Tag Archives: N7

Alicia Montplaisir: fairy spirit and singer-songwriter

20 Apr

Everyone has a story. Canadian Alicia Montplaisir is able to perform her one-woman show, Walking My Heart Home – a mix of songs, poems and dance – at St Luke’s, West Holloway thanks to crowd funding, friends’ generosity and www.patreon.com fans. Interview by Nicola Baird.

Alicia Montplaisir performing. (c) alicia montplaisir

Alicia Montplaisir performing in February. (c) alicia montplaisir

To be honest Alicia Montplaisir’s c/v is slightly confusing. She’s a fairy from St Joseph de Sorel, a French-speaking part of Canada, who has been based in Islington since 2014. She’s also a licenced desire map facilitator (enabling her to help you find work and a purpose to your life in a manner prescribed by Danielle La Porte in the Desire Map). She’s also a singer song-songwriter based in N7.

No surprise then that when Islington Faces waited to meet Alicia at the new Barn café on Holloway Road I had no idea what to expect. Turns out that Alicia is a lovely woman. She’s wearing arty get-up, but that’s normal for London – and there’s not a hint of wings or wands.

But she’s clearly finding 10am a bit early for an interview.

“I’m not a morning person,” says Alicia sipping a freshly-squeezed orange juice (it’s Islington Faces who is mainlining black coffee). But there are several reasons for this. Often it’s because she is dealing with the severe pain caused by a chronic condition that can steal her energy. But it’s also because she sometimes works on songs at the very dead of night. Last May while rehearsing at 2am (2am!) on the public piano at St Pancras International station Alicia was recorded by a passer-by who popped it on to Time Out’s Facebook page. That clip went viral and has now been shared 172,000 times… “I was learning the Edge of Glory by Lady Gaga. It’s really hard to sing,” says Alicia who absolutely nails it in the video and is rewarded with spontaneous applause from two random passers-by and a couple of high-vis clad cleaners.

https://www.facebook.com/TimeOutLondon/videos/10152867962172405/ (May 2015)

NEVER MISS AN ISLINGTON FACES: if you enjoy reading about people who live or work in Islington please follow this blog by email (see how on right hand panel). Fresh interviews are published once a week.

Throughout the interview Alicia is unable to resist singing along to the radio, whatever tune comes up from Ed Sherrin to Rock n Roll. “My mother teaches music so I started learning piano when I was five,” she explains. “I never did any grades, but every year we performed. Then I started singing at eight, and around 11 had classical lessons. I just learned every song I could and performed everywhere,” she explains. By the time she was 18 she was able to take over her mum’s students when her mum took a break to look after her unwell mother.

Although Alicia, now 28, can teach and helps finance her shows, and cover her rent, by teaching French conversation to adults and French nursery rhymes to children she is adamant that, “For me creating and performing come before teaching. I do not intend to make a career out of teaching. But who knows?”

To keep her voice in practice she’s joined the choir at St Luke’s, Vox Holloway, which is currently focusing on gospel songs for a concert in June but has recently performed original material about mental health issues at a fundraiser for Islington Mind and performed at the Barbican during the Shakespeare Weekend on 6 March in A hum about mine ears, which was based on The Tempest.

Alicia Montplaisir rehearsing on the grand piano at St Luke's West Holloway.

Alicia Montplaisir rehearsing on the grand piano at St Luke’s West Holloway.

St Luke’s plays a big role in Alicia’s life. “I’m always there,” she says – making it the natural venue for her gigs (next date to be confirmed, see how to buy tickets below). “My concert is a very personal experience. I wrote the songs and there is some poetry and some dancing. I’ve had really positive feedback. After the performance people have said how touched they were and how they related to the material – it can be very healing which I’m glad about because I share very personal stories about pain and depression and one song is about a friend who died from suicide – so I bring up health, mental health and self-care.”

That’s why Alicia asks her audience to be 16+. “It’s a 70 minute solo piece in which I explore the darkness and light of self-discovery, love and growth. I don’t want to think about filtering myself so I may or may not curse during the concert. In my mind there is an age before 18 where those topics become important, 16 seemed reasonable to me and is loosely based on maturity more than age,” she says.

The Barn Cafe at 60 Holloway Road serves breakfast all day. It's got fab rustic decor and free wifi too. Find it just opposite St Mary's Church, close to Central Library.

The Barn Cafe at 60 Holloway Road serves breakfast all day. It’s got fab rustic decor and free wifi. Find it opposite St Mary’s Church, close to Central Library.

What does Alicia Montplaisir like doing in Islington?
Islington has a similar vibe to where I lived in Montreal for eight years, in the north east of the city.

  • Candid Café: A personal favourite when it comes to meeting friends in the afternoon or evenings. It opens at noon which suits me quite well! I love their sandwiches, the decoration and they usually play good music
  • The Barn Café, 60 Holloway Road: A new addition to my regular spots. They serve brunch all day which is an absolute joy when it comes to having breakfast around 3pm
  • St Luke’s church, Hillmarton Road: This is a second home. From dancing 5Rhythms to singing in Vox Holloway, I am also a member of the congregation. I regularly attend the Sunday service and have volunteered for the homeless night shelter during the winter
  • I know it’s just on the other side of the line but St Pancras International will always have a special place in my heart. All nighters playing piano in the station and meeting strangers from all over the world. It’s simply magic.

More about fairies
“Three years ago someone gave me a Tarot deck made of fairies painted by Brian Froud and that’s the way I was introduced,” explains Alicia who, when prompted, describes herself as a lone fairy, rather than a group-joining-fairy. “We have the material world with chairs and tables, but there’s a certain level of magic that you may not feel. So if someone says ‘Do you think fairies are real?’ It makes me laugh…” And then Alicia starts laughing and it is unclear whether she’s pulling my leg or whether it’s blindingly obvious that the room is full of fairies playing hide and seek.

There’s a good chance it might be the latter as Alicia adds cheerfully: “Fairies are just laughing at you. They pop in and out of nowhere. My fairy godmother will appear out of nowhere and then disappear saying ‘I’m off’. And if you ask ‘What kind of fairy are you’ a fairy Is likely to say ‘I’m not telling!’”

Like so many artists making a name for themselves Alicia is having to put up with a lot – she rents a shared house, and to save money lives in a shared room. “We each have a bed,” she says “and work around each other’s schedule in the morning.” She’s also doing all sorts of odd jobs including kids’ parties and French teaching, despite her poor health, to enable her to work on her songs and show. But there’s no hint of irritation at facing these challenges. Instead Alicia says, “ I’m learning the ropes of how to develop patron, thanks to crowd funding supported by her friends’ generosity and www.patreon.com where people pledge to support what I do. But I am very lucky and have got wonderful friends who sometimes give me extra money.”

