It’s a slightly cheesy caption for the above photo but those in the know will also recognise it as the name of a pub near Old Street, on the edge of Shoreditch and the place I ended up with the Love Art London group after the graffiti tour.
And even though I took it myself, I have to say I love the above photograph. It perfectly sums up the sense of place and the spirit of Shoreditch that I try to capture in part of the novel.
Itâ€™s not the most brilliant quality photograph (I took it with my phone), neither is it as well composed as it could be â€“ but the spontaneity of the moment is what makes it.
Theyâ€™re a little hard to spot at first but itâ€™s a bride and groom on the right of the picture, being posed by their wedding photographer. And rather than a verdant churchyard theyâ€™ve chosen to use Ben Eineâ€™s colourful mural on Ebor Street in Shoreditch. (Thereâ€™s a more sombre grey and black Eine work on the opposite side of the street on the Londonewcastle building that hosted the Catlin prize â€“ see previous post.)
Iâ€™d come across the wedding party by chance on a Saturday afternoon. Iâ€™d been to visit Boxpark â€“ the container mall shopping centre by Shoreditch High Street overground station. I was on my way back from a very pleasant Vietnamese meal (recommended by Bren Gosling) at a place at the end of the Kingsland Road with some of our ex-City writers after weâ€™d had a Saturday morning workshopping session. Afterwards Iâ€™d decided to have another wander around Shoreditch and see if any of the graffiti Iâ€™d seen a week previously had changed
As I was crossing Bethnal Green Road and heading for Redchurch Street, some wedding cars pulled up and all these smartly dressed people got out and headed for this remarkable area of street art. I wandered past while they shot a few photos and, while keeping a respectful distance,Â I realised I could get a photograph myself which principally featured one of Stikâ€™s figures on the Londonewcastle building and Eineâ€™s mural but also captured the incongruity of the smart, formal wedding party. The brideâ€™s stunningly white dress is such a contrast to the chaos of the street â€“ the bike, the bollards, the leaning traffic sign and the rubbish. But the bride and groom (Iâ€™ve no idea who they were) seemed to be loving the setting, although the Stik man appears to be anxiously casting his watchful gaze over the couple.
If I can manage to capture in my writing even a small amount of the sense of place and the exuberance and optimism in that picture then Iâ€™ll be very happy
Thereâ€™s another picture below from the Boxpark end of Ebor Street.