Leicester Square, Tube, London
Originally uploaded by greenwood100.
If you've been keeping up with the blog over the last couple of weeks, you'll know that I am directionally-challenged. And you'll also appreciate what kind of understatement that last sentence was. Tonight though, I really feel like I turned a corner. The right corner.
I set off from work with the intention of going to see "Shrek 3D" at the cinema in Leicester Square, about 15 minutes walk from my office, and I wanted to walk through Covent Garden to get there. In itself this was a very ambitious agenda for me, but I was determined to get it right.
Turning off Aldwych into Drury Lane (with no sign of The Muffin Man), I turned left at Long Acre and sensibly bypassed the crowds of the Covent Garden piazza in favour of the nearby fashion shops and cafes. No less crowded of course, but much more window shopping variety - particularly for somebody in desperate need of some new leather ballet flats.
At this point I turned left into Upper St Martin's Lane, knowing that Leicester Square and the cinema was somewhere around there. I dodged pamphlet wavers, and some woman that wanted me to save the children/rainforests/lemurs/whatever, and tried to look like I knew where I was going.
Shock of shocks, I actually turned the right way at the traffic lights and voila - Leicester Square proper, and the cinema facing right out onto it. Genius! Sadly the session of "Shrek 3D" that I wanted to see was almost sold out, so I decided to go another time. I wandered down a couple of cobbled side streets, not really walking anywhere in particular - just looking to explore the immediate surrounds and see what diversions I could find there.
In the distance I saw Gaby's Cafe which I had only just been reading about on the Time Out London website. It's such a dive place, but it's a NY-style Jewish deli and its food got a great review. Sure I was eating dinner alone - and before 6pm - but I figured that my chances of finding the cafe again were pretty slim, so I had to seize the moment. I was not disappointed at all. I chose the falafel which are home made and came jam-packed into a pita pocket with salad and loads of hummus slathered on top. Washed down with a Diet Coke, it made for a very satisfying, cheap and cheerful meal.
From Leicester Square station I took the Northern Line south to Waterloo (where Napoleon did surrender). Switching to my train home, I spent the commute trying really hard not to marvel at my good fortunes, lest I jinx myself good and proper.
Let's just hope that this successful adventure is the sign of really good things to come.