Have just received a couple of emails about local events… and thanks to Tired of London Tired of Life for this pic, which I sort of borrowed, hope that’s OK.
Those who oppose the 44 million pounds (sorry my pound sign is nowhere to be found on keyboard) may want to join Hackney Unites for just one pound a month. They have produced a tabloid newspaper which, if you live on the east end of Graham Road, was delivered by yours truly, promoting the national demonstration against the cuts that will be taking place on 26 March.
As part of their contribution to making that event a success they will be holding a meeting from 7 to 8.30pm, on Tuesday 20 March in the basement room of Café Mostra (86 Stoke Newington High Street, N16 7PA).
Hackney Unites is also supporting an initiative to make Hackney into a recognised ‘Borough of Sanctuary’, welcoming those fleeing violence and persecution in their own countries.
Sign the petition online: http://www.cityofsanctuary.org/hackney/pledge
And for those who live or play around the Lea Valley Park, have a look at the Lea Valley Federation website at leavalleyfederation.org. They have just published details of new developments planned for the area, and will be holding a meeting on Tuesday night (March 15) at 7.30 at the Round Chapel Schoolroom, Powerscroft Road, E5 to discuss the future of the park.
The problem with many deeply fashionable cafes is that they are so busy being deeply fashionable that the concept of serving decent food with a bit of grace seems to escape them entirely. And you sort of feel a bit wary about visiting them (well, I do, anyway) because your glasses might fog up, or you might bash into someone important with the wheel of your graceless pram, or you might annoy the person serving by interrupting their conversation because you want to be….well, served.
So, thinking this was going to be another one of those cafes, I hadn’t dared venture into the Railroad until I was in exactly the right mood. And the first thing that happened when I did (even before my glasses fogged up) was the nice man behind the counter helped me with my pram.
The Railroad is a cafe/restaurant; it also sells books and has music and poetry nights. According to a glowing Time Out review it used to be two venues, a barbershop and a Nigerian wine bar.
The menu is short but seasonal – Yorkshire rhubarb with yogurt for breakfast, or fried eggs with sumac, and Vietnamese sandwiches, along with a few other more traditional things such as slow-cooked shin of beef with red wine and thyme (have a look here). Although I only had a piece of rhubarb tart and a mug of tea I could tell that the people here know their food – not only was the tart fresh and tangy with lemon zest, the tea was strong and hot and made with care. It’s these little details that impress. Not to mention the fact that on the way out the nice man behind the counter helped me with my pram again.
The other day I had one of those staring-out-the-car-window drives when East London seems to unfold like a one-shot movie. At the Cat and Mutton pub at Broadway Market two men stumbled into the sunshine, and one climbed into a waiting cab and passed out. The cabbie, realising he possibly wasn’t going to get paid by this bloke, asked his friend to settle the fare in advance. His friend opened his wallet, pulled out a thick wad of notes and flung a twenty in the general direction of the cabbie before staggering back to the bar and his next drink.
The next scene was further down the road, where fifteen or so young, hooded black kids were lined up on the low wall of an estate, listening intently to an older white bloke giving a rallying speech. His voice was raised, his arms were waving and he had their undivided attention. I don’t know East London’s gangs well enough to know which one this was, but I’ve been thinking about gangs a lot this week, since the shooting of sixteen-year-old Agnes Sina-Inakoju in a takeaway shop in Hoxton. This is a terrible way to die, and you can’t begin to imagine the effect on her family – her mother was quoted as saying ‘I wasn’t there for her’, but how could she predict such a thing would happen? Continue reading
The Hackney Post reports that a 25-year-old by the name of Vicky Simister is launching an anti-harassment campaign in Hackney, after being ‘tailed by cars or having comments made about me, and I’ve even been assaulted a couple of times’.
She has spoken to Hackney Police about the issue, but has received a ‘mixed response’, saying many people seem to think it’s just part of life.
Her campaign website can be found here: http://www.lashcampaign.org
A builder in Hackney Road has been quoted as saying, ‘Some people need to lighten up’ but it will be interesting to see how much support the campaign gets – and it’s worth noting that builders have lifted their game in recent years, anyway, thanks to the Considerate Construction Scheme.
Personally I think she’s a brave woman – campaigns like these seem to bring all the misogynists out of from under their slimy rocks – and I hope it takes off. Continue reading
During Open House a couple of weekends ago we noticed that the nearby Haggerston estate, which looked like it was being vacated for eventual demolition, had photos on some of the windows. And then just yesterday I noticed an article in the Guardian about the idea behind it – as we guessed they are portraits of the residents who have lived there.
This weekend was London Open House, which is when you get a chance to sniff around some of the city’s buildings, and see for yourself what makes them special. I have gone past Adelaide Wharf on Queensbridge Road numerous times, sometimes in the company of two architects who never fail to comment on it – its bold use of colour, the balconies, the wood, the ‘lack of dual aspect flats’, the many prizes its won and its general stylishness compared to most residential developments currently going up in London. Continue reading
Buen Ayre in Broadway Market is quite the red-blooded experience. The waiters are full of vim – no obsequious, waif-like simpering here. And from the moment you book, it’s made clear that you are very lucky to get a table. I went in recently to ask for an 8pm table. and was told Not possible. 7pm or 9pm only. Continue reading