Londoners: Are We Proud or Ashamed?

Written by: Sophie Dyer

How could anyone possibly be proud to be a Londoner?

 

According to a recent Provident Personal Credit survey Londoners still remain at the bottom of the friendliness scale scoring just 6.44 out of 10.

Begging the question, how could anyone possibly be proud to be a Londoner?

North Four, North London magazine, londoner, taxi, black cab, retro, vintage, stoke newington, belfast road

A city where its inhabitants revel in their ability to remain as cynical and isolated from the outside world as possible.

A shallow group of people who are far more interested in Instagramming their brunch then saving money to buy houses or giving back to the community.

If that means barging into innocent tourists at Kings Cross to get to that new pop up bar in time, so be it. It’s also socially acceptable to pretend that you don’t speak English when someone tries to talk to you on the tube. And as far as knowing your neighbours’ names? Don’t be stupid! Londoners don’t interact with anyone outside their circle.

Or so that’s what we’re told.

I found that although not a single Londoner is alike, it may be more of case of Londoner’s simply picking their battles and focusing their energy on the things that matter.

North Four, North London magazine, stoke newington, londoner, brown sauce, fish and chips, chippy, diner, condiment, bottles, counter top
Londoners will have to work even harder to keep their heads above water

Because let’s face it, London is a tough city to make it in and despite the idea of wellbeing taking centre stage it seems that the next generation of Londoners will have to work even harder to keep their heads above water.

That equals a stressed out and constantly tired group of people who may or may not be tiptoeing on the edge of their overdraft.

In all honesty, we are all guilty of getting caught up in our problems and perhaps Londoners are just a little more upfront about it.

Or maybe the world should do better than to judge every Londoner in the same way.

 

North Four, North London magazine, clissold park, stoke newington, londoners, dogs, dog walking, out and about, catching up, congregating

Regardless of how the stereotypical Londoner is often portrayed, I knew I was proud to be one when I saw the capital’s reaction to the recent terror attacks in Westminster, London Bridge and Finsbury Park as well as the horror of Grenfell Tower.

Londoner’s from every walk of life coming together with longing to volunteer and comfort those who were most in need. This coupled with an attitude of defiance against attacks in the capital (insert a keep calm and carry on pun here).

I found it bizarre that these were the same people who are often labelled with ‘Britain’s rudest’ title yet there they were being in fact quite the opposite.

I moved to London around eighteen months ago and although I settled into my North London home pretty quick, it was in that moment of pride while witnessing first hand Londoners coming together that I knew I was part of something a lot bigger.

North Four, North London magazine, stall, londoners, camden, flags, union jack
I’ve never felt more part of a community than anywhere else

As someone who grew up in a quiet suburban town in Kent, London always felt like a far off dream and something I was itching to be a part of.

A place where you were free to love who you want, believe what you want but more importantly a city where you didn’t have to be born there to truly belong.

Even though there are times that the capital can feel all-consuming and sometimes so vast you can feel somewhat insignificant, isn’t it ironic that I’ve never felt more part of a community than anywhere else?

I’ve found that in North London it’s a place where so many cultures are immersed into one, cultures I have no real part of and yet still I feel at home.

North Four, North London magazine, pigeons, londoners, photography, finsbury park, bread, feed the birds

It’s somewhere where diversity is celebrated and that’s also something that I take great pride in. The person that London has made me: with constant exposure to incredible people from a variety of backgrounds who have taught me so many things.

I have been able learn not only about these amazing cultures but also about myself. The Londoners that I surround myself with are constantly challenging and teaching me, and regardless of their postcode they bring something to my life that I hadn’t found before.

As someone who always thought that the most important thing in life was fit in to in, here I was presented with the reality that being true to yourself it not something that you need hide.

Londoners don’t care about your race, sexuality, gender, religious beliefs, social status etc. and as someone who’s had the fortune to travel a lot; there are few cities that I think can match that mentality.

North Four, North London magazine, jumble trail, vintage clothing, caledonian road, car boot, stalls, bric-a-brac, treasure trove
By standing together in such difficult times you’re setting an example to the world

That’s not to say that London is this all embracing advert for diversity because it has a long way to go. But when it comes to coming together in difficult circumstances, I think that Londoners have got that nailed.