Alicia Montplaisir may work on a financial shoestring but it’s one clearly brightened by fairy dust and her own amazing voice. Do go and like her Facebook page and, if you can, go along to the next show she holds at St Luke’s.

Over to you
If you’d like to nominate someone to be interviewed who grew up, lives or works in Islington, or suggest yourself, please let me know, via nicolabaird.green at gmail.com. Thank you.

If you liked this interview please SHARE on twitter or Facebook or join the Facebook group. Even better follow islingtonfacesblog.com (see menu top right) or follow me on twitter @nicolabairduk

This blog is inspired by Spitalfields Life written by the Gentle Author.

If you enjoyed this post you might like to look at the A-Z  index, or search by interviewee’s roles or Meet Islingtonians to find friends, neighbours and inspiration. Thanks for stopping by. Nicola

 

Olav Ernstzen: chair of Healthwatch Islington

30 Sep

Everyone has a story. Tufnell Park barrister, and former West End stage manager, Olav Ernstzen brings theatrical flourishes and strategic thinking to his role as Healthwatch Islington chair – the organisation that ensures health and social care services are meeting the needs of Islington residents. Interview by Nicola Baird

Olav Ernstzen: “Once you’ve been in the theatre you can’t get out of it. Training as a barrister was my second career. I was in my late 20s and willing to fail. I was not willing to regret not finding out if I could do it.”

Olav Ernstzen, chair of Healthwatch Islington: “Once you’ve been in the theatre you can’t get out of it. Training as a barrister was my second career. I was in my late 20s and willing to fail. I was not willing to regret not finding out if I could do it.”

“I’m a Londoner,” says Olav Ernstzen who grew up in Ilford (then Essex, now Redbridge). After school he went to college in London and has lived in Tufnell Park for more than 20 years.

Even on a rainy, autumnal day Olav’s enthusiasm for life is an inspiration. It’s 10am and he’s already been to the gym. He stays on topic, but the interview is peppered with experience gleaned from his early career as a drama teacher and West End stage manager. He has a way of making a chat about people’s health care really interesting.

NEVER MISS AN ISLINGTON FACES: if you enjoy reading about people who live or work in Islington please follow this blog by email (see how on right hand panel). Fresh interviews are published once a week. 

Way with words
Olav is a barrister. He specialises in trusts and probate because he is visually impaired, pointing out that “paradoxically the documents may have a lot of words but there is good speech software.”

Inspired by the recent Angel Canal Festival (September 2015) he’s interested in having a go at Morris dancing. “There would be a great deal of exercise and enjoyment if a group of visually impaired people gave it a go – complete with bells and bladder on a stick – even as a one-off. That would be a good day,” he says, adding. “People who define themselves by disability confine themselves by it. It’s one of the great issues in disability – if someone is in a wheelchair it is not why they are in that wheelchair, it’s the size of the step in front of their wheels. You need to look at the ability and remove barriers.”

The same goes for community health care, whether it is temporary or even at the end of your life.

“In care homes there can be a deprivation of liberty,” says Olav. “You don’t need to lock people up – protect and enable people to go to the shops, even if they have dementia, don’t stifle them. We also inspect how the staff respect people’s dignity – like choices of food and toilet facilities. We do this objectively and because we visit several homes we get a broader view. If you have a loved one there’s a conflict between ‘that’s all there is” and if you complain ‘will it backfire’. We want to know ‘are our health centres looking after our community?’.

Olav Ernstzen met Islington Faces at Korova, the family-run coffee shop and restaurant opposite Tufnell Park. “I like it here – this was Flavours and owned by a Master Chef winner. Then it was Bunny Little’s Bakery and now Steve has taken over and is serving all day breakfasts and is open for dinner. Korova, 9 Campdale Road, N7

Olav Ernstzen met Islington Faces at Korova, the family-run coffee shop and restaurant opposite Tufnell Park. “I like it here – this was Flavours and owned by a Master Chef winner. Then it was Bunny Little’s Bakery and now Steve has taken over and is serving all day breakfasts and is open for dinner. Korova, 9 Campdale Road, N7

Places Olav Ernstzen likes in Islington

  • Menus at Tufnell Park Tavern, N7.

    Menus at Tufnell Park Tavern, N7.

    I like the richness in diversity of Tufnell Park. There’s the Tufnell Park Tavern which has the buggy brigade in the morning and in the evening it’s full of people back from work, and with dogs and children. It’s like a home with a bar. Nearby is Budgens  (3 Campdale Road) which has wonderful staff and there’s a newsagent that is a real survivor. Just over the border in St George’s Avenue there’s the ice cream shop (Ruby Violet, 118 Fortess Road) with unusual flavours. I’ve even tried Christmas Pudding ice cream!

  • Exmouth market – unfortunately the bookshop Clerkenwell Tales shut down about a year ago. But there’s Bagman & Robin (47 Exmouth Market) with bags designed by Marco who I met at the gym. He uses wonderful materials but they’re not too expensive.
  • 20150929_095238

    Gorilla sells perfumes. You can sit in the window display to experience how a scent makes you feel.

    I buy presents for various people in Camden Passage mostly at the perfume shops, Penhaligons (112 Islington High Street) and Gorilla Perfumes (3 Camden Passage).

  • I also like to lunch at the Austrian café, Kipferl (20 Camden Passage). It’s a good place to meet old friends.
  • Another nice area is Bunhill Fields with Cherry Tree Walk and the open air food stalls at White Cross Street which I discovered after a training session at Shelter.
Olav Ernstzen at an Islington Healthwatch meeting which makes use of more than 60 volunteers. (c) Islington Healthwatch

Olav Ernstzen at a Healthwatch Islington meeting which makes use of more than 60 volunteers. (c) Kate Elliott

Sipping tea – with the occasional Twitter interruption from Middle Temple saying whether or not the al fresco bar would open that day, BBC London travel and a friend in remission from pancreatic cancer (who is already working again) – Olav provides a whirlwind of information about Healthwatch, which was set up to find out what the community thinks about the health care services we use in Islington.

Tasks for the more than 60 volunteers and Healthwatch Islington’s five staff include mystery shopping*(where volunteers pretend to be a patient and report back) as well as ‘enter and view’ trips at centres supported by pubic money, such as GPs, pharmacies, care homes, residential homes and hospitals.

