After meeting with the lead developer until close to 6, I walk onto Marylebone Street with determined enthusiasm to finally take some time for me -- to enjoy the city.
The discussion was a good one -- scalable infrastructure, common code base, personalization, syndication, global expansion and the benefits of an in-house e-mail management system vs.an ASP model -- but it was time to go.
After splashing some water on my face and brushing my teeth, I head over to Baker Street and buy a one-day Tube pass, which gives me access to London's version of the sardine sandwich. In Boston, people don't appreciate how much space they have on the Green Line during rush hour. This was shoulder rush hour in London -- close to 7 p.m. -- and the Jubilee Line South line was packed.
The sun is easing into the Thames and I'm standing in the wrong line for an Eye ticket. After checking out the length of the correct line, I choose to walk rather than spin.
Big Ben is amazing. Elementary textbook education come to life. It's just there, no matter where you walk. Parliament is obscenely pristine in his regality and glitter, and Big Ben just stands there, a phallic symbol of our youth yet current in its relevance.
After a healthy walk and many pictures, I return to the Tube and re-emerge on Baker Street.
Then I get lucky.
Getti, a wonderful restaurant on Marylebone, has a just-cleared table on the edge of the sidewalk, premium seating on a steamy July evening. My timing is perfect. The maitre d' asks if I'm alone or if anyone will be joining me. Tonight, I'm alone.
And I enjoy grilled swordfish, green beans, warm raisin bread and a glass of Barbera under a tempered street lamp, passersby eying my enviable leisure expression.
Nice to spend some time with you.
But I'm ready to go home.
That's where life and love wait anxiously.