FOR loving the city.
We’ve teamed up with London’s trendsetting weekly magazine le cool to discover what excites their writers about living in London. Editorial Assistant, Sam Frankl shares what he loves about the city.
I love London because you can’t see the edges. I was once told that the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco is perpetually being painted – it’s so big that once the workmen reach the other side, it is time to pack up their gear and start all over again. I feel the same way about London; no sooner do you feel you have seen all there is to see, that you realise everything has changed underneath you and you have to start all over again.
Hootenanny doesn’t do refurbs. It doesn’t do marketing and it’s not very good at social media. Instead it provides a platform for young, local talent in ska/reggae/roots and funk music. Every time I walk in I am reinvigorated by the exuberance of the place and it has been that way ever since I first snuck past the bouncers, aged 14. The surroundings may stay the same, but there’s nothing new except for someone new, and all you have to do is look to the stage to find that.
Film: Wilton’s Cinema Club
The world’s only remaining Grand Music Hall plays host to London’s most breathtaking cinema experience. It’s often hard to maintain focus on the films showing as your eyes become transfixed on the original, ornate wooden fittings and the spectacular upper mezzanine level. Efforts are being made to restore the building, which is in a state of constant decay. Every time I visit, something new has fallen into disrepair but that only seems to make it more beautiful.
Food: Maltby Street & Spa Terminus
Massive refurbishment and spiralling ground rent at Borough Market caused something of a mass migration in 2011, and a handful of vendors ventured east along the railway tracks in hopes of a more stable situation. What they created in the arches on Maltby Street and Spa Terminus is the best result of the artisanal food boom that London has to offer. Every weekend the arches are filled with London’s most discerning palates savouring the newest culinary trends.
Art: The Waterloo Vaults
The annual Vaults Festival is fast becoming my favourite event of the year – it’s a vivid expression of what London has become in the 2010s. However, the Vaults are open all year round with a wide range of displays and exhibitions. The adjoining graffiti tunnel is an ever-changing platform for urban art that never looks the same on two consecutive days, as if it’s regenerating like a living organism.
Nightlife: CLF Art Café/Bussey Building
Any Londoner could tell you London’s greatest flaw in two words; closing times. We are blighted by restrictions on late night openings. Hopefully a sea change is coming but for now, Bussey Building is the pinnacle of ‘anything can happen’ London. The 120 year old, multilevel warehouse space plays host to a dizzying range of club nights and parties. The bimonthly residency, Soul Train has become South London’s hottest ticket. Revellers are often found the next day at Frank’s Bar, atop the multi-story car park, singing Stevie Wonder and point-blank refusing to go home and sleep.