Well, I've now finally moved out of my Hackney flat, where I spent the last year. Before I update my geourl and start talking about my new location, I thought I'd give a round-up of my year.
Tell people you're living in Hackney and you can almost see them reel at the horror - Hackney doesn't exactly have the best of reputations when it comes to crime on the streets. However, in my year, I never felt under any threat, and managed to avoid being mugged. There was a police appeal sign on my road for a while though, as there was an armed robbery at Chickin Lickin at the end of the road.
I've already covered most of the local shops, which were generally enough for most of the things I needed day to day - it was nice not having to go to the supermarket often. One thing that is lacking in Hackney though, apart from a tube link, is some good arts and entertainment venues. Whilst there is the Hackney Empire, recently re-opened, and the Rio Cinema, there's little else, and a real lack of cinemas and music venues.
The 2012 London Olympic Bid could be a huge bonus for Hackney, and would give the borough a much-needed publicity boost. However, it's not guaranteed by any means, and Olympics or no Olympics, what Hackney really needs is some better transport links. The Silverlink is awful and really needs to be improved, buses could still be improved, and of course there ought to be a decent amount of tube links. Ultimately, the fact that it took so long to get anywhere useful was the biggest reason why I wanted to move out.
All in all though, Hackney's quite a nice place to live, and is still pretty cheap. Finally, here are some miscellaneous photos from the year...