Weekend roundup for 4 September

Includes bad ads, musical beams and secret doors

🏳‍🌈 Last month, Ranjith ‘Roy’ Kankanamalege, was killed in Tower Hamlets Cemetery Park. Police are treating his death as a homophobic hate crime. On Tuesday this week Hackney and Tower Hamlets detectives put out a statement advising members of the gay community to “prioritise their personal safety” at night “by being aware of their surroundings, avoiding listening to loud music, and avoiding dimly-lit areas where possible”. This did not go down very well with some, who have accused the Met of victim blaming.

🚇 The number of people using the Tube is back to about half what it was before Covid. TfL have said they expect to see those numbers go up even more this month as kids go back to school.

🏠 London is to get £3.46bn in affordable housing grants as part of the Affordable Homes Programme. The money will go to a mix of housing associations, local authorities and for-profit providers who will be expected to build 29,456 homes, and over half of those will be “social rent” properties.

🚌 TfL have said they are pulling that Channel 4 Naked Attraction ad from the side of buses following a “social media backlash”.

⛰️ The Marble Arch Mound is going to be permanently free. The £8 charge was only supposed to be waived for a month until they sorted out the ‘teething problems’, but this week Westminster Council announced access would be “free throughout the life of the Mound” (i.e. until it closes in January).

🏘️ According to property agent Benham and Reeves, 60 per cent of all properties sold in London in the last year were “hit by down valuations”. What does that mean? Basically that 47,769 properties were determined to be worth significantly less than the price agreed by the seller and buyer by a surveyor acting on behalf of a mortgage lender.

🎰 Sian Berry, who is a local councillor for Highgate has written an editorial for the The Hampstead & Highgate Express on why she wants to see the end of “predatory gambling” ads on the Tube.

Art and culture bits

💬 The HowTheLightGetsIn festival is “the world’s largest festival of philosophy and music” (although we imagine there’s not a huge amount of competition). Running over the weekend of 18-19 September at Kenwood House, you can take in talks on subjects as varied as the future of sex, what men want, and the return of idealism, before cutting some rug to “sequin-clad satirical weirdos Bourgeois & Maurice” or catching a stand up set by “becardiganed polymath” Robin Ince. Day tickets start at around the £50 mark.

👜 Bond Street and the Royal Academy have teamed up to bring Art in Mayfair back for its fifth year. Billed as a festival “celebrating art, fashion and culture,” it’s really a bit of an excuse for the stores like Armani, Bulgari, Tiffany and Victoria Beckham to create extravagant, artsy window installations. Apparently there is also a “programme of fashion and art-led experiences” through the six weeks (it’s on now and goes until October 17) as well as “large-scale sculptures across Mayfair” and flags designed by Gary Hume hanging over Bond Street.

🛼 To tie in with Somerset House’s No Comply: Skate Culture and Community exhibition, Vans is launching a two-week series of free skateboarding events at a “purpose-built pop-up skate park” (try saying that fast three times) on the Strand. Skate the Strand runs from 8-24 September and will include “free skate lessons, pro demos, open public skate sessions and community talks”.

💡 The Camden Inspire festival is a “brand new street festival” taking place on Friday 17 and Saturday 18 September from 11am to 8pm and running over two streets by the canal. One road will be dedicated to local independent traders (including Lost Boys Pizza and Ma Petite Jamaica) and the other will be transformed into “a long outdoor venue with a stage”. More details over on the website.

🎭 The Telegraph’s theatre critic, Dominic Cavendish has written a piece (paywall alert) on why London’s Theatreland should copy New York’s “razzmatazz” in order to remind everyone “of its innate romance and illustrious history”.

🔦 At the end of this month one of the original members of The Pogues will be projecting a beam of light across the river Thames, and in that light will be encoded a “1000-year long musical composition” (above). You can now buy tickets to ride a ferry between the point the beam will be projected from (the Faraday lighthouse on Trinity Buoy Wharf) and the Greenwich peninsula on the opposite bank where the nautical sculpture Slice of Reality, will act a listening post.

🤳 Chicago-based publishing house Trope has published a new series of books highlighting photographers who use camera phones. One of the artists in the Mobile Edition series is Jess Angell, aka ‘Miss Underground’ who has built a pretty good audience on Instagram with her shots of the Tube’s “beautiful and varied geometry”. You can pre-order her book here.

Swingers City is celebrating it’s fifth birthday this month, and to mark the occasion they’re offering free crazy golf this Tuesday. Between 1pm and 11pm you can enjoy a free round on a walk-in, first come first served basis, and if you get hungry there’s birthday food from Breddos Tacos, Patty&Bun, and Pizza Pilgrims.

Food and drink bits

🍽️ Eater London has spoken to Soho business owners to find out how their businesses will be effected when the area’s outdoor dining scheme comes to an end later this month.

👨‍🍳️ They’ve also been over to Clerkenwell to visit the Sessions Arts Club, which they’re calling “London’s most spectacular new dining room” (and that’s before they get to the bespoke red hounds tooth three-piece suit worn by the guy running front-of- house).

🍜 Ramen chain Tonkostu has fifteen locations to date, but none of them are in North London… until now. On the 18th of this month Kentish Town gets a Tonkotsu and as part of the launch they’re giving away £50 vouchers to 30 people. You can enter the draw here.

🐟 Island Poké already has a bunch of locations across London (including ones on the Southbank, Shoreditch and Bank) but they’re not slowing down. As of this month you’ll be able to enjoy some diced raw fish on Upper Street in Islington, and next month Richmond will get in on the act too. There’s also plans to open locations in Clapham and Notting Hill early next year.

🐓 Café Biltmore is “a Jason Atherton extravaganza” that’s just opened on Grosvenor Square in Mayfair. The Drinks Business sent Lucy Shaw there to sample one of their “gargantuan fried chicken sarnies” (above) and it seems to have gone down pretty well (“it’s crunchy coat of armour housed perfectly moist meat, which was enhanced by the creamy Churchill sauce.”).

🍻 Earlier this year Sambrooks Brewery moved to the Ram Quarter in Wandsworth where they opened a taproom. That means that if you go along to their Beer by the River event next weekend you get to drink their Wandle ale while siting right next to the River Wandle. You won’t have to drink just the one beer though, they’ll have “six special cask ales” to sample and pizza from Crust Bros, as well as live music curated by music charity NEKO.

🍵 East and South-East Asian lifestyle shop, Tian Tian Market, is opening its first central London supermarket. They’ll be bringing their “mooncakes and soba noodles… matcha tea and sojue” to the Brunswick Centre later his month, and there’s also talk of another branch in Canary Wharf opening later this year too.

💈 “Cigar-chomping” Soho barber, Harry Efthymiadou has been fined £10,000 for running a “speakeasy” bar in the basement of his D’Arblay Street shop. Apparently “police found more than 100 people partying” in the bar which was hidden behind a “secret door” .

Long read of the week

There’s not one, but two articles this week, both about the 320-year-old Bevis Marks Synagogue in the City and the “two enormous towers”that are planned to be built next to it, blocking the natural light and possibly damaging the foundations.

Here’s the Guardian’s take on the issue.

And here’s the New York Times article.

Tweet of the week