From Desk Till Dawn

My mainly music & nerd bird blog

Posts Tagged ‘Dalston

East London Loves. #2

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In April this year I moved to East London. I thought I’d be blogging almost daily as there is always something going on. In truth I’ve been so sidetracked by addictive coffee, wandering down Spitalfields alleys to find old buildings inscribed with Soup Kitchen for the Jewish Poor, discovering art in unexpected places. I started an East London section in June and since then have not updated it, or this blog much in general. Like many great ideas are born from bacon so was this blog post today.

Today, after a kick up the bum from my sister, I woke with a determination to blog. I decided to kickstart my brain by walking down to Dishoom for breakfast. I fell in love with Whisky Sours in their Permit Bar over my birthday and now I have tasted the future…. the Bacon Naan. I could dream of recreating this but it would be pointless, nothing could come close. Bacon with barely a trace of fat with coriander, chilli chutney and a hint of cream cheese with a freshly baked naan enveloping it. Washed down with chai of course.

I walked off breakfast along Redchurch Street, discovering lyrics from The National in street art from My Dog Sighs. And it was that band that carried my feet all the way to Chatsworth Road Market. Not my first visit to the area but the first time I’ve visited the market (think Broadway Market before it went too middle-class). Full of families, smiles and Pearly Kings and Queens sipping tea. My main reason for walking up there was to visit Clapton Craft’s pop-up in the LBJ shop. I can’t wait until they have a permanent home as the service was exceptional and choice staggering, I went for Elderflower Mikkeller and it’s taking all my will power not to crack open a bottle as I’m typing. Craft beer is my new safe drunk, pain seems lesser in the morning. I swear by it.

I stopped off at Dalston Eastern Curve Garden before heading back indoors for the afternoon and my walk coming full circle. As beautiful in the winter as it is in full bloom. The minute I walk in there I feel my shoulders physically drop (and that was with a back pack stuffed with second-hand books and bottles of beer). I sat down after my wanderings and took stock at how lucky I am to live here. Not just East London but London itself. Come April I’d have been here a decade and truly not a day goes by when I don’t think this. It can come to me at the most ordinary of times, sharing a smile with a stranger at a bus stop. Or it comes on days like this, when I get lost in places now so familiar to me.

East London Loves. #1

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I suspect this will be the start of a number of fawnings I have over East London since moving a month ago. In anticipation of this I shall mark this as number one.

Aubin

1. My nearest cinema is now The Aubin Cinema in Shoreditch. I got to stretch my legs, sink a beer and nerd out over Star Trek last week. This is independent cinema at its greatest. 3D capabilities, cosy sofa’s and arm chairs draped with cushions and blankets. The attention to detail is above and beyond. They were playing William Shatner’s and Leonard Nimoy’s Spaced Out album as we waited for the film to start. Genius.

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2. You have to love London. Friday it was announced that Canalival was cancelled, Saturday everyone turned up and went for  it anyway. To everyone I came into contact with (hipsters, the fuzz, soaked through to the skin drunks with missing shoes and wet iPhones, all the people who came out this morning to help tidy up the carnage) thank you for being hugely entertaining, happy and hysterical!  If you were there you’ll be smiling through the severe hangovers today I am sure.

street feast

3. Friday nights are swiftly turning into “bunk off work as early as possible and head to Street Feast” nights. My flat mate rightly summed it up as “like having a food Glastonbury right on our doorstep”. I’ve had hot dogs and jerk chicken followed by tiny Tiramisu and stunning ice-creams. The atmosphere is always incredible. People always have huge smiles on their faces when it comes to food and drink. Real joy to feel part of the happiness at the start of a weekend.

jam

4. Last Sunday morning I sat out on my balcony with lemon tea and toasted crumpets slathered in London Borough of Jam, made in Hackney by Lillie. I picked up the Strawberry and Verbena flavour from Leila’s shop of Cambridge Circus. It’s sweeter than any jam I’ve ever tasted. Wish I was as talented as my mum when it comes to making scones.

5. Within moments of moving I felt an overwhelming urge to cut something asymmetrical into my hair. One feels the pressure standing next to Hipster’s at the bus stop. It so happens I ended up going through with it in a place that can’t be disguised (my fringe which has been the same for twenty years) at a place of friendly brilliance. Rockalily’s on Kingsland Road is creative and not once did I hear any inane hairdresser holiday chat. It wasn’t until I watched Star Trek a few days later that I realise this new look has actually turned me Vulcan. I’m embracing it.

Live Long and Prosper.

