Sunday, 21 June 2009

Exit from Paradise

Another lovely London weekend, rounded off by a trot down the canal for a couple of miles to Paradise Gardens. This was a 'truly detestable summer festival', as Edwyn Collins would unfairly describe it, held at Victoria Park, Hackney.

Hackney is getting increasingly difficult to pigeon-hole, forming now a stimulating cocktail of dippy hippies, old school cockneys, new style stabbists and latte-sippers (I appear in the day tripper class of the last category).

A warm and sunny afternoon was enlivened by excellent blues from Big Joe Louis, an old-style steam fair, a 'bounding horse' balloon (as our eldest termed it), and enough rich food to make you feel truly sick (candy floss, burger, chocolate crepe, 99s, ham and cheese crepe, bacon bap).

We enjoyed ourselves tremendously not least because we felt so safe. There were plenty of large fire exit signs positioned about the place - the green and white statutory ones perched on top of scaffolding - so we always knew where to run if a huge inferno had engulfed that bit of the park with the festival in it.

However, one of these giant erections (pictured below) puzzled us somewhat. It was situated slap bang in the middle of the park, meaning it wasn't clear where you were exiting to. Perhaps it was sitting above a hole in the space-time continuum and you'd be whisked away to, say, Stepney or Florida.



7 comments:

Gadjo Dilo said...

Ah, Hackney - fairly hard to categorise even 20 years ago, as I recall. Squatters and many ethnic groups also made up the cocktail. I liked it - but then I day tripped there from Tottenham :-)

Brit said...

I rather like that sign - it's somehow profound and moving.

(PS. Ragbag is coming along nicely - am enjoying it)

Gaw said...

Gadj:talking of Tottenham to Hackney, I'm sure you'd agree that the bit of the A10 which runs from Tottenham southwards and ends up as Kingsland Rd in Shoreditch is one of London's most interesting roads. I think you could do a great radio documentary just walking up it and chatting with the habitues of this great cross-section of the world: Orthodox Jews, various African nations, Turks, Kurds, Poles, Russians, Vietnamese, Afghans, etc. One day...

Brit: thanks mate. Without wishing to get too mutually complimentary, it was the wonderful Think of England that first made me realise what fun you could have with a blog.

worm said...

liking the word 'stabbists'

unfortunately these days the lower end of the kingsland road is becoming one big new media wankfest of stupid haircuts and grown men dressed like children playing on their iphones, with the occasional vietnamese restaurant inbetween.

signed
a disgruntled ex-shoreditch dweller :)

Gaw said...

Still, the Vietnamese food is still worth the detour (Song Que my favourite). On the subject of twatification, I went down Brick Lane a couple of months ago for the first time in years. Everyone there who wasn't Bangladeshi seemed to either be making a film or acting as if they were starring in one.

worm said...

haha song que is my fav too - I eat there about every 6 weeks or so! I particularly like the trip to the toilets downstairs....

Brit said...

Gawd bless you, Gaw.