The sound of an alarm clock blaring rudely into your eardrum at 5:45am on a cold Wednesday winter morning is not something that anyone would find particularly enjoyable, especially when the sun hasn’t even awoke yet. But, once a month, 100’s of people across London are doing this. Not because they need to get up for work. Not because they have to, necessarily, but- for fun. “Why on earth would anyone get up at that unholy hour for fun?” I hear you cry. Well, if you make your way to Oval Space in Bethnal Green along with the myriad other early birds you’ll see why.
We’re in the midst of a very serious global crisis. Countless men, women, and children are fleeing war-torn countries. Countries that they used to call home- leaving behind loved ones and all their worldly possessions, with many attempting to reach asylum in the UK. They’ve had to leave well-paid, highly-skilled jobs, and can now no longer provide for their families.
Imagine arriving in a foreign country, not being accustomed to the culture or knowing the language. And that degree that you worked so hard to get? It’s now obsolete. It’s a very real problem that many refugees arriving in the UK are faced with, and a problem that Mursal Hedayat hopes to tackle.
The modern world in which we live is becoming increasingly full on, particularly here in London. Faced with skyrocketing rent and with the everyday cost of living forever on the up, we work hard and play harder. Left with no time to truly unwind and relax, more of us than ever are realising that we need to redress this imbalance and take better care of our mental health and well being.
London’s nightlife scene is dying a (not so) slow and painful death. Countless clubs have fallen prey to greedy developers, leaving a gaping hole in our nighttime economy and our cultural heart. Plastic People, Cable, Shapes, iCan Studios, Fabric, and Passing Clouds are a handful of the most recent closures, which are preceded by a slew of others.
Think of Walthamstow and you’ll conjure up a juxtaposition of images. The slightly rundown aesthetic of Hoe Street, set alongside the fanciful, tree-lined streets of the village. A village complete with overpriced Spar and antique furniture shop (because nothing says gentrified East London like an overpriced Spar and antique furniture shop). Take a little walk down a side street next to that village and that little blue dot on your iPhone map should take you down an alleyway overlooked by rows of Victorian houses. You’ll eventually come to a yard. The yard houses both a brewery and a gin distillery. Delicious. Also housed in this yard is something quite remarkable.
We first meet Melodie Tyrer in her cosy Leyton home; all vintage furnishings, white, rustic wooden floors, and lush green plants dotted about the living space. The whole place has a homely, earthy feel to it. As she cooks up a vegan breakfast- a medley of scrambled tofu, grilled aubergine, avocado, and a dollop of delicious homemade carrot chutney (which we later procure a jar of)- we have a nose around. It’s definitely the home of someone who is environmentally conscious. From the alkaline water filter with mineral stones, and separate bins for food waste and recycling. To the vegetable patch in the garden, and the adopted street cat wandering in and out of the kitchen.
Written by Michele Kirsch
Unless you’ve been living in a parallel universe where Russell Brand has selective mutism, you’re likely to have heard about his social enterprise, the Trew Era Cafe. Trew Era is a coffee shop staffed mainly by those in recovery from drug or alcohol addiction. When I found out about it I thought “oh, hurrah. Breaking down stigma and barriers. Here’s a job I can do”. Not only because I’ve had barista training in a similar scheme, but also because I am a drug user in recovery. I also thought “we’ll be rubbish. We can’t organise our lives. Though we could probably organise a piss up in a brewery, except we can’t go near breweries, or pubs. Or in my particular case, pharmacies.
We chat to Ryan Seville, founder and member of the new work space in Hackney
For many a creative in East London, freelancing is the preferable way to work and earn a living. Gone are the days of sitting on your backside in an office full of people who you’d ordinarily avoid like the plague. Freelancing means you get to work on your terms. No big bad boss breathing down your neck, no office politics, no passive aggressive notes left by colleagues on the communal fridge, and, most of the time, the freedom to work on a variety of projects. It’s a no-brainer right?
We chat to Astral Lynx about the Brick Lane Psych Fest, and the highs and lows of life as modern day musicians.
The psychedelic genre has seen something of a comeback in recent years, thanks to the likes of Tame Impala, Unknown Mortal Orchestra, and The War On Drugs bringing the sounds of the 60s and 70s to the mainstream. Add to that the slew of psychedelia-based festivals such as Cosmosis in Manchester and The Liverpool Psych Fest in, well, Liverpool of course, the cult following of fans clad in a swirling mass of paisley print shirts and crushed velvet flares, and you’ve pretty much got yourself a movement. Continue Reading…
Organic, local, wheat free, vegetarian. There are so many expectations that customers demand from restaurants these days in order to ensure they are getting the best of the ingredients and products sold but what if one of these desirables was ‘humanitarian’. Enter, Mrs My Le, owner of a 3 strong Vietnamese restaurant group, Mien Tay, and a fully-fledged philanthropist. Since opening her first restaurant in 2008, Mrs My Le has donated up to 40% of her profits (approx. £250k) to people, families and organisations back in Vietnam who are in greater need of money than she is. Mrs My Le’s humble and definitive view is that she would rather a child eat than her having a glamorous house in London.