We’ve moved. E2 TO E5 – not that I’m keeping score. From Roman Road to Chatsworth Road.

Neighbourhood-wise it’s Bethnal Green to Hackney. It’s a positive move – certainly a step up in terms of our flat. From a mouldy street level office to a top-floor 1.5 bedroom flat with terrace, it’s a step up in many ways. and not just the literal four floors up a poorly-lit stairwell.

It means starting over trying to get from A to B or B to A, or even C to F. It also meant another trip to the ring of hell that is IKEA.

The point is: I like this new neighbourhood. Lower Clapton. Hackney. According to Timeout, it’s on it’s way up – even before we arrived.

A warm welcome

The first thing the place did for me was disappear our IKEA kitchen island from the sidewalk in front of our place. Not only did it save me having to hump that thing up four flights of stairs, it also taught me that I should watch my stuff in this neighborhood, but, if there’s anything I don’t want I can just leave it in front and let nature take it’s course.

The neighbourhood is a nice mix of young families, hipsters, a cross-section of ethnic and religious minorities, and drug addicts. It reminds me of East Vancouver. It was Chiara who first pointed out the similarity to Commercial Drive while we enjoyed a lunch in the sun at L’Epicerie 56 and watched life happen.

Our building backs onto a church. My Sunday morning was spent reading the paper and listening to some boisterous Jesus fans who had no need for a microphone, bang on about Him into a microphone. I may just have to pop by one Sunday while I’m resting, to see this up close.

There’s also a coffee shop, cafe and pub all within blocks. I haven’t gotten too friendly with the staff or locals at these places, but it feels like, given time, it could happen.

The immediate vicinity is missing a bunch of other amenities. Like a restaurant with tables that doesn’t focus on fried chicken. Or a supermarket that isn’t a shitty gigantic Tesco hypermarket, but I can work around these things.

I think I can learn to love this place. And I’ve got nothing but time. According to the contract we signed, we’ve got at least 18 months.