North London Life Hacks For The Savvy
Written by: Sophie Taylor
The internet loves a good life hack article, doesn’t it just. But what about us shrewd North Londoners? We know it all already, right? Well here are a few North London focused tips that you might not have heard about yet (but most likely have, so enjoy the gifs we’ve carefully chosen for you instead. Gif Curators… I wonder if that’s a thing). Yes, that’s right we’ve gone and done an article with life hacks, a list and gifs in it. You can write strongly worded letters of complaint to us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
1. Drunken Olympics
Do you like sports? Do you like beer? Oh good. Do you also like free things? Download MatchPint app and get a free pint (568 millilitres of beer to be precise). In return, you must watch some sports at one of their participating pubs, which can be found across North London, and give them a little rating/review. This also includes watching the Olympics by the way. Too easy!
2. AA for Cyclists
Bike woes? Can’t make it to your trusty bike shop for a repair? Save your legs and your pennies and use North London based, Bikes R Us mobile repair service. They offer a complete cycle repair service either at your home or place of work. There’s no local callout charge and callouts are available up to approximately 15 miles (excluding Central London).
A full annual service costs from £25, the supply and fit of a new inner tube (puncture) will set you back £12 and wheel trueing is just £6-10 good English pounds.
They don’t have a website or an app, so go old skool and keep 020 8882 8288 saved in your phone under ‘BIKE HELP NOW!’, right next to ‘STRANGE BLOKE FROM BAR’ and ‘???’. Apparently when you ring them you have to speak to their mum first and ask if they’re in…
3. Satnav No Go
Are you one of those rare species of Londoners that drives? Well if you are, here’s a little word of advice – don’t use satnav if you want to avoid congestion charges. Apparently, that little fucker of a satnav will take you into all these pricey congestion charge zones on purpose, the naughty little snake!
4. No Place Like Home
Lost your phone, your compass and your dignity? Somehow wandered into South London and need to get home quick sharp? The flat side of the ‘Walkie-Talkie’ (20 Fenchurch Street) points towards north London like a beautiful silvery lighthouse. No need for those ruby slippers, which is just as well as you left them outside the club, didn’t you.
5. Silence of the foxes
Foxes are fantastic creatures. They’re also loud as arse when you’re trying to get some shut-eye. So here’s a tip if you’re being plagued by those screaming urban red heads: they hate chilli powder. Liberally dust some spice around your back garden, front garden, foot of your bed (can’t be too careful- according to the Daily Mail they’re after your face as you sleep). Peace at last.
6. Peace in Angel
I spend a weird amount of time in Angel, but even I didn’t know about the footpath off Duncan Street that leads down to the canals. The traffic noise suddenly disappears, the tourists are lost in the shopping centre and all you are left with is narrowboats, casual cyclists, and water. City stress heads in need of an urban refuge take note – this is one calm oasis in the middle of one of North London’s most frantic of spots.
7. Station to Station
Citymapper is a great route planning app, but as a savvy North Londoner you’re probably after something a little more extensive and in the know. Try the Station Master App, which is more of an in-depth travel guide app than a route planner, giving you intensely detailed information about each station – from the number of steps to fun facts and historical background info.
It also doesn’t require WiFi so you can browse at your heart’s content underground. Station Master has 3D maps and exit maps so you can see the true layout of a station, especially the ones with a maze of corridors, and find out the best exit.
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.
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.
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.
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.
If there's anything the new moon today has told us, it's that it's time to be our true selves. That's what my horoscope told me today anyway. But what does that mean exactly? It means that if you want to eat honey loops for lunch, you 100% can. It means if you feel like learning how to make a bouquet instead of working on your tax forms, you 100% can. It also means if you want to learn how the deep throat (singing technique) you don't have to explain yourself. You're keeping it .
Our exclusive meeting with Eroc: the Beyonce of the skateboarding dog world. Eroc the french bulldog is making waves. With fans like Tony Hawk, BBC Radio and over 30k followers on Instagram (and counting), Eroc has also become something of an online sensation. His viral status comes and goes, randomly popping up on online social media channels every now and again to generate hundreds of thousands of views and clicks via the likes of Buzzfeed, Time Out and rogue iPhone filmers.
We all have our own ways of dealing with life when things get shitty. Having a big cry and getting it all out can be incredibly therapeutic, and even more so when we find ourselves repeating the same line over and over through the tears. “He’s a dick!” or “I’m not a bad person!” These little lines of reinforcement help us push through the crappy feeling. Sometimes we might even revert to a hearty little stamp on the floor / kick of some unsuspecting object. It feels surprisingly satisfying when the rage sets in and we feel helpless.
This Friday sees the release of Malian master musicians, Trio Da Kali’s new album Ladilikan. Fusing rich, expressive vocals with traditional instruments like the balafon and bass ngoni, this is a beautiful mix of ancient Mande culture and contemporary Malian sounds. Luckily for us North Londoners, we have the opportunity to see the trio play live in the rather fitting ethereal surrounds of Stoke Newington Church next month.
Walking along Monsell Road in Finsbury Park, we spy the charming exterior of a shop looking like something out of a children’s book circa 1932. Beneath a green and white striped awning, a whimsical new world of mini animals awaits. Once inside we stumble about the store in hushed awe, reaching over a book of minuscule carpet samples/ family of miniature otters to tap a tiny bell.
Whether you’re looking for something to entertain your kids, your friends’ kids or that particularly large man child in your life, you might just have lucked out. Snug are hosting an open air screening of The Incredibles next Saturday evening. There will be tasty sourdough pizzas from Sodo Pizza (Upper Clapton) and ultimate authentic curries from Rice n Spice, Northwold Road.
Coming soon to a Tufnell Park near you is a whole new vegetable patch of delights / wheat field to run vicariously through. It’s time to get excited for Ceremony: a brand new bar/restaurant serving modern British veggie cuisine. Although the website remains tantalisingly mysterious, you can glean more info from their well stocked insta.
Sound baths, pit parties, fake cheese and nipples, these are a few of our favourite things, said no one ever. Bored of drinking down the pub every evening? Unlikely, but bare with me. Sometimes you just want to let down your hair, shake it off and do something down right odd of an evening... followed by a pint at the pub.
It’s been a few months since the last instalment of Online vs Offline. I deleted Bumble, Happn and Tinder, flirted with the idea of match.com, went to a friend’s wedding, heard the vicar call my name instead of the Bride’s and reflected briefly on the crushing inevitability of my own spinsterhood before realising everyone was laughing in the pews and I should probably join them.
Gluten-free cake consumers, vegan cheese enthusiasts, craft beer connoisseurs, lovers of pies and drinkers of tea; your time is now. Buy food of a quality & variety you can’t easily find in the shops, from organic meat to vegan cheese, fish caught that morning to pickles which have been fermenting for months, at Stroud Green market.
Who’s up for free entry, free cake and free folk (except for a jaunty little hat that is passed around for donations)? Get down to The Finsbury this Wednesday eve for a little mid week hootenanny and celebrate some of the best in new live music from the ‘acoustic, singer-songwriter & indie-folk scene’. Host with the most, Zoe Konez (“Ridiculously talented, Konez handles her guitar like she was born with it” - For Folk's Sake) will be deftly introducing each act from gin soaked folk popster herself, Penniless Cove to German indie band, Kalon.
What if you could mix the joys of your local Sunday car boot and all it’s dog perving potential with your favourite vintage clothes shops and high end antique markets? Within the sparkling depths of Dalson’s former ABC cinema, you’ll find The Big London Flea: London’s largest indoor vintage market.