Nearly every day I walk down the bustling high street in Golders Green where you’ll find amazing Turkish restaurants, delicious Jewish bakeries and Korean supermarkets all within a stone’s throw from one another. It’s the people behind those businesses that give Golders Green its cosmopolitan identity and make it such a great place to live.

Like any other human being Londoners have their flaws. But whether you’re a Londoner who eats avocado on toast in Stoke Newington or simply loves dipping your toes in the ladies pond at Hampstead Heath, by standing together in such difficult times you’re setting an example to the world of how and why it is awesome to be a Londoner.

Photos by Mike Barry.

Regional Spanish tasting menu at Pilgrim, a new pop-up supper club in Hackney, North Four Magazine
Eat & Drink

Pilgrim: A Unique Spanish Pop-up Dining Experience

Pilgrim, the newest kid to Hackney's pop-up scene, is a unique dining experience inspired by the Camino de Santiago pilgrimage. This six course tasting menu includes regional dishes with a contemporary twist not yet seen before in London.

Read More...
Amelia Donkor as Rose standing in shadow behind Ian McDiarmid as Enoch Powell holding speech at Park Theatre
Culture

Theatre: What Shadows

Recent times have seen an unnerving surge in right-wing politics. President Trump’s campaign to ‘make America great again’ saw him make the audacious promise to ‘build a wall’. France saw the uneasy ascent of Marine Le Pen’s National Front in its general elections and Germany’s AfD, (the first openly nationalist party in almost six decades) celebrated an unprecedented third place victory in its recent elections.

Read More...
Dog being petted, North Four magazine
Events

Dogtober Doggy Brunch at The Narrowboat

Bark bark bark. Bark! Woof! Yep, you heard it straight from the dog’s mouth. Dogtober (definitely a real thing) is in full swing and The Narrowboat is hosting their annual Doggy Brunch next Saturday 21st October. Bone Appétit!

Read More...
Eat & Drink Events

Magic Roundabout's Retro Winter Wonderland

Summer is officially over. We're not sure it ever began in the first place. I guess that's one of the few downsides of living in London (other than crippling debt, tube strikes and Boris Johnson), but I digress... Magic Roundabout Old Street is raising the bar for winter, transforming the site into a tented, heated, 'Decades' inspired wonderland.

Read More...
Slow roasted lamb shank shawarma at Fat Macy's supper club in The Luminary Bakery, Stoke Newington
Culture Eat & Drink Events

Fat Macy's Middle Eastern Feast

Guess who’s back, back again. Fat Macy’s back, tell a friend. No, really. Tell everyone about it. Fat Macy's supper club came back into our lives and this time around they had their Middle Eastern Feast on at the cute as a button Luminary Bakery in Stoke Newington, with a menu inspired by Ottolenghi and the #CookForSyria campaign.

Read More...
North Four Magazine, Alcotraz, London, Pop up, Prison Bar, Hackney, East London
Eat & Drink Events

We Spent the Night in Alcotraz

Getting shouted at by a burly prison guard with a buzz cut and an offensively loud American accent isn't usually the way one wishes to begin one's night. Nevertheless, as I clamber into a very large (cheers guys) orange jumpsuit, the guard shoves a bottle of Conkers Gin wrapped in a thin towel (no fluffy Egyptian cotton here lads), into my now somewhat clammy hands. Whispering hastily at me to not get caught by the warden I'm ushered off in single file into the depths of Alcotraz.

Read More...
North Four, North London magazine, new beacon books, uk first black bookshop, books, refurb, campaign, reopened, mini black market, event, stroud green road
Culture Events

New Beacon Books Mini Market

If you haven’t heard the news yet, the world’s first black bookshop is back. Yes, after months of campaigning for funding and volunteers, New Beacon Books has reopened after threat of closure with a brand new refurb to boot. Established in 1966 by John La Rose and Sarah White, New Beacon Books is the UKs longest running independent bookshop specialising in African-Caribbean literature, cards and artwork.

Read More...
North Four, North London magazine, cocktail, mint gun club, stoke newington, tea room, london cocktail week, drinks, alcohol
Eat & Drink

Top Four “Hold My Phone I'm Going In” Cocktails

London cocktail week is upon us. To be honest I can think of nothing worse than strapping on a wristband, carrying around a guidebook and queuing up for something that just needs to be brought to my sorry, tired old lips immediately. Apparently this year however, Drink Up London have released an app that eliminates all of the above nonsense. Get your ticket, download the app and get enjoying your £6 cocktails all week long. Just remember to flash your digital pass to the bartender first.

