all the morass of city life
then 24 hour bagels
I used to live in Hackney, east London, in the late 90s. Coming back from a night out you only really had the night bus in terms of public transport and even that dropped you off a mile or two from your doorstep.
On a Saturday night, I might go out in the West End or Camden for a gig or to get drunk with my mates and unable to afford the taxi fare, would plump for a nice long sit down on the bottom deck of a double-decker as it crawled through the city streets. Each bus stop would mean a wait of a few minutes while the human detritus of a night out would surge or stumble aboard mumbling destinations and fumbling for change, staggering backwards as they did so. The more sober flashing their Travelcards before scooting up the staircase.
It would take an age for the bus to find its direction on the city streets, an age where I could ponder my direction in life, or more soberingly, how long I was going to put up with city life.
After getting off in an Orthodox Jewish neighbourhood I would endure little hassle for the rest of my journey, until I would be drawn to the warmth of the Ridley Road Bagel Bakery, just round the corner from where I lived.
Minutes later I would struggle with my door keys. A piping hot bagel, its bag greased with molten cream cheese ooze, nicely warming the other hand.