Facts to fascinate
“The theatre is about telling stories. At the Bar if you are doing a criminal trial you are representing a client. You have to understand the facts then stitch it into a story to tell the jury. They need to follow your client’s account in a way that is comprehensive. You can’t lie, or mislead. You have to be clear,” Olav says. “At Healthwatch* we have absolute clarity – legislative constraints – so when doing mystery shopping or an enter and view we are telling the story of what we did, how we did it, what we find and what we recommend.”

Ready for an enter & view mission at Highbury New Park. (c) Islington Healthwatch

Ready for an enter & view mission at Highbury New Park with (far right) Olav Ernstzen. (c) Healthwatch Islington

“We have really good teams of volunteers,” adds Olav. “We prepare in advance what questions to ask the health centres and care homes, and think about why we are asking those questions. Then we make a report, which is the story of what we saw and heard. To be genuine our recommendations must hang off the visit. To improve the quality of the service to the community everyone must trust what we’ve done.

Tips for trustees & directors
Olav Ernstzen, chair of Islington Healthwatch feels that being a barrister, “helps keep me sharp. You are dealing with bright people in health and social care so you have to keep up, and if you disagree they need to take it seriously. But as a chair or trustee you need to have a strategic grip.” Priorities should be to:

  1. Set policy and strategic goals

  2. Ensure resources are there

  3. Keep out of the way while staff do it! Let them get on with their job.

 

Healthwatch is not a campaigning organisation. However it would like to see GPs using interpreting services more widely. “You can pick up the phone and get an interpreter, and it’s free – so there’s no downside,” says Olav. He senses that I’m puzzled and then asks me, “Can you imagine the embarrassment for family members who have to interpret at the doctor if you are a mum and your 10-year-old son has to translate?” I’m soon laughing at the horror of that situation – for both mum and son, and of course many doctors’ surgeries are only open during school hours, which isn’t good for children’s learning either.

A second issue Healthwatch is exploring is how mental health services for young adults need to be developed.

The combination of Olav’s good sense, and skilled chairing has been one reason Islington Healthwatch has been so successful, but mindful that he’s already done one term as chair for LINk (Healthwatch’s predecessor) and one as chair for Healthwatch Olav points out that, “your legacy is finding people to take over, not the organisation collapsing because you leave. That’s why succession planning is a huge part of good management, which all voluntary organisations – and businesses –need to consider.”

You can see Olav in action chairing at the Islington Healthwatch annual meeting on 20 October 2015 – newcomers and volunteers are always welcome.

Looking to the future, Olav hopes that more people will help to build on the success of Healthwatch by joining the volunteering teams, and by giving feedback about their own experiences of health and social care in Islington.

  • Healthwatch Islington’s annual meeting is on Tuesday 20 October from 4-7pm at London Metropolitan Tower Building, 166-220 Holloway Road, N7. Anyone can attend, but please send an email RSVP to info@healthwatchislington.co.uk.
  • Olav is also a member of the Bar Council Disability Group, and sits on advisory groups with both Transport for London (TfL) and the Department for Transport where he helps advise how services should improve to meet the needs of the community. He also chairs the Camden & Islington Low Vision Services Group, and the Mobility Forum, for the Central London Region, on behalf of TfL.

Words*
Olav became chair of Healthwatch Islington when it launched in 2013. He had been chair of its predecessor organisation Islington Local Involvement Network (LINk) since 2009. Olav explained that of the “33 local authorities in London Islington was one of only three where the incumbent LINk was asked to carry on, and only one of a few in the country. This was wonderful, but quite scary – like an opening night at the theatre.

Mystery shoppers visit GP practices (or any other health or care service) pretending to be a patient who needs to book an appointment, or get information (on how to make a complaint,for example). They can then make a judgement on the customer service they received, and the quality of information provided. Unlike ‘enter and view’ the volunteers don’t reveal that they are members of Healthwatch.

Over to you
If you’d like to nominate someone to be interviewed who grew up, lives or works in Islington, or suggest yourself, please let me know, via nicolabaird.green at gmail.com. Thank you.

If you liked this interview please SHARE on twitter or Facebook or join the Facebook group. Even better follow islingtonfacesblog.com (see menu top right) or follow me on twitter @nicolabairduk

This blog is inspired by Spitalfields Life written by the Gentle Author.

If you enjoyed this post you might like to look at the A-Z  index, or search by interviewee’s roles or Meet Islingtonians to find friends, neighbours and inspiration. Thanks for stopping by. Nicola

Tara Button: buy me once campaigner

9 Sep

Everyone has a story. Tara Button wants MPs to bring in a simple law that stops companies making products built to break – and she’s asking us to help her by signing a 38 Degrees petition that got 8,000 signatures within a fortnight of its launch.  Can she get 100,000 to help throw away our throwaway culture? Interview by Nicola Baird

“I really want more environmental views in Parliament,” says Tara Button who has set up a super-popular petition calling for built in obsolescence to be ended, an idea already operating in France.

“I really want more environmental views in Parliament,” says Tara Button who has set up a super-popular petition calling for built in obsolescence to be ended, an idea already operating in France.

“I tried really hard not to do this idea. It’s completely away from what I normally do – write children’s books and advertising copy. My friends think of me as a geek tweeting about Harry Potter and Game of Thrones,” she adds. They clearly didn’t realise Tara Button was a self-confessed “sucker for petitions.” They do now.

NEVER MISS AN ISLINGTON FACES: if you enjoy reading about people who live or work in Islington please follow this blog by email (see how on right hand panel). Fresh interviews are published once a week. 

“I was searching for an electrical appliance and it got me thinking about what lasts, then I saw a Guardian article that the French had passed a bill about obsolescence. It seemed to me such a simple idea because people can make decent choices if they know how long a product is going to last,” says Tara. After that every time I saw anything about the environment I’d get itchy inside. I’d think I’ve got this idea about finding appliances that lasts and maybe my idea would help.” It was clear she couldn’t do nothing, so she set up a petition which would:

1) Aid consumer choice by enabling proper comparison for the first time, (by providing cost and predicted lifetime).

2) Prevent companies building shoddy products built to break.

3) See less products made… and less going to landfill.

4) Mean that manufacturers can move away from their perpetual price war and compete on quality again.

5) Help poorer family out of a cycle of poverty where they are forced to perpetually buy and replace broken appliances.

Still her idea wouldn’t go away.

