IT’S OFFICIAL: scientists have found that the centre of the universe is Dalston. Look, the sign above shows a boffin with telescope. Proof, eh?
The notice at Dalston Kingsland station was devised by Jamie Chamberlain, who often scribbles charming little missives to commuters.
“I do it for amusement,” the customer-service host (really: TfL loves long job titles) told Loving Dalston. A commuter himself, from Hoddesdown, Hertfordshire, several stations stops north of Hackney, he “likes Dalston a lot”.
His signs should, however, be seen with the kind of “irony” that comes with quote marks.
His signs should, however, be seen with the kind of “irony” that comes with quote marks. After a Loving Dalston report of a biting assault at the station, Chamberlain sardonically noted the number of days without attacks by mythical bats.
Somewhat hysterical journalists from abroad have called Dalston the hippest place on the planet — writers too lazy to check sources still repeat the supposed Italian Vogue comment — but on a brief stroll one lunchtime the streets around the station showed more than hipster-appeal.
Opposite the station, a structure that functions even worse than it looks, a smart young TV news crew was stopping Ridley Road Market shoppers for a few quick questions about the news.
Cool that reporters rush up to Dalston for their vox pops? Not if you’re rushing for a train.
As it happens, groups of both were standing uncomfortably side by side, competing with each other to convert passers-by to their beliefs.
A few hundred metres away at the edge of the market a man stretched himself out on a bed of rough concrete to nap in the spring sunshine, oblivious to the shouts,“Only 50p!”, from a stall-holder.
A young woman from Copenhagen was photographing laughing-gas canisters, the residue of the home-going clubbers who can be heard clattering through the morning streets at weekends.
Off Ridley Road trees had broken into bloom, making the roads look almost suburban, and the tower of the magnificent St Mark’s church loomed over the huge Victorian houses. Their market values have reached crazy levels.
Thank goodness for someone like Jamie Chamberlain to make some fun of it all.
David Altheer 190416
* Backstory: Vampire strikes station staffer
* All pictures on this page © DavidAltheer[at]gmail.com, and all for sale for reproduction. Most photographs are available in bigger formats.
* Emboldened underscored words in most cases indicate a hyperlink, a reader service rare among websites. If a link does not work, it is probably because the site to which the URL refers has not been maintained. A link in no way expresses support for any site or the ideas there expressed.