Day 54 of 80 — Hackney

Around London in 80 days

In these uncertain times, I need a lifeline and a horizon so I  have — somewhat arbitrarily I’ll admit — set a date. April 1st will be  my horizon ; my lifeline will be the 80 days separating me from it.
And as I cannot go around the world right now, I give you A Mad Belgian’s “Around London in 80 Days” : eighty impressions of London, eighty stories, places, thoughts from my experience of this wonderfully mad and maddening city.

Day 54: Hackney

In my neighbourhood there’s hipsters with piercings and colourful clothing who drink almond lattes in contactless-payment-only cafés. There’s tapas bars, fine foods shops and outside seating where young parents enjoy tasty organic meals with their babies strapped on, kangaroo style.

There’s an open-air Olympic pool, bearded cyclists and a real bakery that makes sourdough bread. And parks, one on each side, with great patches of green and people of all ages who meet on Sundays to dance together on roller skates. There’s runners, skaters, eccentrics, lovers who sit on public benches for a kiss. There’s solitary readers, strolling families and groups of friends who play frisbee. Welcome to our world, welcome to Hackney.

And then, a couple of streets from my home, there’s “The Dove”, a pub that specialises in Belgian beer. They’ve got an endless menu and the glasses collection to match. A bubble of Belgium in a trendy neighbourhood, a taste of home for expat Belgians.

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