99 Essex Road
A wonderful place where a sewer can spend an enjoyable hour carefully choosing the bits and pieces for a planned project. The shop operate over two floors and incorporate a coffee/sandwich bar on the ground floor with space for sewing classes and events below in the basement.
A small whiskered dog
perched on a woman’s lap
who’s beautiful, from the side,
and I’m reminded of my grandmother,
of children racing toy cars on the curb
in a humble afternoon,
in a hundred wheels recurring tandem,
on tiled tarmac boxes lie, sentenced, in order,
and I’m handed a song from a boy in the story
as he steps from the car in a thousand postures,
and whispers: “I came only to observe that child place
a hand upon her father’s face”,
yet no one else saw, no one did see,
but where’re they all going,
down to the sea? The canal,
where dark water sits, sometimes it speaks
listening to the ring of the hand-held stone
it pours on, inscrutably,
along seasons of the vine
plastic is carried along with the wind,
hobbling home in wafts, in a song, in a dream;
the whiskered dog nod’s to it’s mistress
and they pay and they leave
for to take a stroll by the murmuring waters.
Jonathan, The Breakfast Club owner:
A number of reasons. It's authentic, and still retains that 'real' London feel. Look around and the big brands seemed to have stayed away (I can't for example tell you where the nearest Starbucks is). It's allowed little independents like ourselves a chance to develop and try different things. The variety of shops, restaurants and bars in the area are fantastic, all doing something a little different from the run of the mill. This attracts a type of customer, both those that work here to those that live or chose to come to Hackney on a night out. They're our type of customers, people who want to try something a little different.
Our first cafe was in Soho another hot bed of creative types and they seemed to like us straight away for the same reasons stated above, they're more likely to try something different. The funny thing is we see so many faces from our early days in Soho because a lot of creative companies have moved out from Soho to Hoxton and Shoreditch.
Katharine, The Lemon Monkey owner.
I like Hackney and it's people because it offers great variety in terms of culture and types of people, democraphics. I don't feel in a box. I've always lived in this part of London and so familiarity is also an important part. Hackney has a strong creative element, a fresh and rebellious energy along side a cultural history that's grounding. It is also an area that has been evolving and changing making it exciting. Their's a bit of an edge which keeps it vital and interesting.
I chose Hackney for my business because of the above. I have a place Lemon Monkey, which is eclectic and versatile in that we are a shop, a deli, a cafe, a venue for music, poetry, art gallery, parties.. We sell great food as well as cooking implements, cookbooks, consequently with all of this we appeal to a lot of different types of people and of all ages. I've always lived in Hackney it's good to have a business is a milieu that I know well.
I'm having trouble thinking of funny stories that don't have an element which may be embarrasing and alluding to customers that may recognize themselves or aspects of the business that could be missunderstood. We do definately have some local colour though with some pretty entertaining moments ranging from blaten theivery of entire rounds of Cumin Gouda, to half a dozen packs of smoked fish, (theives need their protein and usually some good champagne with which to wash it all down!), to drunken bravadery of Italian sport car racing, to annoucements of French president's arrival for lunch at Lemon Monkey......Speaking of monkeys, they've been cried over, washed, thrown, hanged, tied up and of course, loved enormously. You know there's a cupboard full of monkeys!!!
I do live locally. I live in Hackney though not currently in Stoke Newington. I used to, and now I'm in Clapton which I really like. I walk to work through Hackney Downs and it's super.