Saturday 26th January 2019

Ed’s Easy Diner owner converts its original Soho spot to Slim Chickens!

London’s restaurant scene is constantly in churn – with new restaurants replacing old. That’s the nature of the beast. But even we admit to being a bit surprised at our emotional reaction to the news yesterday that Soho classic Ed’s Easy Diner was no more.

The American diner on the corner of Old Compton Street and Moor Street has been taken over by another American import – Slim Chickens.

The diner first opened its doors back in 1987 when it was genuinely an exciting London opening. The neon sign, the retro diner fittings were all a big deal. And for almost 20 years that was it for owner Barry Margolis – there was slow growth with the opening of two more restaurants in London. But after Margolis’s death the business was put into trust and eventually sold to a company which did the now-traditional thing of trying to take the chain national. It boomed to almost 60 restaurants before crashing into administration.

Upon The Top Of Ben Nevis

John Keats

Read me a lesson, Muse, and speak it loud
Upon the top of Nevis, blind in mist!
I look into the chasms, and a shroud
Vapourous doth hide them, — just so much I wist
Mankind do know of hell; I look o’erhead,
And there is sullen mist, — even so much
Mankind can tell of heaven; mist is spread
Before the earth, beneath me, — even such,
Even so vague is man’s sight of himself!
Here are the craggy stones beneath my feet,–
Thus much I know that, a poor witless elf,
I tread on them, — that all my eye doth meet
Is mist and crag, not only on this height,
But in the world of thought and mental might!

rr

Staffa

John Keats

Not Aladdin magian
Ever such a work began;
Not the wizard of the Dee
Ever such a dream could see;
Not St. John, in Patmos’ Isle,
In the passion of his toil,
When he saw the churches seven,
Golden aisl’d, built up in heaven,
Gaz’d at such a rugged wonder.
As I stood its roofing under
Lo! I saw one sleeping there,
On the marble cold and bare.
While the surges wash’d his feet,
And his garments white did beat.
Drench’d about the sombre rocks,
On his neck his well-grown locks,
Lifted dry above the main,
Were upon the curl again.
‘What is this? and what art thou?’
Whisper’d I, and touch’d his brow;
‘What art thou? and what is this?’
Whisper’d I, and strove to kiss
The spirit’s hand, to wake his eyes;
Up he started in a trice:
‘I am Lycidas,’ said he,
‘Fam’d in funeral minstrely!
This was architectur’d thus
By the great Oceanus!–
Here his mighty waters play
Hollow organs all the day;
Here by turns his dolphins all,
Finny palmers great and small,
Come to pay devotion due–
Each a mouth of pearls must strew.
Many a mortal of these days,
Dares to pass our sacred ways,
Dares to touch audaciously
This Cathedral of the Sea!
I have been the pontiff-priest
Where the waters never rest,
Where a fledgy sea-bird choir
Soars for ever; holy fire
I have hid from mortal man;
Proteus is my Sacristan.
But the dulled eye of mortal
Hath pass’d beyond the rocky portal;
So for ever will I leave
Such a taint, and soon unweave
All the magic of the place.’
* * * * * *
So saying, with a Spirit’s glance
He dived!

La Belle Dame sans Merci

(The beautiful lady without mercy)

John Keats

“O WHAT can ail thee, knight-at-arms,
Alone and palely loitering?
The sedge has wither’d from the lake,
And no birds sing.

“O what can ail thee, knight-at-arms!
So haggard and so woe-begone?
The squirrel’s granary is full,
And the harvest’s done.

“I see a lily on thy brow
With anguish moist and fever-dew.
And on thy cheeks a fading rose
Fast withereth too.”

“I met a lady in the meads,
Full beautiful – a faery’s child,
Her hair was long, her foot was light,
And her eyes were wild.

“I made a garland for her head,
And bracelets too, and fragrant zone;
She look’d at me as she did love,
And made sweet moan.

“I set her on my pacing steed,
And nothing else saw all day long;
For sidelong would she bend, and sing
A faery’s song.

“She found me roots of relish sweet,
And honey wild and manna-dew;
And sure in language strange she said,
‘I love thee true.’

“She took me to her elfin grot,
And there she wept and sigh’d full sore;
And there I shut her wild, wild eyes
With kisses four.

“And there she lullèd me asleep,
And there I dream’d – ah! woe betide!
The latest dream I ever dream’d
On the cold hill’s side.

“I saw pale kings and princes too,
Pale warriors, death-pale were they all:
They cried, ‘La belle Dame sans Merci
Hath thee in thrall!’

“I saw their starved lips in the gloam
With horrid warning gapèd wide,
And I awoke and found me here
On the cold hill’s side.

“And this is why I sojourn here
Alone and palely loitering,
Though the sedge is wither’d from the lake,
And no birds sing.”

 

 

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