Street food is more than just a tasty morsel eaten on the run. It's great food plus the thrill of the hunt ... It's the absolute bliss of realizing you've reached the corner of Broadway and 17th just as the Wafels & Dinges truck has pulled up. If you think 'bliss' is laying it on a bit thick, this is because you have not had a dessert waffleHungry in London? we recommend Daddy Donkey Mexican Grill Gotham Girl is back The world teems with street food. Cities like Bangkok, Jaffa, Rio de Janeiro and Mexico City have street food cultures so expansive, so bursting with variety, and so colorful, it's hard to find the words. Therefore, I won't. Besides, that is not my brief. I'm here to look at how New York and London stack up when viewed through the 'street food culture' lens. And honestly? They aren't. Yes, both offer food you can eat on the street so technically speaking, they both have street food but here the similarity ends. NYC's street food scene is out on the street, on the move, and now a sizzling presence online. It's evolving so fast that it's hard to keep up. One day it was just hot dogs in front of midtown office buildings or tourist traps. Suddenly, Mexican food abounded at the Red Hook Ball Fields. Next thing you know, we're grabbing everything from waffles to dumplings to sopapillas from carts, trucks - even kitted-out bicycles - in almost any neighborhood in town. London's street food scene is built around the market stalls and in places where those stalls have traditionally always been found. I'm not saying that you couldn't grab something fast and extremely yummy during a stroll through London's markets. Just that in order to find something fast and yummy to eat on that stroll, you may need a market. That's fine with me. I love those markets. We don't have as many well-established or robust ones in the U.S. as you have elsewhere in the world and except for a handful of them, we don't do them as well. Luckily, NYC has the excellent Union Square Green Market, which is always a treat. Therefore, it's not surprising that I often make time on my trips to get over to at least one or two London markets. I will now commit tourism sacrilege. I don't particularly care for Portobello. I was neither overwhelmed nor under-whelmed. I was merely whelmed – by the market generally and by the food stalls there. I told you – sacrilege. On the other hand, I have very fond memories of a savory crepe-type thing enjoyed at Borough Market and a notably delicious falafel during a Sunday wander around Brick Lane. So, kudos on the market stalls for their culinary creations. Let us also acknowledge that there are some food carts in London but they seem to offer mostly roasted nuts, hot dogs and an occasional ice cream. Anything else is a notable exception. Speaking of notable exceptions, I have read about a "burrito mobile" called Daddy Donkey, found mostly in and about Leather Lane Market. They claim authentic Mexican cuisine. Has anyone tried it? I don't care as much about its authenticity as much as whether it tastes any good. I'd be interested to hear – because the further away I got from Texas in my life, the sadder and sadder the Mexican food offerings seem to get. Continue reading London Street Food
When Moctezuma ate, four beautiful women would appear to wash his hands before passing him a bowl of foaming chocolateVisit the Aztec Exhibition at The British Museum [free entry when you join as a member] Of course, it was a tragedy. Never in history has there been such a clash of civilisations. Never has there been a conflict as unfair as the fight between the Aztecs and the Spanish conquistadors, and it is hard not to see Moctezuma as the victim. What hope did he have against the Castilian aggressors, with their greed, their trickery and their superior military technology? He stands for every glorious and primitive monarch who has ever been overwhelmed by the white man. He is like Boudicca, crushed by the legions; or Cetewayo, his impis mown down by the Maxim gun; or Sitting Bull, his braves slaughtered by the US cavalry – except Moctezuma was far more glorious and more tragic than them all. When Moctezuma ate, four beautiful women would appear to wash his hands before passing him a bowl of foaming chocolate. When Moctezuma received visitors, they were obliged to enter barefoot and dressed in sacking, and to avert their eyes so religiously that no one was even sure what he looked like. When the king wanted to hunt, birds were discreetly ushered past his palace window, so that he could have a pop at them with his blowpipe. When Moctezuma pricked his ears with a needle, his people seriously believed that the trickle of blood would help the crops to grow. Adorned with gold and the feathers of tropical birds, he ruled the most powerful and opulent civilisation of the Americas. He was the elected and unchallenged master of a city of 200,000, a place of ancient temples and fantastic statuary, set dreamlike on an island in a vast lake fringed by snow-capped volcanoes. So when, in 1519, he looked into his black polished obsidian mirror and saw – so it was said later – strange men riding on deer, he was completely unprepared for the shock that fate had in store. Continue reading The Aztec Empire of Central America
The axe will fall on the Western Extension Zone
You may have heard the scurrilous rumour that I have reneged on my promise to remove the Western Extension of the congestion charge.I am blogging about this now to tell you that is emphatically not true. When I was elected, I promised to give Londoners the consultation they never got. Londoners expressed the overwhelming view that it should be removed, and I promised to honour that judgement. I maintain that promise today, and to make it absolutely crystal clear; we will be removing the Western Extension next year. We have to jump through a number of tedious bureaucratic hoops before the axe can fall, but fall it will. The extended zone will be no more. It will be an ex-zone, the area formerly known as. It will be a dead zone! Find Boris and more Conservative news here
Cuts! We're gonna have cuts! All three parties are now engaged in a competitive slash-fest. David Cameron was the first to level with the public, pointing out that the state of public finances made retrenchment inevitable. After weeks of weedy wibbling about efficiencies and economies, Gordon Brown has at last allowed the Old English word to pass his lips – short, sharp and honest. And now dear Nick Clegg has staggered wild-eyed before us, waving his chainsaw above his head and demanding "deep and savage" cuts in spending.
