Top 5 misconceptions about Shoreditch
Shoreditch is full of hipsters.
That’s the first thing most people think of when they picture Shoreditch isn’t it? And with article after article about gentrification citing the area as it’s prime example, many people think they know all there is to know about Shoreditch without ever stepping foot inside it.
But as long time residents, we believe most people aren’t getting the full story so we want to challenge some of the things you may think you know about the area with a list of our top 5 misconceptions.
Let’s start with the big one!
- It’s full of hipsters – There are hipsters, don’t get us wrong, but it isn’t just hipsters. Shoreditch, is full of all sorts of people that were here long before anybody had even heard of a flat-white. We have the strong Greek and Turkish communities, Caribbean, Vietnamese the list goes on…Here’s a lovely quote from local resident Robert (and his friend Donal) taken from a great book, ‘The Faces of Shoreditch’.
“Shoreditch is mad, absolutely mad, but life is beautiful!”
- It’s expensive – It’s £20 for a molecular cocktail and £5 for a bowl of cereal right? Well, you can find those things, but if you know where to look, you can get all manner of cool stuff on the cheap. You can get a salt beef bagel for under £5 on Brick Lane, there are sample sales aplenty and on the first Thursday of every month, over 150 galleries in east London come together and run free events, exhibitions, talks and private views during special late openings. Add to that all the second hand furniture and vintage clothes shops, Shoreditch is arguably the place to be for bargain hunters.
The best salt beef bagel in the world = £4.40!
- It’s dirty – One man’s graffiti is another man’s street art. Walking around Shoreditch you’ll see the huge letters of Ben Eine spray painted on doors and windows, the whimsical mushrooms installed on rooftops by Christiaan Nagel and lets not forget the iconic colourful heads of Thierry Noir. Shoreditch isn’t a sterile place and long may that continue.
A Thierry Noir on family run Italian restaurant, Franco’s
- The people aren’t nice – Maybe this is more of a general London thing as it’s a city of over 8 million people, so it’s understandable that people are a little more reserved. But without that small town customer service, you’d be forgiven for thinking that every shop is just out to get your money. However, Paper & Cup, one Shoreditch coffee shop is an example that proves that assumption wrong. Created by the Spitalfields Crypt Trust, a locally based charity organisation, Paper and Cup plays host to the Homeless Book Club every Thursday, run by Crisis and World Book Night.
The Homeless Book Club at Paper & Cup
- There’s no green space – Does the Astroturf of box park count? No it doesn’t does it. Well how about the Geffrye Museum gardens? Or Allen park off Brick Lane? And let’s not forget Shoreditch park. In fact, with a total of 23 green flag awarded winning parks in Hackney, there’s plenty of green to be seen.
The ever tranquil Geffrye Gardens
So there you have it, Shoreditch isn’t the gentrified, expensive, unfeeling, hipster playground that maybe you were led to believe. Sure things change, sometimes at a maddening rate, but as the man Robert says himself, “Shoreditch is mad, absolutely mad, but life is beautiful!” Here here Robert!