If you choose products with a lifetime guarantee you only need to go shopping once. Tara Button has identified a few #buymeonce products including a Davek umbrella; Tweezerman tweezers; pans from Le Creuset and the For Life range of Dr Martins boots and shoes. See more ideas at buymeonce.com

If you choose products with a lifetime guarantee you only need to go shopping once. Tara Button has identified a few #buymeonce products including a Davek umbrella; Tweezerman tweezers; pans from Le Creuset and the For Life range of Dr Martens boots and shoes. See more ideas at buymeonce.com

Initially Tara, 33, considered running a website-store stocking products with lifetime guarantees. But she says, “I couldn’t think how to make money from it or how to avoid the headache of getting a warehouse or drop shipping.” So she decided to keep her day job but go ahead creating the buymeonce.com website and pack it with info about where to find kettles, pans, shoes, furniture that are built to last.

Tara, who was born in Hong Kong, is a friendly Holloway resident. She’s full of energy – working full time at Islington-based Krow on Goswell Road, running a children’s writing group two evenings a week (often at Angel) and also finishing a sci-fi book for 10-12-year-olds about a very spoilt alien who gets a human pet.

Even so she’s been stunned by the way the petition to stop greedy companies making products that break took off on 38Degrees.

 “From the 80 people I knew that I shared it with on a Saturday it started getting a life of its own – there were 1,500 signatures by Sunday. I kept refreshing and every 15 minutes another 50 people had signed it. It was so exciting, though it’s calmed down now,” says Tara. On the day of this islington faces interview the signatories were up to a massive 8,000.
“Yes I feel I’ve done something really great,” she says with a grin, and “it outstripped my expectations, but then I got new ones! I think 15,000 signatories could make the difference but 100,000 definitely will.”
Nag's Head market.

Nag’s Head market. Tara Button’s cat spent three days on the roof because no one would help her get it down. “I was in the Islington Tribune,” she says. Luckily her cat was eventually rescued.

Places Tara Button likes in Islington

  • When I’m not trying to save the world I run a book writers’ social club. It’s a children’s writing group with about 140 members. We meet twice a week, often at Candid Café. I set it up on Meet Up. We sit in silence for two hours and then are allowed to talk and eat cake – it’s a way to create an office for writers.
  • I try really hard not to eat cup cakes, but… I buy the ingredients from Morrisons as it’s very close. Occasionally if I need gluten free ingredients or something extra healthy then I get it from Waitrose on Holloway Road. I’m also excited about the new organic shop just by the Coronet (Wetherspoon pub) at 338-346 Holloway Road.
  • 20150804_163038

    Hollywood Bistro on Holloway Road.

    I often walk through the Nag’s Head and use the stalls for reheeling shoes and key cutting. Once I lost my cat, Prim, on top of the market roof and for days couldn’t get her down.

  • My boyfriend and I are suckers for the £10 meals from M&S on Holloway Road. We also have a favourite greasy spoon, the Hollywood Bistro. We also like the Front Room on Tollington Park Road, N4.
  • I was commissioned to write a children’s book, with the working title of Wishing for Normal for Body & Soul, the children and family HIV charity by Sadler’s Wells. It does wonderful counselling and support.
  • I went to Filthy’s, 274 Holloway Road for my birthday which sells cocktails in jam jars.

Instead of enjoying the summer Tara has been studying the small print of what we buy. “It’s become my life,” she says. “I spend a lot of my time tracking through the T&Cs (terms and conditions) and if it is not clear then I call up. It’s a bit random: I now know far too much about screwdrivers – but I don’t like shopping so I am excited about only having to buy things once.”

As Tara reveals on the new website buymeonce.com – which her employer has offered to help with – there are already products that really do last years, from shoes to umbrellas. So if you need to buy something then do take the time to have a look at the website.  It’s great that Islington has been the birthplace of such a useful resource. Thank you Tara, and good luck making our MPs create a really useful labelling law.

Over to you

If you’d like to nominate someone to be interviewed who grew up, lives or works in Islington, or suggest yourself, please let me know, via nicolabaird.green at gmail.com. Thank you.

If you liked this interview please SHARE on twitter or Facebook or join the Facebook group. Even better follow islingtonfacesblog.com (see menu top right) or follow me on twitter @nicolabairduk

This blog is inspired by Spitalfields Life written by the Gentle Author.

If you enjoyed this post you might like to look at the A-Z  index, or search by interviewee’s roles or Meet Islingtonians to find friends, neighbours and inspiration. Thanks for stopping by. Nicola

 

 

Ade Clarke: landlord at The Lamb Beer & Liquor

13 May

Everyone has a story. The golden days of pubs may be over but Islington is lucky – some of the new landlords, like Ade Clarke at The Lamb Beer & Liquor know how to mix music, real ale and people to create pubs that make you feel just like a local. Interview by Nicola Baird

Adrian Clarke: former money man at book and actor agency A P Watt, then Blake Friedmann, has been pub landlord at The Lamb Beer and Liquor since November 2014. “I loved our Christmas singsong around the piano. Someone brought a guitar, another got the whole pub singing those cheesy songs. We’ll do something similar in the summer. We have about seven people working here. It’s a few hours on your feet but the time goes… I enjoy chatting and we all want people to feel very welcome.”

Ade Clarke: former money man at book and TV agency A P Watt, then Blake Friedmann, has been pub landlord at The Lamb Beer & Liquor since November 2014. “I loved our Christmas singsong around the piano. Someone brought a guitar, another got the whole pub singing those cheesy songs. We’ll do something similar in the summer. We have about seven people working here. It’s a few hours on your feet but the time goes… I enjoy chatting and we all want people to feel very welcome.”

“I love being behind the bar. This pub has got a great feel – it’s a shabby boozer but wears its history well. By history, I don’t mean Charles I ordered a flagon of Camden Hells lager here in 1631, I mean that for 150 years people have come through those doors and had a good night out. That’s a precious thing.” Ade Clarke, pub landlord of The Lamb Beer & Liquor since  November 2014, loves history so much that he qualified as an Clerkenwell and Islington guide* four years ago.

NEVER MISS AN ISLINGTON FACES: if you enjoy reading about people who live or work in Islington please follow this blog by email (see how on right hand panel). Fresh interviews are published once a week. 

Turns out that Ade, 53, who grew up in Hatfield, has been driving past his pub since childhood. “I’ve always known the Holloway Road well because it’s the A1 and we always came along it when we came into London or drove home.”

Ade and his business partner Rosamund Watson (whose CV includes experience at Moro and the Quality Chop House) moved to London in the early ‘80s. He studied at City of London Poly and Roz at the London College of Fashion. Now their shared love of “music and dressing interestingly”, as Ade in his fake leopard print cap puts it, has led them to become pub landlords skilled at creating an atmosphere of “shabby, magical, cosiness”.

