This is the first in a series of "Local Legends" shout-outs, which we hope will spread awareness of some of the good things our community is doing. Whether it's making a tasty sandwich, running amazing volunteer opportunities or putting on interesting events, we'd like to start shouting out the great local businesses, organisations and people that make Hackney (and beyond!) an exciting place to be. Got someone/something/somewhere that we just HAVE to get the word out about? Ping us an email: email@example.com.
1. The Hive
The Hive is a wonderful community space that is located just around the corner from Passing Clouds up by the canal on Kingsland Road. They've received a hugely positive response since opening, partly due to the acute need for creative space around here, and also because of their accessibility. They urge you to come down "anytime" and get involved with your own ideas for talks, performances, workshops, or indeed whatever you've got in mind. Being a 'ReSpace' project means that they have a legal contract with the developer to use the building for the good of the community, and with all the unused buildings languishing around London these days it's truly amazing to see one actually being used in such a beneficial way.
Another reason that we're so head over heels for the Hive is because we are coming together to pioneer a magical late night alcohol-free lounge! The Love Lounge kicks off this Saturday, and promises to deliver conscious superfoods, psychedelic projections, cosmic screenings, jam sessions, loving interactions and a whole lot more. We plan to run this every weekend, beginning this Saturday from 2-7am - come enter the Love Lounge and FEEL THE LOVE!!!
This first list wouldn't be complete without a shout-out to our beloved Arthur's, where we regularly indulge in one of London's best made and best value cheese salad sandwiches. Arthur's is a true gem of Hackney and something of an East London institution, having been open for over 80 years. The man himself is in his late 80's, and gets up at ONE IN THE MORNING to begin prepping for breakfast, which begins at 7am when they open!
With all the trendy hipster cafes serving 'deconstructed quail's egg on a bed of artisan pak choi with truffle shavings', it's reassuring to know that we can always count on Arthur and his grandson James to make us a solid cheese sambo when we need one. Keep it quiet though - nothing worse than coming over to find that they've run out of granary baps, sniff.
3. About the Bike
About the Bike is the kind of bike shop where you can just pop in and ask a few questions without feeling like a complete twat who knows nothing about cycling! Located on Dalston Lane, just by Ridley Road Market, About the Bike is staffed by lovely people like Stuart and Ben, who will go out of their way to help you without making you feel like you need to spend oodles of money.
Their specialty is bike repair, but they also offer a full bike cleaning service with an environmentally friendly cleaning machine - winning!
4. Dalston Eastern Curve Garden
The Dalston Eastern Curve Garden is a completely unexpected oasis of calm, right by Dalston Junction. When you need to take a moment and escape from the city madness, step into this beautiful green space and enjoy a coffee, or simply sit and take it all in. They offer an impressive selection of community events including activities for children and gardening opportunities. Trust us - this place is absolute bliss!
At the moment they're also running Woodburner there each Tuesday (£4 entry) which showcases an eclectic range of top class musicians. Chilling there on an autumn evening whilst enjoying music and pizza from their stone bake oven is a little slice of heaven! They're always looking for volunteers too, so get down there on a Saturday morning to help them out, or sign up on their website.
5. Save The Date Cafe
Where to begin - the food is awesome, they're helping combat food waste and it's Pay As You Feel!!!! Save The Date is a waste food cafe just by the Arcola theatre. They intercept food headed for the landfill and make it into something scrumptious which they serve up for lunch.
They're closing soon for a couple of weeks to make a warmer eating area for winter and do a few renovations, but do check out their website where you can offer to volunteer! A whopping 61% of the food that goes to landfill in the UK is actually edible, so grassroots projects like this are so important in the fight against food waste. Get involved!
Love and blessings,
Passing Clouds xxxx