Read More...
North Four, North London magazine, the psychotic monks, camden, gig, live band, music, culture
Culture Events

Music: The Psychotic Monks London Debut

Garage and psych rock fans rejoice - The Psychotic Monks are stopping off in Camden tonight as part of their European tour. Roughly translated from French (GCSE stylee merci very much), the psych rockers describe themselves as “noise, fury, music impregnated .. with life impulses” finding a balance between “neurotic madness and contemplative melancholy”.

Read More...
North Four, North London magazine, chicken, don and co, finsbury park, dining, eatery, teriyaki, bubble tea, pork, mixed veg, rice
Eat & Drink

Bubble Tea and Banging Teriyaki Chicken in Finsbury Park

A bubble tea place in Finsbury Park? That also does a bangin’ teriyaki chicken rice box? Uh, hell yeah. This little gem quietly opened up last March on Wells Terrace. Y’know the spot where folks bumble off the most crowded bus in the entirety of London and damn near break a hip scampering for the tube round the corner? Yeah, that little pocket of Finsbury Park.

Read More...
North Four, North London magazine, stoke newington, londoner, brown sauce, fish and chips, chippy, diner, condiment, bottles, counter top
Lifestyle

Londoners: Are We Proud or Ashamed?

According to a recent Provident Personal Credit survey Londoners still remain at the bottom of the friendliness scale scoring just 6.44 out of 10. Begging the question, how could anyone be possibly proud to be a Londoner? A city where its inhabitants revel in their ability to remain as cynical and isolated from the outside world as possible. A shallow group of people who are far more interested in Instagramming their brunch then saving money to buy houses or giving back to the community.

Read More...
North Four, North London magazine, Neil Laybourne, Jonny Benjamin, conference, mental health, charity, talks, speakers, event, raise awareness, finsbury park, arts and media school
Events

Conference: Raising Awareness for Mental Illness in Young Men

A series of talks taking place this November shines a necessary light on mental illness in boys and young men. Speakers will gather at Finsbury Park’s Arts and Media School to raise awareness and help advise on a variety of topics including substance misuse, eating disorders and suicide.

Read More...
North Four, North London magazine, green rooms hotel, arts, culture, review, interiors, design, photography, wood green
Eat & Drink Lifestyle

My First Night at Green Rooms Hotel

Staying in a hotel one mile from where you actually live feels strange enough, but doing it on your own is even stranger. These photos are a visual record of me wandering the lonely corridors of a new boutique hotel between the hours of 10-12pm. I would describe the decor as handmade but not cheap, minimal but not clinical. It has the feeling that money has been spent on the things that matter.

Read More...
North Four, North London magazine, cheese, fromage, cheese festival, n1, islington, market, festival, food, gouda, edam, brie, camembert, wheel of cheese
Eat & Drink

You Feta Brie-lieve it: Cheese Festival Comes to North London

The rumours are true: a cheese festival exists and it’s coming to North London. This Sunday. Be there or be … cheese-less I suppose. But you’ve gouda get there early:  If you’re as keen as brie and one of the first fifty fromage fondlers to show, you’re in the running for a free bottle of Black Cow’s pure milk vodka. Traders will be setting up stalls along Islington’s Chapel Market: from the Raclette Brothers and Mac to the Future to La Fromagerie and The Cheese Truck.

Read More...
North Four, North London magazine, dream phone, dream talk, sound art, collaboration, musician, artist, london, phone boxes
Culture Lifestyle

Dream Talk: Sound Art for Your Commute

Dream Talk. It’s like Dream Phone, but not at all. Artist Emma Alonze and musician Andy Becker have joined forces to collaborate on a (possibly prophetic) new sound art project. Londoners are invited to take a moment out of their daily commute, routine or journey and immerse themselves in a narrated collection of dreams. Taking three years worth of forty winks, Alonze has gathered and narrated a chosen few to be set to an ambient soundtrack by Becker.

Read More...
Events

Between the Sheets at the Underbelly Festival

Holy smoke, her nipples are on fire! Somebody pass the woman an extinguisher. Wait, why is she climbing into that giant margarita glass - does she not know it's highly flammable? She's going to need to be doused with a sizable portion of aloe vera gel at this rate, the poor lamb. 

Read More...