The city that I tend to call my home is greyer than most and yet it is perfectly set up for outdoor living. London Town is chock-full of green spaces, and on those rare and special occasions that the sun chooses to nod its head in Britain’s direction, there are a huge number of parks where locals and tourists alike can excitedly whip off their clothes and feel the sun on their skin. If you find yourself wandering around England’s capital city in search of some green respite, you might make your way to Hyde Park where you can find joggers and rollerbladers sweating it out, or perhaps Hampstead Heath, which offers a panoramic view of the City of London and its impressive buildings (y’know, the Shard, the Gherkin, and “the rest”).
Welcome to London Fields.
But if you lived in the London Borough of Hackney, if you were an art-school student, a hipster, or a fashion graduate, there is only one park that you’d be marching towards: London Fields. This park is a place to see and to be seen. When fashion bloggers are seeking out new trends, they don’t rummage around boutique shops in overpriced and overrated Notting Hill, they spend a day on the ravaged grass of London Fields, where the coolest kids in London parade their dip-dyed hair and fashion wares.
Table tennis in the park.
Hackney hipsters, barbecues, and fixed gear bicycles aplenty.
The park’s popularity with locals has been its downfall in some ways – by the end of the summer the grass is barely there, entirely scorched from barbecues and all day parties. Plus, the hipster crowd and the location that is home to so much poverty can be difficult to tolerate for some. I recall on one weekend, there was a gunshot on the Fields but all of the trendy kids were too laissez-faire to move. The following weekend it began to rain, and of course the same trendies all departed instantly to prevent their hair from getting wet. Priorities, eh?
You will love or hate your trip to London Fields. My own relationship with this patch of grass in Hackney? I have bundles of affection mixed with spots of disdain for the place, but I always come back for more, summer after summer. And good news for the homosexual types, London Fields is full to bursting with men-lovin-men. F’realz, I wouldn’t be surprised if London Fields’ gayness was visible from outer space – and if that’s not a reason to get your bottom there, I don’t know what is.
Do you think you’d love London Fields, or hate it? Let me know in the comments!