Alley Cats

I love my flat and I love Shoreditch. However, sometimes living in East London can be a bittersweet experience. On the one hand, it’s a vibrant, edgy, bustling borough full of cafes, clubba kids, foodies and fashionistas. On the other hand, it is a dark, dank, filthy cess-pool, mainly because it is full of cafes, clubba kids, foodies and fashionistas.

A classic Catch-22.

The pros of living in Shoreditch exponentially outweigh the cons the further away your home is from the night life. Look, you can’t turn a corner without coming across a bar or a pub or a Vietnamese restaurant. But, there are varying degrees of exposure to the street riff-raff.

For example, living in one of the pent house apartments would be the ideal (although unattainably expensive). Living above a small pub in one of the back streets is probably the best you could hope for. Even living on the third or fourth storey of an apartment block on Old Street or Shoreditch High Street wouldn’t be too bad. It would be noisy, but you would still be above it all.

And then there is our flat. Located on the first storey (far better than the poor ground-flatters), in a back alley full of dumpsters, above a bar and neighboured by another two bars, a comedy lounge and a well-known chavvy night club.

"I'm like, totally freaking out, dude."
(Source -

Because we are in a back alley, we are a little bit sheltered from the noise on the main street. On a really busy night, screaming and shouting penetrates through closed windows and the walls resonate to some phat basss. However, often the crowds are far enough down the street that all I can hear is a soothing, muffled murmur, like white noise, that ironically has helped me to fall asleep on many a tipsy evening.

If only the main issue was the noise of the crowds. It ain’t. When those debaucherous crowds need a quick retreat for a private function, they always seem to find our alley way. Piss, vomit, shit (yesshit), fuck. One of my flat mates was lucky enough to see a Japanese girl open up her bowels when the alley was covered in snow. Lucky bastard.

To the weekend crowd, our little alley way is just a four metre long toilet. Thankfully, I’ve only witnessed Number Ones (although fingers crossed, right?) Although, I heard something pretty amazing one time when my BF and I decided to have an early night…

Rustling noise in the alley way.

Andrew: “Sounds like another hobo is looking for a feed.”

A gaggle of guys’ giggling echoes into the flat.

BF: “Sounds like there’s a few of them. Ugh, I bet there’s a bunch of Essex boys chucking a piss.”

BF gets up out of bed and looks out the window to spy at the boys below.

BF: “Holy shit. You are not going to believe it. They are snorting coke off the lid of the dumpsters!”

Andrew: “You are so full of shit. Get back to bed.”

Voice from the alley way: “Oh my God, guys. I can’t believe we are snorting coke off the bins! This is mad.”

Andrew: “Touche.”


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