Ed’s Easy Diner, Momentum (Barbican), Beck and romantic cliches

26 Feb

EAT: Ed’s Easy Diner has been knocking around London for years and recently (well, not THAT recently) they’re started to open up diners nationwide. Ed’s is basically a glossy chain version of an all-American diner. They sell, burgers, hot dogs, fries, shakes and you get to eat it sitting in red leather booths, listening to Chuck Berry or selecting what you want to hear from the jukebox. It’s all very 60s.

I went to the Wandsworth diner with my friend and went for the usual – sweet potato fries. I also opted for a sweet potato and bean burger. in hindsight this was too much sweet potato, but I’d never previously thought that possible, so you’ll have to excuse me if you’re not a sweet potato fan (c’mon, as if that’s possible).

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The burger came in a sesame seed bun rather than the standard ‘London’ brioche and despite not being a fan of the sesame bun, it was still soft and not half bad. The sweet potato and bean burger was soft, but didn’t fall apart – it also had a bit of a kick to it, which was nice. The salad suffered a little (it didn’t seem completely fresh) but overall the burger was good. It could definitely have done with more sauce (it comes with a tiny bit of mayo but this doesn’t really add much to the food other than calories).

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The sweet potato fries however were lovely. Some places REALLY get sweet potato fries wrong, but Ed’s were thick but not TOO thick, crispy on the outside and soft inside with a nice salty aftertaste, but not so much as to distract from the sweetness. Again, they may not have been the best fries I’ve ever had, but they’re certainly not bad at all!

All in all, you go to Ed’s first and foremost for the experience and setting, rather than the food. The milkshakes are well worth a visit and the music and decor of the place makes it a novel experience. Service is a little slow but the food is good (not great, just good) and if you’re hungry and you’re passing I’d say head inside and give it a try.

SEE: Momentum is the latest sensory experience, currently on show in the Curve at the Barbican. It’s free and I have no idea what to make of it (whilst at the same time having drawn many conclusions).

Momentum is essentially as described on the Barbican website:

” United Visual Artists invites you to experience Momentum, a carefully choreographed sequence of light, sound and movement, which responds to the unique space of the Curve. Momentum consists of twelve pendulums that activate light and sound as they swing, drawing attention to the Curve’s vast arc, inviting you to journey through the space guided by your heightened senses. Each pendulum has been meticulously designed and built using steel, aluminum, and custom electronics. The sound is individual to each pendulum, prepared and tuned to seamlessly resonate as they move within the Curve.”

You enter the Curve and are met with silence and darkness. As you eyes adjust you’ll see pendulums suspended from the ceiling and moving in both a rhythmic and personalised way – you can’t quite tell if they’re reacting to your movements or set on a loop. Obviously, that’s the point. The way the lights moved and changed made me incredibly self-aware in one sense: I was conscious of my distance from the light, how I sense light and the effect the sound had on the beams I was seeing. As I moved throughout the Curve – sometimes into the path of the lights, sometimes into the shadows – I felt incredibly disoriented. This could in part due to the fact the room feels very claustrophobic, despite making you feel entirely alone in a large space at times.

It’s one of those installations which you have to experience to really understand what I’m getting at. You may well have an entirely different experience from me. Some people may see it as introspective – the darkness forcing certain parts of ourselves to be highlighted. Others may view it as sensory deprivation – others will be simply mesmerised. It’s a free exhibition, so if visiting the Barbican definitely give it a look and let me know how you responded to it!

LISTEN: Beck has released Morning Phase and it’s a bit of a departure from the ground he’s previously trodden. Morning Phase is a far lighter, laid back jaunt compared to some of his previous work. For example, compare ‘Blue Moon’ to a track like ‘Girl’ and you’ve lost the electro element and it’s completely replaced with twee, folky guitars. I’m expecting the intro and jolly mid section to be appearing on a cutesy TV advert any day soon.

Not that this is necessarily a bad thing. The album, overall, is a good listen. It’s relaxing, it’s familiar territory and it’s interesting to see how Beck navigates a well trodden sound. The vocals on tracks like Waking Light are almost ethereal and the pace of the song is slow but other-worldly in places – I felt slightly as if I was waking from a dream (well, ok, I didn’t, but I image if I were in a film and I were waking from a dream, this is the music which would be playing. Make sense?)

Take a listen to Blue Moon below and let me know what you think.

LOVE: There are plenty more fish in the sea. Stop looking, love will find you when you least expect it. There’s someone out there for everyone.

There are plenty of ‘love’ clichés which are used to soften the blow for singletons. At some point everyone has said one; everyone has believed one and everyone has rallied against one.  Some of you may have seen “He’s Just Not That Into You” – the point of the film being sometimes it’s not that the other person lost their phone or is a complete arsehole, but maybe it didn’t work out because they’re just not that into you. It’s a love cliché I can get behind. My friends, however, can’t.

Not only do they not believe it about themselves, they also don’t believe it about me. Bless ’em, but most of my friends are sure I just go on dates with idiots, I have a bad ‘filter’ system and that they’re missing out. Which is nice, but quite frankly, just not true. Sometimes it’s just not right and that’s absolutely no one’s fault. The sooner everyone starts being truthful with themselves the better.

I am a MASSIVE believer of honesty being the best policy. Your actions should match your words – if they don’t, you’re lying to either yourself or others. Not interested in one night stands and you want to find ‘the one’? Then stop having one night stands. Convinced that girl who didn’t get in touch after the first date is just playing a game? She’s probably not – she probably just doesn’t want to see you again.

People seem to find it really hard to be truthful with others (just telling them straight you’re not interested) and themselves (just admitting that they’re not interested in you). I guess it’s a self-preservation thing but it’s still never made sense to me. Games are played on fields, boards and on a games console. Relationships and dating should be fun, hassle-free and therefore honesty is the best policy.

On my dating profile, I state that I dislike ‘games’ and that I’ll answer any question when put to me straight. I stand by that. True, I get a lot of weird questions but I also have some great conversations because guys are especially impressed when I actually tell the truth (aside from the one guy who asked me some pretty hard-hitting questions and he foolishly thought, and I quote, I’d “give a softer girly answer because women never say what’s on their mind”). Pfffft.

This isn’t a rant, it’s just something I hear a lot in passing – people on the tube making excuses, saying they think one thing when they’re actually acting out another… you name it, we’ve all done it at some point. So try this: just tell the truth – to yourself and others. You’ll absolutely thank yourself for it and if others don’t then they need to sort themselves out and you should probably just move on.

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