Ah, London, known across the world as being prestigious and cultured. Indeed, the streets of Mayfair give a sense of classic England, Old Victorian houses on tree lined streets.
Take a half an hour drive east though and you’ll see a different side of London all together.
Hackney is a desolate sprawl of grotty council blocks, with endless amounts of winding alleys for the ‘yout’s’ of the area to run down after mugging an innocent person in a pathetic attempt to appear ‘hard’ to their peers.
On a Friday night, Mare Street is packed with roaming gangs of youths in baggy adidas hoodies, smoking super strong weed, blasting grime music out of their phones. Some of these groups are massaive, literally 30 teenagers in a run down chicken shop shouting at each other, while older, hard faced ex convincts are sat down in the cheap plastic seats, grimly discussing drug dealing.
Walk east from Mare Street and you’ll find the Trelawny Estate, the worst part of Hackney. Trash litters the grass around the tower blocks, the bottom floor windows are either smashed or have burgalar bars on them. As you go further east, all you find is a semminly endless maze of council flats, ranging from two story low rises to twelve story, grotesque towerblocks that blot out the sun Hackney so desperatly needs. Hooded drug dealers hang around on the street corners, selling crack and heroin to gaunt faced junkies in broad daylight.
As the night turns darker, Hackney becomes even more frightening. sirens wail, police helicopters circle above, cars with blacked out windows drive by, blasting hip hop. Sometimes, gunshots ring out, leaving a young man slowly bleeding to death as he tries to run into his block of flats. Wether it’s kids trying to be ‘badman’ or drug dealers fighting over business, who knows.
Hackney was once known as murder mile, due to amount of gun related murders that happened here. Theres just a strange culture of violence in the place, everyone walks around with a ‘screwface’, everyone wants to be hard. I saw a man get knocked out cold from one punch on Mare Street, seemingly randomly.
I lived there in 2005-2006 and I never want to go back.
By: hackney resident