Notes for week of 9 January, 2023

→ On Friday evening I went with a friend to Dem, a brilliant Turkish restaurant in Crystal Palace. I hadn’t been for a while, and it was great to go back, because the food is always excellent and it’s pretty good value, which explains why it’s always pretty busy in there.

Afterwards, we went in to Joanna’s and sat at the bar and had a cocktail.

Joanna’s is a proper SE19 institution. It’s been there for 45 years, serving up solid, brasserie-style food and drinks from its wood-panelled bar. It’s got a bit of an old-school New York vibe, and you can kind of call yourself a proper Crystal Palace resident if they call you by your name when you go in there.

Then, on Sunday, we found out that Joanna’s was closing. For good.

That Friday night (completely unbeknownst to us) was their last ever service. A post to Instagram cited the “current economic conditions, “ which were “too much for us as a small business to overcome.”

I know this is happening right across London (and the country) right now, but when it happens to ‘your place’ it hits differently. Joanna’s has been there for close to half a century. Black cab drivers know exactly where it is because it features in ‘the knowledge’ (it’s been there that long). And now it’s gone, leaving a big gap in a high-street that was already feeling the pressures of those ‘current economic conditions’.

→ At the start of the week we went to see One Woman Show, at the Ambassdor’s theatre. It is as good and as funny as everyone says it is and Liz Kingsman will undoubtedly be all over the telly in the next 12 months.

→ On Saturday I went to The Plimsoll in Finsbury Park and had a truly out of this world burger and then went to see my friend Matt’s new record shop/old school arcade When Spaceships Appear in Haringay. He’s done an amazing job with the place, so if you’re in the area, go and check it out. Support small, independent businesses!

→ David Ehrlich’s video countdown of the 25 best films of the year finally arrived this week. Best one yet?

→ Some interesting things I’ve read this week:

Steven Soderbergh’s diary of everything (EVERYthing!) he watched and read in 2022.

The Power of Indulging Your Weird, Offbeat Obsessions by Clive Thompson.

Hunting for Truffles Is a Perilous Pursuit, Especially for the Dogs Who Dig from the NY Times.

→ Listening to:

Penny & the Quarters & Friends