I lived in Manhattan in 1992, when the Rodney King verdict was handed down in LA and the riots began.  The university was shut down and everyone was told to go home; the streets were echoed with the sounds of shop-keepers slamming down their store gates and barricading their windows. The entire city shut down and we waited…

And nothing happened. Or at least, nothing even remotely similar to what happened in LA.

Tuesday’s papers were full of stories about rioting that began in response to a police shooting (extraordinarily rare in England).  Most of the rioting–as is so often the case–stayed confined to poorer neighborhoods but the fear rippled outwards to where we are staying, near Portobello Road.  As I walked home Tuesday evening, the usually bustling area of Notting Hill was eerily quiet: fewer cars on the streets and shops boarded up.

This pub usually throngs with people. Last night, it was closed.

We leave for Abu Dhabi on Friday. Funny to think of a destination in the Middle East as…stable.