Boy meets girl. Boy gets girl. Girl falls in love with Shoreditch. Typical.
I don’t actually live in Shoreditch. But before you call me a fraud, bear in mind there is a genuine story behind my name; that is, how I became Shoreditch Girl. You see, before Shoreditch Girl, there was Shoreditch Boy…
Of course, not all love stories are meant for great novels. Some are simple enough to scribble down on the back of a napkin about a great summer many summers ago, or perhaps on a blog in that big world wide web out there. Well anyway, as a creative person everything in my life is so over the top, and it was no different with Shoreditch Boy. Perhaps I too often perceive a simple, fleeting gaze as a ‘love at first sight’ moment. Luckily, he was as free and creative a spirit as I, and so my love affair with Robert, and Shoreditch began.
[quote_right]As I clamoured around on the floor drowning in a sea of profanities, a pair of rolled-up trousers, boating shoes and tortoise shell Ray-Bans knelt down to help me.[/quote_right]I was having a rotten day. I’d stepped in a puddle, got lost about five times, and had been up since 6 AM to prepare a shoot, having to make sure the models were in place and the film crew were awake. By 2 PM I needed an intravenous coffee drip, and for some reason stumbled into Nude Espresso. In stumbling in there, I also managed to stumble into him, drop the schedule for the day’s shoot, my prized Canon 550D, and my brand new handbag from which burst forth hardened Haribo sweets and at least 15 receipts (but no cash) onto the floor. As I clamoured around on the floor drowning in a sea of profanities, a pair of rolled-up trousers, boating shoes and tortoise shell Ray-Bans knelt down to help me.
‘Hey kiddo, you need some help?’
That was all I needed. His eyes swallowed me up. All those days as a child dressing up like a princess and wishing for a knight on his trusty steed suddenly made sense; although this particular knight wore chinos instead of armour, and rode a one speed instead of anything equine. But that didn’t matter, because (soon enough) he was mine.
I followed him all around Shoreditch, from one place to the next. We’d go from being refined and educated at the White Cube to getting grimy at 333’s on a Friday night. I drank in the creativity and was instantly inspired by the people and the life I was being exposed to – a far cry from the Made in Chelsea life I normally lead.
Our two most memorable dates together were a trip to the Broadway Market, and Ca Phe, a Saigon-inspired street cafe where I devoured their delicious five-pork baguette. This later inspired a trip to Vietnam to find out just how good Shoreditch’s answer to Vietnamese cuisine was – in person.
And, of course, I will never forget Bookart Bookshop, where he purchased my much-treasured book, Ants Have Sex in Your Beer. It’s a bookshop that puts Waterstone’s and Blackwell’s to shame, and does what it says on the tin instead of trying to be a one-stop shop for anything vaguely related to publishing. Bookart Bookshop is bursting to the brim with some one-off story books, hand-bound books, with not a Starbucks latte in sight – a sensual overload for the mind, body and soul. Robert awakened me to the fact that it was still cool to read despite all the iPads, Kindles and bad TV about, and that day we came out with at least 5 books each, devouring them whilst soaking up the failing sun in London Fields.
So, given all this, perhaps it’s understandable that I still hold Shoreditch so close to my heart. It represents this small ‘world’ that I can escape to when the real world becomes too overbearing. It brings to mind a love lost in a whirlwind of emotions, cocktail jugs and Pho.