where other broken people go

Still not finished with these sketches from London! A few weeks ago, I went out early on the Saturday morning before Christmas with my nephew anthony for a sketchcrawl around the narrow and interesting streets of Soho. It was perfect sketching weather, not too cold; did I mention that it never rained the entire time I was back in London? The entire time? In December?

in the middle of soho square

It’s true. Back when I visited in Summer, it rained on every single day. I was actually preparing for rain-soaked sketching. “On a rainy night in Soho,” that might have been the title. It wasn’t even cold. So we began in Soho Square, and I did the picture above. Weekend before Christmas, steps away from the busiest shopping street in Britain, and it was calm, not busy. I grew to love Soho years ago, I learnt all its alleys and short cuts, appreciated all its quirks. In the mid-nineties, the post-club 4am stop was Bar Italia, on Frith Street (it was Italians who brought me there), the only time I ever drank a cappucinno (I am not a coffee drinker), and it hasn’t changed. Pulp sang a song about it once. There it is below, sketched as we sat in Caffe Nero (I always thought it said Caffe Nerd) opposite having soup (I know, I should have gone to Bar Italia rather than a chain cafe, but I wanted to draw the cool place; besides, going there in daylight hours without the echo of heavy music still ringing in my ears just seemed kinda wrong).
bar italia

That clock is wrong by the way. And John Logie Baird used to live there. He probably couldn’t hear the telly for all the noise outside.

Part 2 to come…