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Hackney Wick

June 27, 2016

I met with Jack and Ida later that night, joining them for dinner at the place of a friend of theirs who served a fantastic meal of stuffed zucchini with red sauce as dinner table conversation ping-ponged around the upcoming political scene in the United States and the UK (Bernie Sanders, Jeremy Corbyn, the Brexit), an upcoming baby (I’ll say no more), my own trip and general life story (given I was the most unfamiliar face at the table), and the upcoming play we were about to see.

The play, Wishbone, put on by Jack and Ida’s friend Laura, began with four women standing in the room, swaying in sync with one another as the audience took their seats, staring straight ahead of themselves. This scene continued for a while after the lights went down and the audience went silent, until one-by-one the women let out staccato, birdlike cries. The play then began to pass through an bewitching array of curious, primal-feeling scenes, with emotions and wonder on pure display—a woman rubbing a pair of stones together and discussing with deep seriousness the center of the earth; a slow descent of each of the women towards the floor in varied states of incapacitation through anxiety or bodily stress; a heightening, chaining improvisation of places and things “put under other things”; a moving crescendo of worshipful chant around the pair of stones.

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Production art for Wishbone

A fascinating show in good company in a part of London that was full of this kind of interesting art and exploration—Hackney Wick, which immediately reminded me of West Oakland with its gorgeous street art and warehouse aesthetic.

We left for Cambridge later that night. In our hunger along the road I got to experience the diversity of British convenience store snack options, including Nik Naks, a type of puffed fry Jack described as being like fiery hot cheetos (my guilty pleasure snack food back home), though it tasted more like a bland-ish curry, and a bag of chips that was indistinguishable in taste and logo from Lays except for the name, “Walkers”. Other unexplored highlights include shrimp scampi chips and the sheer number of snacks flavored, with no adjectival embellishment, “Bacon”.

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