Peckham wry

Where better to spend a rainy summer’s night than on the top of a multi-storey car park in Peckham. It was my second visit to Frank’s bar, after heading there last month to be the overage representative at a young journalist meet-up, and opening myself up to embarrassment by having spent the day on a protest march and not being a Tory.

It’s a strange place, being as it is something of a posh white kid ghetto in a poor and racially diverse neighbourhood. The McDonald’s across the road is a better bet for overhearing interesting conversation – last night, two old gents were whiling away the evening singing snippets of gorgeous old songs and discussing homelessless – but the lure of concrete was too much to resist.

We followed the car park with a quick trip to four quarters, a video game arcade bar. There we played crystal castles for the first time, in which you guide an ewok-like creature around some hauntingly lovely level designs. The verdict? “Actually, much better than the band.”

There was also time to drop a few quarters on asteroids, still a perfectly designed and addictive game after all these years. It’s a game best experienced in its original game cabinet format: one button to spin clockwise, another to spin anti-clockwise. A button to fire your thrusters, another to fire your laser. And a button to ‘warp’ when in trouble, only to reappear on the screen somewhere even more dangerous. Spin, float, fire, repeat. Absolute bliss – it should be available on the NHS.


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