Already The Lamb Beer & Liquor is attracting a local following with its candlelit piano in the corner, dark wall panels, comfy banquettes in the bar and a great stock of London beers including Camden Town Brewery, London Fields Brewery, Hackney Brewery and N7’s own Hammerton Brewery often delivered by brew master Lee Hammerton himself. There’s also a growing calendar of events including fiendish Monday night quizzes – set by Pete, Irish music on Tuesdays and Sundays. http://www.hammertonbrewery.co.uk/

The Lamb Beer & Liquor looking towards the bar. The pub has been a Holloway Road local since XX. (c) Ade Clarke

The Lamb Beer & Liquor looking towards the bar. The pub has been a Holloway Road local since the 1870s. (c) Ade Clarke

Places pub landlord Ade Clarke likes in Islington
“Despite all my years in London if I get past Marble Arch ‘there be monsters’. Roz (my business partner) and I looked for three or four years until we found the Lamb Beer & Liquor. So apart from our pub I like:

  • Holloway Road has something of a rock and roll history and the music we play reflects that. 1960s record producer Joe Meek (of Telstar fame) had his studio down the road, The Lord Nelson pub (now The Horatia) was an important venue during the 1970s in the days of pub rock, and I’ve seen a bizarre photo from 1970 of John Lennon and Yoko Ono standing on the roof of what is now The Wig and Gown bar*.”
  • Central Fish Bar, 149-155 Central Street, south of City Road in St Luke’s is a great place. It started as a fish and chip shop but now it’s a fish restaurant with a real mix of diners.
  • Hope Workers Café, 111 Holloway Road is a really old school London caff. The food is homemade and reasonably priced (tea is 80p). And I love the lettering, so 1940s.
  • Shakespeare’s Head, 1 Arlington Way, next to Sadler’s Wells looks like a 1960s estate pub but has a bell for when the interval ends, and sometimes fills up with dancers. I’ve had some good times there.
  • It’s great to see the 12 Bar Club from Denmark Street finding a new home at 203 Holloway Road.
  • For a posh dinner it’s hard to beat The Almeida, 30 Almeida Street. I had a little party for my Mum’s 90th birthday there, a few weeks ago, and the food and staff were lovely.

Music pub
“Music is important. The Irish sessions are a nod to Holloway Road’s Irish heritage. We have regular bluegrass sessions too. Our manager Martin Thompson is in an indie band called The Fire Stations. Our playlists are interesting it could be anything from 1920s tea dance to 2015 indie sounds,” adds Ade.

Landlord Adrian Clarke: “The Lamb Beer & Liquor is a bohemian place. We’re not a football pub with screens but if you are an Arsenal fan and you come up the side of the road from Highbury we’re the first pub you find. Match days are really busy: lots of guys come in here before the match for a pint.”

Landlord Ade Clarke: “The Lamb Beer & Liquor is a bohemian place. We’re not a football pub with screens but if you are an Arsenal fan and you come up the side of the road from Highbury we’re the first pub you find. Match days are really busy: lots of guys come in here before the match for a pint.”

Pub with a history
Since the late 19th century 54 Holloway Road’s wooden interior, and green tiled exterior, has been tempting Holloway Road drinkers. Adrian thinks his pub was originally a beer house called The Lamb. “It’s a traditional pub name, and Holloway Road was once a droving route, or perhaps even a pilgrimage route,” he says. Holloway locals may also remember The Lamb as Barcosa and also Tank when it boasted an iguana and anaconda cage. Or what about the Flounder & Firkin stage during which port holes were made in the wooden floor that allows drinkers to watch brewing in the cellar?

“We think that the pub dates from the 1870s and it was known as The Highbury Brewery Tap up until 1985. The Highbury Brewery was established in Holloway Road in 1815 and was operational for 100 years,” explains Adrian. It’s clear he’s a real fan of Islington through the years.

When you’re open from 4pm-midnight week days and until half past midnight on Fridays and Saturdays there’s a lot to be said for making your daily commute a bit shorter. “My missus, Anji, and I are going to move here in the new year,” he says. “I like Holloway Road and the diversity in Islington – and I feel like I’m the oldest person in Spitalfields sometimes. It’s time to move on.”

Bohemian rhapsody
“It’s been a steep learning curve – helped by Martin who was the manager here for three years. But I enjoy chatting to customers and I love the way more and more people come in on their own because they know they’ll know someone in here. That’s why the pub tends to fill up as the evening goes on,” adds Adrian.

Holloway Road pubs are enjoying a renaissance. But even with these new improved local boozers Ade and Rosamund’s The Lamb Beer & Liquor stands out as a friendly pub, with a great selection of real ale and wine, run by two landlords who have lots of ideas – from history talks and art curation of the old iguana tank to live music nights – that they’d like you to share. See you there: I’ll have a half!

Words*
Clerkenwell & Islington Guides Association  – courses are held at the University of Westminster, and applications for 2015-16 will be accepted from 1 June 2015, see info here.

Read about the Wig & Gown’s links to Michael X and the Black House of Holloway Road on this blog.

Over to you
If you’d like to nominate someone to be interviewed who grew up, lives or works in Islington, or suggest yourself, please let me know, via nicolabaird.green at gmail.com. Thank you.

If you liked this interview please SHARE on twitter or Facebook or join the Facebook group. Even better follow islingtonfacesblog.com (see menu top right) or follow me on twitter @nicolabairduk

This blog is inspired by Spitalfields Life written by the Gentle Author.

If you enjoyed this post you might like to look at the A-Z  index, or search by interviewee’s roles or Meet Islingtonians to find friends, neighbours and inspiration. Thanks for stopping by. Nicola

 

Andy Parker: musician & painter

11 Feb

Everyone has a story. Is it strange to have been born in Covent Garden and become a landscape artist? Probably not if your major influence is Turner whose home was round the corner… just over 200 years earlier. Andy Parker, who’s lived in Islington since 1980, talks about early morning painting trips, walking around London and his 2015 plans to visit and paint at 15 of Turner’s most popular seascape locations, in-between promoting his new band – Andy Parker and the Internationales. Interview by Nicola Baird.

Andy Parker: xxxx

Andy Parker at work outside Somerset House. Photo by Jan Kotkowski. “Jan is dead now but we used to paint on Hampstead Heath.”

“I had a number one airplay single in Spain, Dead Letter File, playing with Steve Lake in The Relatives.” For a moment Andy Parker, sitting in Kafeteryum cafe by Caledonian tube seems to grimace – and I’m reminded of that moment in About a Boy by Nick Hornby when Hugh Grant’s character admits his income comes from an Xmas number one he doesn’t love. Here’s the song on YouTube http://youtu.be/ETYEnEALhLY (see Andy’s note below*).

