Monday, 6 August 2012

The Wick

On Friday, we all woke up with the news that the London Pleasure Gardens had gone into administration, most probably caused by the big fiasco after cancelling Bloc for yet unclarified reasons (major Health and Safety issues). Shame, because I attended the premature opening the last day of June and I had a blast (most probably because it was the first sunny day of the summer up to that date. In my opinion, the place had potential, and therefore, I decided to design my own t-shirt to mourn the loss, as a thoughtful memory of the place.

The amount of effort put on my tribute t-shirt needed to be compensated with a fair amount of street food and new discoveries around the food, so I forced my friends C and K to Dalston at night, to the highly recommended Street Feast now in Dalston (didn't like it in Shoreditch and didn't tried it when in Camden). Shame that I have no evidence of the murder, but our Rib meat roll was famous on Friday amonst the visitors and acted as an improvised PR for the stall ('The Ribman'). In the twilight of the night, before heading to the parking lot where the market was placed, we, very insightfully, managed to discovered a quite tempting roof terrace. After digesting the 'celebrity' sandwich, we run curious to said building for a sneak peak: and it was totally worth it.

The Print House Gallery in Dalston opens its doors for us to enjoy their roof top, called by them Roof Park. Nice views.

But the hightlight of the weekend was undoubtedly the plan for Saturday. Bravely, K and I decided to adventure ourselves to the far East, where no-one has gone before -lie; it is actually near the Olympic site- (I just enjoy saying it)

Suggested by Le Cool London and apparently sponsored by Fiji Water, the Artesian Wanders (summer edition, because the Winter one, wanders -haha- around Southbank -saves for later-), has its starting point at Hackney Wick. A mere one station away from the, now crowded, Olympic Site but yet unexplored, it is an area surrounded by green and warehouses. Still industrial. The first thing I noticed was a Christiaan Nagel's mushroom (looks like the guy has been very busy lately, for my enjoyment), which certified that I was in the right place, and unprecedented clean streets compared to mine. Oh wow - I thought to my self-, while looking at the map finding the first landmark to find.

A shroom from Christiaan Nagel acting as a Northern Star in our route...

It was there really, hidden between some now up-cycled warehouses, in Prince Edward St turned into studios, the very appealing Hackney Pearl, that unfortunately I was not hungry enough to try and next to it, SEE Studio, hosting a very interesting exhibition about how the locals from the Wick lived the Olympic constructions. Also, thousands of copies of THE WICK paper, created, edited and printed by them, and of which I saved a copy to carefully study at home.

We found a giant shed with a cool exhibition right next to the Pearl. I forgot to ask the guy about his name. Shame on me. Gnosis by RSH, in Wallis Rd.

A quick visit to Imperial & Standard and then we managed to head to the (now I know it's famous) White Post Lane.

First thing to notice: the walls decorated with what looked to me like traditional brand logos from early XX century. After doing my homework and researching more about it, I was actually not far from the truth: It was a regeration project by the arty Bread Collective, to pay some sort of tribute to what Hackney Wick used to be: terribly industrial landmark, house of famous or less famous British manufacturers of some sort (and also land of post-war debri). The result was a really impressive street painted with those logos from the old times from brands (I strongly recommend the reading about each individual one in their blog) most probably are still in the memories of a lot of people. The project is called The Walls Have Ears, and is the sort of thing I really enjoy finding more things about. I think it is a great idea and the execution was brilliant (you gotta love a bit of colour and typography in your street).

And when you least expect it... boom... An unseen CityzenKane

The corner on the opposite side of the road, advertised a cafe called Electric Matchbox but unfortunately, a guy, closed the fence behind us (leaving the door opened) and that and the fact that it look dead from the basement made us walk back to the main street. Had potential though. I had a funny feeling that those stairs could take us to a nice roof top or something like that.

Is somebody in there?

But then we headed towards a sign that announced The Yard but couln't find it very easily (we didn't put much effort on it, must admit), but by looking to our right side, towards the canal, we noticed a big White Building (actually called so).

I toof Hackney Wick and a map of the area + Fish Island (they were included as posters on the last edition of The Wick - just put it on my living room, because I'm THAT cool -). It is a very nice map, though.

Just found it funny. Looked nothing but funny, the place. (**Update. I just Googled the place. I am not going to link it)

It was actually at that moment, when we decided to stop for a bit and take a look at the views of the canal. A dark grey cloud was constantly threatening us, but we couldn't miss the opportunity of sitting al fresco. We were immediately tempted by the incredible smell of freshly made pizza coming from the building. What it actually was: The Crate, a microbrewery slash pizzeria by the canal. 

So we sat in an empty communal table and waited for our Sage and truffled potato pizza (would have never tried the combo myself) and drank the house cider while philosophising about our lives. It was ten minutes after, probably halfway though the pizza and the idea of leaving it all and moving to a warehouse, when the graphite-grey cloud rained on our parade. Literally. Nevertheless, the day was still too beautiful, so we all run inside to keep sharing our tables until the shower was over.

Cyclops, Mighty Mo, Gold Peg and Sweet Toof

The mighty pizza...

Cool lamps. Old dodgy mattress springs and wire.

And we went back to the route

At that point, really overlooking then Olympic site (I refuse to put ANOTHER picture of the Stadium), I managed to find more of my street art heroes in less than 3 meters around, just in a very humble corner in the middle of Hackney Wick.


Another CityzenKane

I think I read somewhere that this was of the most earliest Stik in East London. Should I call it Vintage Stik?

A bit of Kinska, that I though I had lost her. But there she was...

And we kept walking the canal up to Victoria Park. 

And the rest is history...

I ended up on Sunday hunting for Tropical Clusters around Shoredtich, but that's another story.

1 comment:

  1. Hi Banana,

    I work at the 1963 Gallery Space and wanted to ask if we can use your photo of Christiaan Nagel's mushroom? As we are organising his next exhibition in December and would like to use this picture. Please let me know if this is possible, you can contact me directly on

    Thank you!