Two weeks ago I moved house. I have resisted the migratory flow that has brought a lot of friends to the deep south and stayed north of the river. Because I am a creature of habit and old inside, I have also stayed in the East, where I lived for my entire expat life. It goes without saying that I took another walk on Memory Lane and reminisced all the different spots I lived in.
So first there was Bethnal Green. The place was a rather scruffy flat in an ex-council house, but it was close to all the main amenities of East London: Brick Lane remained our main Sunday plan for a good three months, not to mention the infinite curries we ate every time we had a friend visiting from Italy!
After that came Bow: Roman Road Market could not compete with Brick Lane but Victoria Park was literally a 60 seconds walk from my door, which turned out to be really handy when the hottest summer in England since alongtimeago hit the country and I had, in order of importance, no holidays planned till September and a dissertation to write.
I stayed there for a year but then the mould chased me away and I landed in Dalston, where I slowly accepted my inner hipster (all the pretty coffee shops!) but also fell in love with the Afro-Caribbean vibe and with Visions Video Bar. In fact, the perfect weekend combo combines writing in a coffee shop, hiphop dancing at Vision, more coffee the next morning and take out jerk chicken to eat myself out of the hangover.
I moved out of hipsterland in October and squatted my friend’s place in Clapton for three months, but those were the My Little Sous-Chef months so there wasn’t that much time left for exploring. Because hipsters are colonising the area, I allowed myself a little bit of coffee-shop exploring and got quite distressed when I was told that on weekends there was a no-laptop policy until 2pm.
Now I’m in De Beauvoir Town and we already have a local coffee shop that is still laptop-friendly, furniture coming from Ikea and plans of spending all our summer evenings on the canal. If summer ever comes, because it’s still February and, on top of that, this is Leap year!