NEVER MISS AN ISLINGTON FACES: if you enjoy reading about people who live or work in Islington please follow this blog by email (see how on right hand panel) or join the Facebook group. Fresh interviews are published once a week. 

Barnsbury Wood. (c) Andy Parker

Barnsbury Wood. (c) Andy Parker

“I’ve got my own band now: Andy Parker and the Internationales. We call it that because everyone’s foreign – Jamaican, French, Mexican and German,” says Andy explaining that Burn a Brighter Flame, his fourth instrumental album will be out in February 2015 and is a mix of Latin, blues and reggae [find them here]

However much Andy, 57, loves the band it’s landscape painting that has him getting up at 5am in spring and out of his home behind Pentonville Prison on Vulcan Way.

He’s a prolific walker of the borough – making it from Cally tube to Angel’s Chapel Street market in 10-15 minutes – but he’s good at stopping too.

 

xxx

Andy Parker: “Snowman – canvas painted from my window, looking on to the estate, in the snow a year or so back.” (c) Andy Parker

“My day starts when the sun comes up. I don’t mind painting outside ever, though I’d rather the weather was ferocious than grey,” he says wistfully looking at grey sludgey London through the café’s windows towards a block of flats that he remembers used to be a vast bingo hall.

Although not formally qualified as an artist, Andy spent two years at St Martin’s as a mature student. “I didn’t start doing art properly until my late 20s/early 30s,” he says. But by then he’d also acquired 10 years experience as a sound recording engineer at Pyramid Arts Development in Dalston, worked in PR, sub-edited for magazines, contributed to music magazines and even put dead bodies in the fridge at the Royal Northern Hospital on Holloway Road (where he met Lesley, his son Otis’ mother). “Crappy jobs are not so crappy if you’ve got something else to be doing – like art or music,” he explains.

Andy Parker: artist and musician with a lino woodcut he's working on and flyer from his recent Barbican show.

Andy Parker has had exhibitions at Voluntary Action Islington on Pentonville Road, Rowan Arts at the Nags Head and Islington Arts Factory. His most recent collaborative venture in December 2014 was contributing music for Revelation – Art of the Third Age – an arts project organised by Islington artist Chris Avis as part of the Barbican’s open lab scheme.

    • Places Andy Parker likes in Islington
    • The original street market at the Nags Head (now gone) had duckboards laid over a muddy car-park and plastic sheeting overhead – guaranteed to drip rainwater down your neck.
    • Chapel Market used to run the full length of the street, selling everything from apple doughnuts to sad-looking boiler chickens hung on a stall, with a row of market lock-ups opposite the side of Sainsburys. It’s still great for fish, fruit and veg.
    • The run-down streets and lock-ups around White Lion Street, also now redeveloped, were where I saw the London showing of radical 80’s artist Judy Chicago and her famous Dinner Plates show – in a place that then became an electrical warehouse for many years.
    • The first time I remember coming to Islington, I have a recollection of rows of steps lining the main street, where we sat one early morning in Spring to take a breather after walking from Manor House, heading back to the West End. By the time I moved here, all those steps were earmarked for change and only a few of the originals at the Angel still remain.
    • Kafeteryem just by Caledonian Road tube is opposite a block of flats that used to be a vast bingo hall.

      Kafeteryem just by Caledonian Road tube is opposite a block of flats that used to be a vast bingo hall.

      “Now my relationship with Islington has much to do with food and the local traders! When we were kids my mum never cooked on Saturdays and bought us food from the Soho delis, a tradition I kept with my son growing up. As the old Italian delis have largely gone, with the exception of the excellent KC Continental Stores near King’s Cross and many of the butchers have disappeared, new businesses have sprung up and in places like Caledonian Road a rich diversity has allowed all sorts of ethnic groupings to supply their own local needs – all this in a street over a mile long that still doesn’t contain a bank and hasn’t for 10 years.”

    • We used to eat smoked meat, fish and chopped, pickled veg in brine when I was growing up, bought from that last wave of white emigrants: Polish, Italian, French and Jewish who settled in Soho after the war. At my first primary school I was in a minority of English speakers – kids who didn’t want their parents to understand what they were saying at home spoke to each other in English!
    • I really like Yasar grocery – a Turkish store – just after the railway bridge on Caledonian Road. Moonlight on Holloway Road has a good bakery, and Macius, the Polish deli down by the Tarmon on Caledonian Road, has a fine selection of delicacies.
    • The Draper’s Arms in Barnsbury is a pleasant place to sit and have a pint. My son likes Arsenal, his Mum was Man United and I was a Spurs fan, so I’m not going to be standing around amongst loads of cheering Gooners when I have a drink.
    • The Estorick Gallery has some great Italian art and like the Screen on the Green is an occasional expensive indulgence.

Turner tour 
The result is that his work rings with intent, and is more often than not inspired by Turner’s loose brushwork and quest for drama. This tendency is going be tested to the limit when he starts his Turner tour to discover what our connection still is with the sea.

“Turner’s prints of the sea made him famous with the public. We’re no less an island but do we still have a connection with the sea? Almost all those sea pictures are painted looking back at the land, rather than the usual perspective of looking out to sea. I’m going to 15 locations, almost all are sill working ports or harbours, except Margate. But I’m not convinced that Turner painted much on boats. He didn’t paint on the spot. He drew fast and then went back to his hotel room, and he experimented with staining papers. There’s a pier in Deal he may have drawn from looking back at the town, and perhaps in some paintings he stood in a bay when it was low tide then added the big waves and sunsets.”

Not only is Andy challenging the established view that Turner was recreating what he saw, he’s also challenging the idea that those dramatic red skies had anything to do with the popular theory that it was down to Krakatowa* exploding. “No one else saw them. Constable was painting at the same time, was meticulous in recording the weather conditions and though he made his painting look fantastic he never experienced them. One aspect of Turner’s greatness was to make things up. It’s not what’s in front of you, it’s what makes a good painting that counts.”

Andy’s also going to be having fun – by doing the trip on his motorbike, although he points out this is also a practical option with all his kit.

Andy Parker: "In the church gardens by Ironmonger Row."

Andy Parker: “Dans le jardin – in the church gardens by Ironmonger Row.” (c) Andy Parker

From Soho to Cally Road
“As a child my mum would say to my sisters ‘if you ever get accosted on the way home, go to the working girls on the corner and get help, they won’t take that crap’. I think it was sound advice! People don’t expect people to live in central London, but I grew up navigating the way to the bus stop and my primary school by strip clubs and the theatres,” says Andy.

