My Journals come in all sorts of colours. Folio no. 1 is a happy kelly green with gold stamped lettering. It remains my favourite one because it was my first one, and contains in its pages my first visits to Africa and the Middle East. Folio no. 2 is Schiaparelli pink with silver gilt. Folio no. 3 is a wonderfully unctuous jet black stamped with ‘blah blah blah’ in gold. Folio no. 4 is curt Navy stamped in gold gilt emblazoned with ‘To be Frank’. I start each journal by monograming the frontispiece, some residual habit from primary school. I don’t feel I can properly start any journal or notebook without first writing my name and it’s purported purpose.
Edinburgh, United Kingdom
The honest truth is I don’t know what the nightlife is actually like in Edinburgh, for the simple reason that when we would go out we would take over the entire venue, so it was more like a series of private nightclub events than actually being in a nightclub with the locals. That being said, I still think El Barrio is my favourite. It’s a bit seedy, which I think is a necessary for a club, but the predominately LA expat DJ’s changed it up a bit each time, sometimes they would favour hip-hop, sometimes latin pop, sometimes just American pop. It was a good place to bust out some dance moves. I was sad to hear that they shut down the Rose Street Annex but Hanover Street is still going strong.
We are somewhere on the border between Morocco and Algeria, this is our last stop on the Moroccan side before we reach Merzouga and join the Toureg party that has agreed to take us across the border into the Sahara desert for a couple of days. I later learn how unsafe this is but at the moment I am only concerned with the carpets, Mr. Abdel Fadel-Abd Razzak is showing us in his home. I wind up purchasing a small black sheep’s wool carpet with Berber motifs, the field is black and the decorative elements are abstract symbols in hot pink, baby blue, yellow, and white. I recognize the Berber symbol for mountain a couple of times and sky. It’s a mess of a rug but there’s something about it that oddly appeals to me. I have no idea what I am going to do with it, but I want it. I know I’ll regret it if I don’t get it, although the carpet I really want is the buttercup yellow camel hair for 400 euros I don’t have, for a space I also don’t have. My parents don’t need a new carpet, and besides their carpets are all antique Persian and Turkish, infinitely superior examples of craftsmanship. And yet, my clumsy little black rug which now lives in my closet and primary functions as a napping spot for my puppy makes me infinitely happy every time I see it.
There are places you love, for me Paris is one of those places and it started with the words, ‘in an old house in Paris covered in vines, lived 12 little girls in two straight lines…’ Paris was one of the first places outside the U.S that I travelled to, and my sense of awe is no less diminished now that I’ve lost count of how many times I’ve been there than it was that first time. On this occasion I was meeting two friends for dinner on a Tuesday night. They had called me drunk, crying with laughter a couple of days ago from Madrid to say that they had found Fat-Ari around the Porta de Sol and to tell me how excited they were that we would all be in Paris together, Where should we have dinner on the first night? We picked girly and Chi-Chi Asian fusion at Kong, the glass rooftop conservatory located near Ponte Neuf. The restaurant bills itself as ‘audacieux, inédit, spectaculaire’ so I wore the highest pair of black boots I own (Michele Perry, 6’ heel), leather pants, a silver lamé blouse and the gold chain-link I pilfered from my friend’s handbag. The restaurant is famous for its Louis XVI ghost chairs emblazoned with Geishas and Models. At night the restaurant feels like you are hovering over Paris. We managed to get our friend to try Beef Carpaccio for the first time and she liked it.
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