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The Hackney Gentlemen’s Racing Club – From Church Street to Mongolia

Hackney Gentlemen's Racing ClubWhatever plans you have for summer, chances are they won’t be quite as wacky as those of the Hackney Gentlemen’s Racing Club, a group of local residents who are competing in this year’s Mongol Rally, an automotive endurance race to Mongolia.

In July, the four friends from Stoke Newington who make up the team will attempt to drive a third of the way around the world, from London to the capital of Mongolia, Ulaanbaatar, in order to raise thousands of pounds for charity.

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Calling all artists…

Basket House Village Universe, the newly established gallery in Leswin Place, have just announced their new summer show Open ’10, an extravaganza of art for everyone, and they are giving all you artists out there a chance to be part of it.

Whether you work in painting, printing, photography or sculpture, this is your opportunity to have your work displayed. Visitors will also vote on their favourite artwork and the winner will be awarded a one week solo show at BHVU in 2011.

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What do you love most about Stoke Newington?

Stokey means a lot of things to a lot of different people. Which areas, things, places or characters do you love about living here in Stoke Newington, and what do you dislike, hate, avoid or feel is ruining it?

Becky Ford, a local resident and freelance graphic designer, is working on a project to create an alternative map of Stoke Newington as part of her Graphics Design MA, one that captures the spirit of the place through people’s experience of the area, rather than traditional landmarks.

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The Drop Opening Night

Phew… so only a couple weeks after the Butchers closed its doors to be turned into yet another gastro pub we now have a new late night venue in Stoke Newington. And, fear not, my gentle friends, I’m glad to be able to tell you that it is nothing at all like that fiendish place used to be.

The Washington Rays at The Drop opening night

The Washington Rays

The Drop is located just below the Three Crowns, just turn left instead of right once you get inside. It’s a bit of a box of a room with seating along both sides, a stage on one end and a bar on the other. There you have it, easy enough… you won’t get lost in here.

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Datte Foco – Pizza with a Twist

Yesterday I finally sampled the pizza at the latest addition to Stoke Newington Church Street’s Italian Connection, Datte Foco. As someone else has said before me, Datte Foco, which calls itself a “pizza and love joint”, is not like other pizza restaurants out there, and this might be the reason it took me so long to go after they opened in December. The interior is a functional affair somewhere between take-away, caff and restaurant, and the menu and concept takes a bit of getting used to…

Datte Foco - A Pizza and Love Joint

Datte Foco - A Pizza and Love Joint

Datte Foco serves pizza al taglio, sort of similar to Soho’s Maletti or Moorgate’s Mangiare… slices of pizza that are in this case prized by weight. The selection available also differs from what you get in most other pizza joints; you definitely won’t find pineapple here, thank you very much. The key here are original Roman creations with simple yet gorgeous toppings. It’s a great concept but it means that the first time you go you will need some time to figure out what your options are.

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Reel Rebels Radio

Long time friends and sometimes collaborators Charlotte Delaney and Alicia Graham are at it again, this time they are busy setting up a brand new community radio station in Stokey.

Based in the new Politi Arts studio, Reelrebelsradio.com will offer a unique mix of music, talk, documentaries and radio plays – sort of a like a funked up Radio 4. Unlike some other internet radio stations, Reel Rebels will be broadcasting 24/7 and will offer programmes on everything from erotica to religion.

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Green Sundays (again)

Shake off the winter blues this weekend at Arcola’s Green Sundays. This month’s event focuses on ‘Well Being, Health & Happiness’. Discover what it would be like if the government pursued happiness as a national agenda, have a free massage, take part in fun and games or make your own facial products using ingredients from the larder.

The Audience at Green Sundays

The Audience at Green Sundays

As well as the usual live music and short films, you also have the chance to give your lungs a workout in a singing workshop, or if that isn’t your bag why not try the free laughing workshop – guaranteed to make you giggle.

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La Sera – Seafood and Parties

Isn’t it funny how you can live in a place for 10 years or so, and still there are locations you haven’t explored properly.

La Sera has always been one of those places for me. Tucked in between the Coach & Horses and the 24/7 Turkish supermarket, two of my favourite haunts in Stoke Newington, this seafood restaurant has gone unnoticed in the eight or so years of its existence – at least to me. I occasionally hear that the food is quite good actually, and Luca, the manager, is certainly one of the friendliest people in the Coach a lot of nights, but I’ve never made it inside.

But recently things have started changing, and now La Sera has the potential to become one of the more interesting locations in Stokey. You might have seen tables appearing outside, and every once in a while a large crowd of people seems to appear from out of nowhere. So I just had to ask… and Luca was more than happy to show me around.

The club below La Sera

The owners (who also run the Bricklayers Arms down in Shoreditch) have recently made some changes… opened the place up so that the downstairs bar is accessible from the restaurant, added a few nice touches like a big sofa in the front… and very soon now, with its new late license, you will find that there are some rather interesting club nights going on down in the bar. Well, actually, there have been a couple already… the Urban Voodoo Machine had a NYE party down there, and last Saturday Julien from Loser Superhero kicked things off with a Latin Rock party. Continue reading

Photocopied Glory: New Art Gallery in Kynaston Road

A taste of lavish Romanian opulence has come to Stoke Newington. Or at least a photocopy of it has. Peles Empire, recent winners of the 2009 Deutsche Bank Award, are currently slapping up the wallpaper on Stoke Newington’s newest and most velvety gallery space at 55 Kynaston Road, N16.

Peles Empire is a joint project between Stadel School artists Katharina Stover and Barbara Wolff.

Peles Empire is a joint project between Stadel School artists Katharina Stoever and Barbara Wolff.

“We like when there is an interaction between the work, sometimes it is work that you wouldn’t think would work in here that looks the best,” says Katharina Stoever, who runs the project together with Barbara Wolff.

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