“We lived adjacent to what is now Stringfellows. My parents split up in the late 1960s so my mum brought us up above the saddlers’ shop my family had run in Covent Garden since 1850 [for the 50 years before that the family had traded in Soho]. The only shops left that still remain from my childhood of a similar vintage are Beales the chandlers at the end of Neal Street and Smith’s umbrella shop at the top of Shaftesbury Avenue.

Andy had immense freedom as a child – there were even bombsite playgrounds in the West End back then – and as he grew older he spent a lot of time in the National Gallery. Not only has it made London his village, it’s also ensured that he has a tough core.

Andy Parker: "Alleyway - that little passage at the end of Almeida St leading into the square beyond." (c) Andy Parker

Andy Parker: “Alleyway – that little passage at the end of Almeida Street leading into the square beyond.” (c) Andy Parker

Life in Islington
“People say ‘Islington? Isn’t Upper Street marvellous!’ But then there’s Caledonian Road. There’s a big divide. When I was in short life housing (Andy had around 11 moves as a short life tenant in the borough) we were looked down on by the council tenants and also by the people who own their own nice houses. There are quite a lot of villains in Islington, too: it’s a profession in some families. I’ve seen kids with their hoods up throwing rocks, torching cars or stealing scooters and it makes me wonder if they are being mischievous or just doing their apprenticeship?”

It’s said good humouredly – Andy’s a great talker – but he’s good at making character judgments too, thanks to his habit of making pen sketches. “I worked as a studio assistant for an artist who had mental health issues so his social worker said get him doing something outdoors. We’d go to exhibitions regularly or paint at Russell Square.” Even now Andy often walks over to Russell Square to paint – the result is a series of more than 70 paintings of people sitting, relaxing, having lunch, talking on the phone – and they do sell.

“I do traditional landscapes as well but this is a chance to put figures against landscape so I can use this green, that green, against a shaded green and a lit green – nothing in the way of fencing or even trees – just the way I see them.”

It’s this single-mindedness and clarity of vision that Andy will take on his Turner tour and what was needed to get the new album recorded.

“There are always so many ways to waste time,” he says draining his black coffee, thinking back perhaps to some of the horrors that life has thrown at him – a baby son dying at just three months, and the years when he was stressed and ill with ulcers that put paid to his studio career and then his ex-partner’s unexpected early death from similar causes to their son. But his enthusiasm for the spring project is clear – a time when he looks set to create even more paintings than his usual brilliant bursts. Do share what you think of Andy Parker’s paintings on the comments below.

PS: If you like Turner, have a look at Cyril Mann’s Islington art published on islington faces blog here.

Words*

From Andy Parker: I’ve no idea who put it up the first Relatives single on YouTube. It is incomplete – should it be of interest, the second Relatives single can be found, in a complete form on: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6mzmd3FuX_w
Krakatoa is an Indonesian volcano which famously erupted in 1883 – one of the most violent volcanic events in recorded history according to Wikipedia here. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Krakatoa

Over to you
If you’d like to nominate someone to be interviewed who grew up, lives or works in Islington, or suggest yourself, please let me know, via nicolabaird.green at gmail.com. Thank you.

If you liked this interview please SHARE on twitter or Facebook or join the Facebook group. Even better follow islingtonfacesblog.com (see menu top right) or follow me on twitter @nicolabairduk

This blog is inspired by Spitalfields Life written by the Gentle Author.

If you enjoyed this post you might like to look at the A-Z  index, or search by interviewee’s roles or jobs to find friends, neighbours and inspiration. Thanks for stopping by. Nicola

Jennifer Yong: founder Jenius Social

27 Jan

Everyone has a story. Tucked behind Holloway Tube off Hornsey Street is a chic, airy space designed for greeting, meeting and eating. You can hire the kitchen; learn how to judge coffee like a pro; even get to grips with filleting fish. Jenius Social founder Jennifer Yong explains how her new business is settling into Islington.  Interview by Nicola Baird.

Jennifer Yong founder of Jenius Social which connects people through food. “We get people together through food. People are typically aged from their late 30s-50s, but there’s no typical person, although they are usually interested in food! In January we had a lot of people who’d been given gift vouchers at Christmas.” Photo by Sam Awad.

Jennifer Yong founder of Jenius Social which connects people through food. “We get people together through food. People are typically aged from their mid 20s to 50s, but there’s no typical person, although they are usually interested in food! In January we had a lot of people who’d been given gift vouchers at Christmas.” Photo by Sam Awad.

Around 10 years ago Jennifer Yong, 37, moved from Perth, Australia to London. At first she was happy working in the finance world but gradually she decided she wanted to be the boss. After two years refining her business plan and hunting for the perfect location she opened Jenius Social – a way of connecting people through food. There are classes every day (except Monday and Tuesday) offering the opportunity to learn and cook, or learn a bit more about something you enjoy (eg, wine or beer) or just to eat at the monthly supper club.

REQUEST: if you enjoy reading about people who live or work in Islington please follow this blog by email (see how on right hand panel) or join the Facebook group. Fresh interviews are published once a week. 

Jennifer Yong: “I’ love food but I’m not an expert, I bring in experts. I’ve learnt so much - I road test the classes so I’ve been a student and sometimes I also cook with my guests.” Photo by Sam Awas XXX

Jennifer Yong: “I’ love food but I’m not an expert, I bring in experts. I’ve learnt so much – I road test the classes so I’ve been a student and sometimes I also cook with my guests.” Photo by Sam Awad.

“I wanted to do something different and this fuses two of my favourite things – food and socialising. I’m passionate about food, not just eating it, learning about it. There’s a good chance that if people pay to join a coffee class then they will be meeting like-minded people!” explains Jennifer.

“I like meeting new people. In London it’s a bit difficult to meet people: you do it at work, or through friends of friends, on line or at a bar. Here we group people so they can socialise and talk through food. It’s not dating it’s just a chance to meet interesting people you’d have never met.”

 

Sacred Cafe is a key place to meet people working close to Islington Studios and Hornsey Street. Jennifer Yong: “I’ love food but I’m not an expert, I bring in experts. I’ve learnt so much - I road test the classes so I’ve been a student and sometimes I also cook with my guests.”xxx

Sacred Cafe is a key place to meet people working close to Islington Studios and Hornsey Street. Jennifer Yong: “I used to work at Sacred Cafe before Jenius Social opened.”