Sunday Swoon. January 6th. 2013

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1. I cannot recommend a visit to Dennis Severs’ house enough. At 18 Folgate Street in Spitafileds stands a house frozen between 1724 and 1914. While I could bore you with my adoration and excitement of every room from basement to attic part of the wonder was going in blind and uneducated. Don’t read up too much, Dennis Sever intended for us to let the sights, sounds and smells fuel your imagination. I think if I went during each season I would have a different experience each time (so I plan to do so this year). You can book via their website.

2. There’s a ton of new music due out shortly that I’m geeking out over. Starting 2013 off with a new Pulp song produced by LCD Soundsystem’s James Murphy is a start I wasn’t expecting.

3. Life of Pi is one of my favourite books and it’s hard for me to believe I first picked it up 11 years ago, intrigued by the cover. I always get itchy when films do their take on literature. This is visually beautiful, one of those rare films where 3D does add to the overall experience. My only concern is people are going along to look at the animals and missing the spiritual message that is key to Yann Martel’s book.

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4. Voodoo Ray’s on Kingsland Road, Dalston, is officially my number one pizza spot in London (Franco Manca’s held on to its title for a year). Authentic New York pizza by the slice, Brooklyn lager, super friendly service that comes with genuine smiles and a very talented in-house artist who decorates the pizza boxes.

5. I wish I’d had thought to do a Twitter Q&A on The Hobbit when it was released, answers courtesy of my mum who knows everything there is to know about the book. I didn’t realise just how much of a super Tolkien nerd she was even though this would have been one of the fist books she read to all her children. I loved the Lord of the Rings trilogy from Peter Jackson (it’s funny to see how dated it now looks). The Hobbit didn’t disappoint, although no need to pay extra for 3D. Great to see so many English Actors in main roles.

NB: You can tell it’s Christmas blockbuster time at the cinema seeing as I’ve been twice in the space of two weeks. That’s nearly half the amount of times I went during the whole of 2012.

Peeking In London’s Knickers

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I’ve always called London sexy. Yesterday, thanks to Open House I got to take a peek in her knickers.

It was the first time I’ve made it along to this annual event. I was forewarned that my day would spend a lot of walking and a lot of queuing. Undeterred I shrugged this off. I have legs so the walking is easy peasy, and I am British so queuing politely was bred into me before I was a fully formed embryo. Yesterday I headed to East London where my Dad was born and raised.

In Dalston I mildly offended an architect by not spending over an hour in his house, but he made me take my shoes off and I had a hole in my tights. Also, I like my homes cluttered and lived in. This particular home felt a bit to clinical for my personal tastes. I then spent a blissful hour in Dalston Eastern Curve Garden and found myself plotting how I could stay there forever, unnoticed and left to my own devices but with the occasional visitor. The team behind creating a garden on an abandoned railway are growing a Pizza garden and have built a clay oven to bake the ingredients in once harvested. As I walked to the end of the garden I saw that it backed on to a Matalan. It made me hope that for every awful shop popping up there will always be people on this planet connected with nature, creating little gardens for people to enjoy in peace.

From Dalston I walked down to Shoreditch and finally got close to a sight that’s fascinated me since moving to London. The painted tube carriages that look like they’re precariously balanced on top of a wall make up the Village Underground, an artists community. Sitting in an old Jubilee Line carriage looking across the city felt like I’d been let in on a secret location to cherish.

By now my feet were protesting but I shrugged off their pleas to sit down and eat cupcakes and/or drink cider. In honour of a recent blog post I visited Christchurch Spitalfields, immediately felt guilty about taking photos in a church but did get to witness a bell ringing demonstration which was geekily fascinating. They even let me tug a bell rope (insert your own Carry-On joke here). My final Open House visit was Spitalfields charnel house where I became transfixed on an archeologist called Jane. Listening to her paint a picture of the medieval bone house gave me that same fascinated feeling I got as a child visiting the National History Museum for the first time. That feeling of learning something brand new and at the same time feeling so, so tiny.

Annoyingly my Open House plans were cut short when I had to admit the cold I’d been pretending was in my imagination was actually in my immune system after all. But I still got so much from the day and can’t recommend it enough. It’s impossible to visit all the locations I wanted to nosey in, but it gave me some great inspiration for future days out in London.

I feel I’m due a career change and think maybe there’s a calling for a bell ringing archeologist that lives in an old tube carriage and grows their own vegetables.

Photo’s of my Open House experience can be found on my Flickr

Written by Anon PA

September 18, 2011 at 12:03 pm