Category Archives: Street Art

Something More For The Weekend

Good Friday, gentle folk. More street art to beautify your next couple days, straight from Clapton Passage, E5, Hackney. An Olympic borough. I like the carnivalesque feeling these pieces convey. Wonderful, wild, masked and just on the far edge of transgressive. Puts me in mind of this wonderful piece from The Daily Mail of all places about East End political street art hero Banksy’s most iconic pieces recreated with real people. Check it out. 
Speaking of, The Olympics have turned out to be quite an exciting spectacle, especially the opening ceremony with Danny Boyle’s sneaky plea to remember the great triumph of nationalized medical care that is the NHS. When the Democrats were campaigning hard to get ‘Obamacare’ through congress, the Republicans worked very hard to bring willing Tories over on all-expenses paid flights I’m sure (or at least claimed expenses) to whinge about the NHS that they probably never make use of anyway, but I’ve definitely had better experiences with the NHS and heard less horrific tales than the chilling stories I’ve heard from friends and family about medicine in America. 
And the complaints from my compatriots on twitter about ‘leave it to the British to politicise the Olympics’. Politicisation of the Games began from at least 1988 when heavy corporate sponsorship was dragged in to resurrect a lurching moribund tradition. 
What do your weekends have in store for you all? I’m pretty busy and pretty excited. We’ve got lunches packed and we’re off to brave this mildly, partially sunny weather to picnic in Haggerston Park and see the Games on the big screen. Yesterday, my son told me he was watching France vs. New Zealand in the Velodrome Cycling. ‘I hope France wins,’ he said. ‘Why is that?’ I asked. ‘Because they have blue on their sleeve,’ he replied, quite matter-of-factly. That’s the kind of basis for an allegiance we need more of. Because they’ve got nice colours in their uniforms. 
I’m also immersing myself in nostalgia. I always get nostalgic around American accents and tonight, I’m seeing Savage in Limbo, by John Patrick Shanley, performed by The Planktonic Players in The Camden Eye. The play encompasses the stories of five disillusioned New Yorkers. Jaded New Yorkers. Stories about home. I can’t wait. 
Taken from The Planktonic Players blog. 
And tomorrow, I sojourn west, to West London that is, to be interviewed by OnFm about my opinions on Team USA, The Olympics, and my ongoing struggle to become a successful writer in this vast sea of opportunities. If you happen to be travelling through West London between two and three, tune in to 101.4 on your FM dial and see what you make of my first appearance on the radio. 
Have a magnificent weekend, one and all. 
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Something Else for the Weekend

My best laid plans for blogging this week seem to have all ganged aft agley. It’s been the penultimate week of term and so I’ve been putting reports to bed and eating glorious Indian food. More on that anon. As my compatriot the former governor of California used to say, ‘I’ll be back’. In the meantime, to tide us all over, here’s some more Bohemian Hackney mdf art to feast your eyes on. This little piece resides on Clapton passage and I just can’t decide, but I think it’s probably beautifully interacting with its environment. There are implications though that the subjects are trapped in their own depiction, non? It is covering up a house under construction in a dank area behind a shop and near a dumpster, if that aids interpretation.

When does street art become less edgy and more trendy? It could be when graffiti artists get commissioned, but I still think there are probably immense benefits to publicly funding a street artist and then celebrating his work, as happened last month with American artist Frank Shephard Fairey. Read about it here
American street artist Frank Shepard Fairey
Photo: Teri Pengilley, Copyright The Guardian
I’ve also started a new page on this blog entitled other writing and hopefully will be writing more frequently for sites like The Hackney Hive and other assorted publications, so I guess, quite literally, watch this space. In the meantime, here is the review I did of Sheba on Brick Lane for Hackney Hive. I have to admit, I was surprised. These days, the Asian end of Brick Lane can seem a little tired, so I was glad to find a delightful pearl among the… other places around the area. 
Enjoy your weekend, wherever you are. Many thanks for reading. 

Something for the weekend

Weekend post! Weekend roundup? Something for the weekend? It’s been a bit of an eventful week, so thank you for reading. I do feel like this thing has finally got some momentum going. Many thanks for all the tweets and for having a look and commenting. Whatever it’s supposed to be called, here are a few things to tide us all over and chew on for the next couple days.

We Americans also celebrated our 236th birthday as a country. I think we’re looking pretty good for it. To celebrate, I went out to the launch night of Islington’s newest chic bar, Rattlesnake, designed and owned by Paul Daly, who also did Zigfrid Von Underbelly in Hoxton Square. Rattlesnake is an American style bar with a difference. Check out my review of the place here at The Hackney Hive. Let me know what you think of the place if you happen to check it out. 
Congratulations to Madame Fromage, doyenne of the Philadelphian Artisan cheese scene, on completing her manuscript  for The Di Bruno Bros. Cheese Guide based on the delightful Di Bruno Bros. Cheese Cave, at which my brother, Paul Lawler, the former local cheese impressario of Philly, worked for quite a while. I can’t wait to read it. Makes me hungry for good-quality cheese. Time to hit Hackney Home-made or Chatsworth Road this weekend, me thinks. 
Photo copyright of Todd Stregiel 2012
Finally, a bit of London Street art. On my road. Clarence Road if you must know. Home of the 2011 London Riots. Yes, Hackney is that edgy and Bohemian. Every bit of MDF covering a building is a canvas for our locals. I really like the way a gaze is turned outwards. It subtly implies that there is something behind this face, which there is (a building being renovated, probably end up a chic flat at the end of it all) and turns its gaze on the passerby in the street.
If you do happen to pass through Clapton in Hackney on Saturday, check out Millfields Community School Summer Fete, where you can see and buy children’s art and where my beautiful and talented wife, who runs the Artbash blog, will be presiding over the display of student creations from Arts Week. Check out Artbash for the results. Really astounding what you can do with kids and creativity sometimes. 
Whatever you are doing, have an inspiring couple days and do stop by and let me know if you get up to anything wonderful. 

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