Comment from Boris Johnson: Whose jobs could we do without? ... the legions of officials whose responsibilities have been generated by the cascade of bad law from Whitehall and Brussels and all the other officals whose non-job is to service them
Latest announcement: Mayor of London Boris Johnson and New York Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg today announced a two-year tourism agreement between New York City and London to boost travel between the two cities. The cities will provide each other with outdoor media advertising space and NYC & Company and Visit London – their respective tourism arms – will share best practices as a way to maximise travel between the two destinations and will assist each other with at least one publicity event in each city.London is the best city in the world to do business, the Mayor of London Boris Johnson told influential New York companies today. The Mayor had the privilege of ringing both the opening bell at NASDAQ and the closing bell at the New York Stock Exchange, as he called on high tech and cutting-edge American industries to locate in London, the top global destination for digital innovation. The Mayor is in New York to champion 'London'. In a series of financial services and business meetings today, he encouraged New Yorkers to remember the greatness of the past, and to now prove to the world that both New York and London are as confident as ever of their dominant position in the world. The Mayor outlined his vision of making London the business capital of the world, by creating a global centre for excellence across a range of sectors including high-tech, medical services and creative industries. He told audiences that embracing digital innovation is important for businesses on both sides of the Atlantic as they prepare for economic recovery, emphasising that London’s digital landscape makes it the top place to be. With events such as the London Olympic and Paralympic Games around the corner there has never been a better time or a greater opportunity for businesses to build and showcase their digital capabilities in London. The Mayor said: “The New York markets house some of the most impressively dynamic companies in the world and is where they go to take innovation and growth to the next level – the same is true for London. Our capital is at a turning point, with opportunities to use its energy, dynamism and diversity to excel as a world beating global city. Never before has the timing been more right for American companies to locate here. “We have an extraordinary talent in London to develop high tech and hugely creative industries. I want to build on that reputation to ensure we lead the pack, creating new technologies. In the coming years, London will set the benchmark for successful, sustainable and prosperous large world cities and American companies should have one of the lead roles in this.” Continue reading Boris Promotes London Tourism in America
There is a pitiful comparison with Westminster ...the laws of this country are no longer determined by Parliament at WestminsterComment from Boris: "Cor, I thought. This is what it must be like to be in one of those films. You nod off for 10 minutes and you wake up in 200 years' time. We had just pitched up at the Gare du Midi in Brussels and the transformation was incredible. It was 20 years ago that this paper despatched me to the Belgian capital to be its Common Market Correspondent, and in those days the Gare du Midi was a wonderfully dingy place with feral cats and trod-on chips and Turkish taxi drivers snoozing in their battered Mercs and trains departing slowly for First World War destinations like Poperinge. "Now the future had arrived. A vast space-age Eurostar terminal loured over the ancient quartier, and as we headed into the heart of Euroville I couldn't believe my eyes. Poor old Brussels took a terrible pasting in the Fifties, when ruthless British developers moved in and razed so many lovely maisons de maître, whacking up anonymous office blocks in their place. That was nothing to the destruction now taking place in the name of Europe." Continue reading The Power of the Euro-parliament and Brussels