London 2016, Odds & Ends

With so much action on the Brexit front, I’ve spent precious little time talking about my actual visit to London.  Here’s an effort to make up for that a bit.

First off, my flat.  I’m staying on Hoxton Street, N1, in Shoreditch, a tragically hip district tucked between Bethnal Green to the east, Finsbury on the west and a mile north of The City, the traditional center of London.  The flat itself is on the second storey, overlooking Hoxton Market, which is in the second hour of getting setup, having started shortly after 5am.  There is a terrace out the back, and the whole compound feels quite Mediterranean.  Here are views off of the back terrace:

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Across the street is St. Leonard’s Hospital complex, dating to 1863, and the old Unicorn pub, which now has a Papa John’s incongruously installed on the ground floor.  The shop front is filled with motor scooters for deliveries, which seems odd, given that the entire street is dotted with more, shall we say, “authentic” pizza places.  There’s also some less traditional shops:

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There’s a bodega, as we would call it, on the ground level of my building, and down the street are a kabob shop (yum, last night), a chicken shack, bakery, a couple of posh caffs, mini-cab stand… the usual.  Behind here is an elementary school, and various housing estates; the somewhat stodgy name for projects.

While not as versatile a location for my traditional habits of excessive theatre and gallery attendance as my usual haunts in Waterloo or even King’s Cross, it is perfectly suited for the purposes of this visit, which is art and friends.  A lives just a mile north of here, in Stoke Newington, and has her studio literally two blocks south east, around the corner from Papa John’s.  Here’s the view out her studio door:

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And here is A surveying her realm:

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Also nearby are The Hundred Years Gallery, a favourite of mine, where I stopped the other day to pick up some previously purchased pieces by Lex Thomas and Owen Oppenheimer:

Lex Thomas - In Search Of An Author, pg 1

Lex Thomas – In Search Of An Author, pg 1

Everything Feels Wrong, Owen Oppenheimer

Everything Feels Wrong, Owen Oppenheimer

And not too far away, down the Regent’s Canal is Vyner Street, once the hotbed of contemporary art in the East End.  This Bethnal Green neighbourhood has more recently seen more and more conversions from galleries to residential and posh office space.  But Degree Art remains.

These are some views from my stroll along the canal:

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Here are some snaps from around Shoreditch:

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This concludes your travelogue.

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