Monday, 17 November 2008

One City Road, The City


Last week I had a completely non-descript meal in One City Road, a new bar/brasserie place catering for the business lunch crowd just off Finsbury Square. Like the dutiful little blogger I am, I started off taking pictures and making notes of the atmosphere and service and I made sure I recorded any details that would help in the later review. Then, halfway through a bog standard Rueben sandwich and chips, I made the decision that I would not, in fact, write this meal up. Not because the experience was so dispiriting and soulless that it would depress me too much to write about it - in fact the service was rather charming and the chips were quite nice. But it was the conversation I was having with my chum over my salt beef and rye that made my mind up. We were talking about the US election.


It turns out that we had both stayed up until the early hours of the morning, flicking between the coverage on various channels, increasingly addicted to the numbers and percentages, rumours and results. The evening played out like a euphoric symphony, starting slowly with some teasing exit polls and predictable safe states, the melody building through crucial swing wins like Pennsylvania and Virginia to the final climactic announcements around 2am, accompanied by sweeping shots of cheering multitudes in Illinois and Times Square, the crashing of cymbals and a full horn section (metaphorically speaking).


I wasn't awake for the Grant Park speech, but caught much of it the next morning. Gracious and sincere, flanked by his family and before an ecstatic crowd of close to a quarter of a million, it was a genuinely world-changing moment. And to those who will say that the reality of the Obama presidency will surely struggle to live up to the expectation his soaring rhetoric has created, well you may be right. But just for now, and for as long as this moment lasts, his victory has united the entire world in the hope that things may just be on the up.


Then, a couple of days later, I went for a Rueben sandwich on City Road. It was OK. But who cares? Barack Obama is the President of the United States.

5/10

9 comments:

eatlikeagirl.com said...

So true! Great post :-)

Niamh

helen said...

yay Obama! Even though the reuben is one of my fave sarnies, I will let you off for Obama. I didn't stay up to watch it but I wish I had now, feel like I missed out!

Loving Annie said...

His soaring rhetoric isn't going to be backed up by the actions he is going to take. The economy is already in bad shape and his popularity-driven policies with regard to taxation for corporations, etc. are short-sighted and will ufortunately make things worse...

maya said...

Maybe he wont live up to all his rhetoric (but really, what polititian ever has?) but it was an historic day and it was such a relief after the last 8 years. Yeah, Obama!

Matt said...

Hmm, that's generous. I'll give him a 2/10 until he actually does something.
This is all rather eerily familiar - people acted like this when Labour got in here, and then look what happened...

Gavin said...

Oh so true Chris, managed to stay awake 'till about 3 then was (literally) kicked awake by the wife to watch the Obama speech. Wept like a baby. Hope to God he doesn't bugger it up.

Oh, and by the way, One City Road is rubbish.

MikeTheWaiterDotCom said...

and we in the states are thrilled as well...though I have long been involved in republican politics, the cheney/bush presidency is such a failure that I and many, many other republicans voted for obama... now if we can just halt the right wing hate machine for a few minutes and realize it's going to be a great presidency. not just for the USA, but for the WHOLE WORLD!
nice post
Happy holidays from Indiana, USA
mtw

MikeTheWaiterDotCom said...

and just a word to loving annie...the repubs have controlled the congress for 14 of the last 16 years... we've had bush for 8 years ... and now hank paulson, the treasury secretary, is passing out another trillion to his friends on wall street... yes, they are making it as hard as possible for the next president.
mtw

Caroline said...

re Loving Annie.
It's amazing that someone can be so certain someone will fail before they have even begun. Yes the economy is already in bad shape due to a really poor republican presidency amongst other things. Obama gives us all hope that with a change in tactic things can get better, I fail to see how anything could be as bad as another 8 years of Bush.
Why not wait and see what happens before you form such an opinion.