A walk through: Stoke Newington

“I believe your atmosphere and your surroundings create a mind state for you.”

– THEOPHELIUS LONDON

Good morning, London!

What a fantastic thing to say, or rather think, first thing on a Saturday morning. I’m still getting used to everything that simple sentence contains: the new sounds of an unfamiliar surrounding, the strange and yet oddly charming smell of Earl Grey hanging in the air, and the sun shining through my window.

9 am finds me at the breakfast table, a steaming cup of Earl Grey with milk and a bowl of cereal next to me, while I’m making plans for today. I have visited London four times now, this being my fifth time, and I cannot say that Stoke Newington has ever been on my sightseeing agenda.

Therefore, I gathered that I should get to know my new neighbourhood a bit better. After all, Edgar Allan Poe spent a few precious years of his life here and Amy Whinehouse shot a music video in a cemetry nearby, so there must be something to see. By the time I leave the house the sun, of course, is gone.

IMG_2167

1. Abney Park Cemetery

This beautiful Victorian cemetery and nature reserve, established in 1840, was the set for two music videos over the last years. Scenes from Amy Whinehouse’s video Back to Black and Hurts’ All I want for Christmas is New Year’s Day were both filmed here. While wandering through the narrow lines of gravestones, trees, and daffodils, reading the names of the deceased, it can get a bit creepy. Edgar Allan Poe fans will be very much at home here. Some of these stones and graves are so askew that it’s easy to imagine how their owners must have turned beneath the soil to cause so much displacement. Every now and then, you hear a squirrel in the underwood or you see a robin fly out of a broken stone coffin and those sounds of nature break the heavy atmosphere. If you don’t have a good sense of direction, you may want to have a navigation app or a map with you, because getting lost is very easy in this labyrinth of tombstones. Also, I wouldn’t recommend going there after sunset. Not to be paranoid, but some makeshift graves had me wondering…

 

IMG_2195

2. Stoke Newington High Street

Now on to lighter topics. For a street as narrow as Stoke Newington High Street, there’s an awful lot of traffic and just as many people. But it’s the perfect spot for the hungry and the undecided. Fish’n Chips, bars, pubs, Italian, Indian – there’s something for everyone here, including a Tesco express for 24h grocery shopping. And if you take a close look, you’ll spot the Shard tower in the far distance.

 

IMG_2174

3. St. Mary’s Church

On the way to Clissold Park, this beautiful church came across my way. A look inside does not only reveal nice architecture, but a huge amount of charity work they do. From my many trips here, I know what a multicultural city London is, but the city centre is rather British and the influences of other cultures are not as obvious as on the outskirts, though zone 2 is hardly outside of London. In this neighbourhood, there are churches, synagoges, and mosques right next to each other and this peaceful coexistence of different cultures is also mirrored in the people you see on streets. It gives hope that someday, this level of acceptance will not only exist in a part of London, but everywhere in the world and with a common ground of mutual tolerance, it might happen.

 

IMG_2178

4. Clissold Park and Clissold House

This park was, also, established in the late 19th century and offers besides lots of green space a wonderful playground for children, tennis courts, and much more. Clissold House, which can be seen in the picture above, is a popular location for weddings and other parties. Fun fact: the deers, that are living in Clissold Park, first came to live there in 1890. Also: the benches are a perfect spot for people watching!

Since it’s rather chilly today, I’m now looking forward to a nice cup of tea.

Advertisements

5 thoughts on “A walk through: Stoke Newington

  1. Hello again!
    Sounds like you walked a lot today! It also sounds like you had a truly perfect morning!
    The grave yard looks indeed quite scary. Very brave of you going there even if it was in the morning.
    I really, really love your blog! The quote, the pictures, the content, your writing style.
    I’ve been thrilled to read it since you first mentioned it!
    Sorry by the way if you were disappointed that it was just me writing but I just couldn’t stop myself after reading that first post. I guess you’ll have to keep on reading my comments now because I’m already really excited for your next post.
    Lots of love and a wonderful Sunday in London tomorrow!
    Sophia

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hello, Sophia!
      I don’t know how many miles I walked today, especially through Abney Park Cemetery, but it must have been quite a few, yes.
      Thank you for your kind words. And of course I’m not disappointed – how could I? Quite the opposite, in fact. I’m very thankful and humbled that you share your opinion with me and I’m looking forward to your future comments 🙂
      Tomorrow, there’s going to be a big St. Patrick’s Day Parade in central London, so I plan on writing about that – unless something even more exciting happens, who knows?
      Lots of love back to you and have a great time,
      Leonie

      Like

  2. Ui, sch̦n dass du auf dem tollen Friedhof warst Рich liebe die! War mal den Highgate besuchen und finde die Architektur so spannend plus all die Namen und Daten Рist immer wieder faszinierend zu wissen, dass da wirklich mal Menschen zu diesem Zeitpunkt gelebt haben :D.

    Bist du eigentlich auch in ner WG gerade oder wie schaut das genau aus?

    Muss auch noch Stoke Newington mal googlen – sollte im Norden sein oder?

    Hachhh, bin so gespannt was du noch alles erlebst und voll schön dass du uns dran teilhaben lässt!

    Liebste Grüßeeeeeee

    Like

    • Friedhöfe haben irgendwie immer eine ganz eigene Magie, auch wenn es gruselig ist, wenn man älter als die meisten Verstorbenen ist. Gruselig wird’s vor allem dann, wenn Fotos in die Grabsteine integriert wurden. Ich wollte eigentlich auch noch nach Highgate, lohnt sich der Besuch?
      Ich habe mein Zimmer über Airbnb gefunden, da ich für die sechs Wochen keine Möbel oder andere Austattung kaufen kann und das alles schon vorhanden sein musste.
      Stoke Newington ist ein Teil von Hackney und liegt in der 2. Zone, also leicht nördlich aber noch relativ zentral.
      Ebenfalls liebe Grüße zurück! 🙂

      Like

      • Hallöchen du :),

        denke mal die älteren Friedhöfe ähneln sich alle. Ist halt schön grün und hat ne tolle Architektur aber ist eben auch nStückchen weg, aber wenn du mal Lust drauf hast, warum net :).

        Ah cool, siehst du, mit Airbnb kenn ich mich gar net aus ^^ – aber ist ja echt klasse dass du dich da um nichts weiter kümmern musst (ist das Bett bequem?). Und 2. Zone ist ebenso geilo 😀 – hach wie schön!

        Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s