changes as well. Pascal Castiau, Assistant Food and Beverage Director at Highlands, says the new menus for Pacifics’s Edge and Sunset Lounge feature seasonal, local produce, and are drawing attention. “We’ve created very approachable menus. People used to think that Pacific’s Edge was only for special occasions. Iif the day ends in a “Y” it’s the perfect day to dine here,” said Castiau.
In addition to bringing back house favorites such as the tender 20 oz. Bone-In .Rib Eye, Executive Chef Mark Ayers has included exotic choices such as succulent Monterey Bay Red Abalone with Garlic Flan and Lemon Coulis. The menu also features edible indulgences by Pastry Chef George Fritzsche, kid-friendly portions, and an extensive Under $70 wine list. Sommelier Don Mallery provides choice pairing options for dinner. For a more casual experience, Sunset Lounge is a comfortable spot to grab a mid-afternoon or evening cocktail—perhaps Sunset Lounge’s signature Kiwi Lemon Drop—features a family-friendly menu, and music on Friday and Saturday evenings.
Highlands Inn’s new Resort Manager, Jonathan P. Doepke, has been with Hyatt for eight years, and enjoys Highlands’ unrivaled characteristics. “This is a very unique destination. There is no resort like it, and it’s only getting better.”
It turned out we were in Beijing, but a taxi ride from our hostel, so we had to chose which taxi. They were all harassing us to climb into their taxi, coming up, trying to grab our bags so we'd follow them to their mode of transport. I was scared. There were just loads of men and us three lassies, shivering and looking very naïve. We didn't know if we were about to be brought away and sold as slaves or worse, we were being scammed and going to pay $10 for a $1 taxi ride.
One man, who looked like he'd been sent to get us specifically, stormed over to us in a way that seemed like he had three minutes to bring us to our destination or he'd never see his family again. He offered to bring us for $2 and didn't even wait for an answer as he led the way with my bag. Being on the ball, my friend took a picture of the light-thing on the roof of the taxi. We had proof we were in it, not if we'd been murdered or anything, because then he'd have the camera/evidence, but we felt like we'd be fine because we'd been thinking and were those kind of travellers that were prepared for every eventuality (kind of: we went with no insurance and no malaria tablets).
It was only when he dropped us at our hostel and drove down the small, winding street that we noticed it only said taxi in luminous yellow, devoid of a license, just like the other 2 million taxis in the city, but we were safe and we were in Beijing.
We knocked on the hostel door but here was no room at the inn, but they had a few rooms in their sister hostel down the road, which we were relegated to. We had a freezing cold room with no latches on the window that banged like crazy each night, a shower that took 40 minutes to warm up, and only two single beds for three single girls.
We had previously been put into a room with three single beds but no shower and when we saw the spectacle they called a shower, I was confused - it looked like a basement used for storage with loads of boxes and broken chairs. It was a communal shower, which maybe I could have become accustomed to, but it was unisex. And all the geriatric Chinese and Japanese tourists we'd seen in the corridor would have died of shock if they'd seen three naked western girls with boobs and stuff, as we would have seeing their wrinkly old skin and stuff! Plus, it was a long trek down and it was like a freezer, shockingly cold! I was losing my patience with this country, and frankly, couldn't wait to get the hell out of it and see the city.The next day was incredible! Beijing is one of the craziest cities I have ever been to. There are people just everywhere. They are walking, cycling, in cars and one thing I will never forget... they are always spitting! Even the frail, old women walking along the street hurl a big gob in the back of their throat and lob it anywhere they like, even indoors! It's so rancid that it truly made me start to take a great distaste to the people.
Dirty disciples! I empathise a little in the fact that there a millions of cars and therefore the pollution is rife and it can be hard to breathe but there is no excuse for the constant ejection of saliva. It's unnecessary and more than anything else it's just bad manners!But I wasn't here to see the phlegm of the Chinese, I was there to see their architecture, landscape and their food, so on with the show! The first day we headed to Tian'anmen Square, and I swear it's the size of a small county. It's just colossal. I couldn't get my camera to fit in the whole area no matter how far I stood back. The square was brimming with tour groups.
They all manage to have these red or yellow plain baseball caps and a tour guide flying around like a headless chicken waving a stick in the air. The forty hectare area is protected by Chinese guards - and there are an awful lot of these guards, the reason why there are so many, I concluded, is because it's such a mammoth country that the people have to work doing something, even if that means standing in a huge yard! It is very impressive though, just the sheer size of it.
After Tian'anmen we followed a Japanese tour group with bright yellow caps to The Forbidden City (it's easier to cross the 6 lane roads in a big group). Another titanic building from the Chinese past. In this article I'm trying to mix up the word "big" because everything in China is huge, and the Forbidden City is no exception.
There are 800 buildings and 9000 rooms. That's BIG! It took us two and a half hours to walk through the Forbidden City (so called because the common folk of the day weren't allowed in it). The amount of temples is staggering and mind-blowing, it's so hard to comprehend, even when you're there, that this place is manmade, it seems like too big a feat, that it must be natural!
We did hire commentary tapes (very disappointed when we found out it wasn't Rodger Moore guiding us, but a Chinese woman with poor pronunciation skills) and though it wasn't that memorable I do recall her saying that an Emperor's wife's dinner used to be so gigantic that it could have fed thousands of the starving peasants on the outside of the city - each night! How's that for excess?
China was getting interesting, and a visit to Mao in his freezer was just what we needed to continue this historical tour of Beijing, but we kept missing him because they close the freezer door every Monday morning, so we'd have to forget about Mao. So back to the bars for some beers!Add a comment
Etiquette is a tricky thing. It can make a fool of even the most discerning, well-meant person. You didn’t know the rules for bartering in a market, and now you’re engaged to be married to a peasant’s daughter for the dowry of a lame donkey. Though it may happen; this simple list should enable you to go forth and spread hope amongst the serfs, you western hero!
1) Volume is the key to communication. English is the language of the world and it is your duty to spread it. Make no attempt to learn any local phrases; to be understood you must simply point and shout as loud as you can.
2) The locals will love it if you exclaim over every product and tell them exactly how many of these you could afford to buy right now. Convert everything to your own currency so there can be no doubt. In fact, fuck the local currency. It’s monopoly money anyway; they’ll appreciate your dollars and pounds much more.
3) Inform the locals of their cultural, political, economic and structural errors. You’re right, of course. Set a re- volution in the flavour of your choice in motion, but only if you have time.
4) Don’t tip; the waitresses are not charity cases. They’ve got to learn to make their own way in life.
5) Eat and drink globally. Local delicacies are a conspiracy designed to take your money and leave you beaten and bloody clutching the toilet bowl. If you can’t pronounce it, you don’t want it.
6) Stick to the tourist stuff. If the people are hiding their true culture behind this facade then it’s obviously not worth rooting out anyway.
7) Take pictures of everybody you meet, and some you don’t meet. Your magic flashing box might surprise some people at first, but they’ll be glad to be immortalised in your holiday slide show.
8) Bring as many sanitisation products as is physically possible. You don’t want to end up in a hospital resembling a horror movie as a rough old nurse begins to take saw to limb because you sat down on your hotel toilet seat without a proper inspection.
9) Most important of all, always remember that this hellish ordeal will soon be over and you’ll be swiftly returned to your safe, sane and sanitary motherland, free from the heathens drowning in their mayonnaise, vegetable-based alcohols and cigarette tobacco.
As you’re reading this we can assume it’s too little too late and you have already been subjected to the horrors abound in any country other than your own. Never fear, here’s some advice for your next trip: Fuck that.