Places Jennifer Yong likes in Islington

  • “I don’t know the area well yet. But I walk along Holloway Road to work. I like the independent coffee shops and the quirky secondhand shops selling furniture.”
  • “Sometimes I walk from Angel through the back streets because the architecture is amazing. There are beautiful houses in Barnsbury.”
  • “I like to go to the Angelic pub, next to the big Sainsbury’s at Angel. The owner, Sarj, has done the same thing as me, but 10 years before, so it’s good talking to him.”
  • “I sometimes go to the House of Wolf on 181 Upper Street or the Horatia pub on 98-102 Holloway Road.”
  • The Pig & Butcher has amazing Sunday lunches, but you have to book.”  80 Liverpool Road, N1
Jenius Social.

Jenius Social – just minutes from Holloway Road tube. Photo by Sam Awad.

Since Jenius Social opened in summer 2014, at Hornsey Street which now has 600 flats and 50 commercial units, Jennifer has run cheesemaking classes, butchery, wine tasting, cocktail making and nose to tail eating where you learn how to cook using all bits of an animal. Jennifer’s concept is very elastic – she’s as happy hosting a corporate away day as running private. “I did a lot of research and for customers convenience is very important – Hornsey Street has very good public transport.”

With food being such a passion in Islington – just look at the choice of restaurants on Upper Street – it seems like Jennifer has hit upon a genius idea. So if you want to learn more about food, hire a venue for a private party or give a voucher to a friend Jenius Social might be the perfect match.

Over to you
If you’d like to nominate someone to be interviewed who grew up, lives or works in Islington, or suggest yourself, please let me know, via nicolabaird.green at gmail.com. Thank you.

If you liked this interview please SHARE on twitter or Facebook or join the Facebook group. Even better follow islingtonfacesblog.com (see menu top right) or follow me on twitter @nicolabairduk

This blog is inspired by Spitalfields Life written by the Gentle Author.

If you enjoyed this post you might like to look at the A-Z  index, or search by interviewee’s roles or jobs to find friends, neighbours and inspiration. Thanks for stopping by. Nicola

 

Carlos Torres: film maker & photographer

21 Jan

Everyone has a story. Film maker Carlos Torres reckons living in Islington will give him the film making opportunities he needs to develop his career.  Interview by Nicola Baird.

Carlos Torres: xxx

Carlos Torres: “London’s where the opportunities are. And I love it here.”

Spaniard Carlos Torres has been in the UK for three years but is happy to call Islington – and more specifically Archway – his home.

Carlos is from Granada, where he studied broadcast and sound, but when he was 26 he arrived in Chelmsford, Essex to better himself. “I had two friends living in Colchester [about 23 miles away] but found work in a tapas restaurant in Chelmsford. It was a good place to practice my English! At first I just wanted to come for a year. In Spain there are jobs in tourism, but not too many other things. After 10 months I moved to the big city – London – because that’s where the opportunities are. And I love it here.”

 REQUEST: if you enjoy reading about people who live or work in Islington please follow this blog by email (see how on right hand panel) or join the Facebook group (which reached 100 followers in January 2015). Fresh interviews are published once a week. Thanks. Nicola

Loving London is probably why time has just slipped by… “Granada has a lot of mountains. If you want to escape you go to a square and see the landscape. In London Primrose Hill gives you that feeling,” says Carlos. Although he likes Peckham and Brixton with their big African communities – “it’s like travelling without leaving the country” he explains – he’s settled in Hornsey Road, Islington but has also found time to look around Essex, Norfolk, Devon and Brighton.

Places Carlos Torres likes in Islington

  • The Gate Café is good. 6 Archway Close, Archway Island, N19 2TD. @TheGateArchway
  • I like Junction Café. They have chicken shish – it’s good and cheap, and they have a terrace. 61 Junction Road, N19 5QU. Tel: 0207 561 0991
  • Dartmouth Park is a good place to sit and chill.
  • Del Parc is a really good Mediterranean restaurant (serving coffee, tapas, drinks etc). It is small and the two owners, Alan and Steve make it a really friendly environment. I can make a good tortilla at home but their tortilla is really nice. 167 Junction Road, Tufnell Park, N19 5PZ, tel: 020 7281 5684. Open Wed-Sat.
  • I like to go to Islington libraries especially Archway and North Library. They are so different to public libraries in Spain. They have such a friendly environment and you see kids using them almost every day.

“I’ve made a lot of friends in London. I think what I like most is the immersion of cultures – there are so many people from different cultures. It makes London really fun. The only thing I don’t like is how many people are leaving all the time. Saying goodbye is hard,” he says with a generous smile.

Although many people say that life in Spain is particularly hard at the moment Carlos has based himself in London because it’s a mecca for film making. “If you want to get somewhere you can reach it in London.”

Capturing a Speak Street session at the Gate Cafe on Archway island. Photo by Carlos Torres.

Capturing a Speak Street session at the Gate Cafe on Archway island. Photo by Carlos Torres.

Tips from Carlos Torres for taking photos

  • Capture the moment – or prepare the photo. I like using a film camera. I’m using 35mm and really loving it.
  • I have been developing photos at Highgate Community Centre. The caretaker is a real character. I like the idea that everyone on this Earth has their role to do and I’d like to document as much as I can in London.
  • I try to catch a moment or something that may be very different in the future because London is constantly changing.

Not only is Carlos photographing in his free time, he also works at a Brazilian TV company based on Seven Sisters Road. And as he’s got to know the area better he’s also helped out on a range of community projects making films for Speak Street, the amazing language learning exchange co-ordinated by Joanna Bevan (who has written several interviews for islingtonfaces blog).

 

Carlos also created the 4 minute film of Islington Faces Live at the King’s Head Theatre in October 2014. Find out more about this here.

“Hopefully I’ll stay here for a few years and do as much as I can. I especially like catching a moment in time – on film – because London is changing so fast,” he explains but then laughs remembering the UK’s big snag… “The weather is the only problem.”

  • Follow Carlos Torres on his facebook page here.

Over to you
If you’d like to nominate someone to be interviewed who grew up, lives or works in Islington, or suggest yourself, please let me know, via nicolabaird.green at gmail.com. Thank you.

If you liked this interview please SHARE on twitter or Facebook. Even better follow islingtonfacesblog.com (see menu top right), @nicolabairduk

This blog is inspired by Spitalfields Life written by the Gentle Author.

If you enjoyed this post you might like to look at the A-Z  index, or search by interviewee’s roles or jobs to find friends, neighbours and inspiration. Thanks for stopping by. Nicola

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