I recently spent the afternoon at The Alexandra & Ainsworth Estate in north London helping out and taking behind the scenes photos for a music video Nikolai has been working on for my dear friend Tawiah (I'll share it when it's ready, it's pretty amazing).
I took the opportunity to have a little walk around the estate. Have you heard of it before? It's a pretty iconic piece of architecture and you probably know it from music videos and iconic photographs.
Like the Barbican Conservatory I had always seen pictures of it but never really known where it was or how to get there.
The Architecture lives up to the hype. It is the perfect representation of the ugly beautiful modernist architecture that was so popular in the 60s & 70s.
The structures are a little crazy and you wouldn't expect them to feel so beautiful but somehow they are whilst also being really imposing. I can't imagine how it feels to live there. Wouldn't you love to see inside some of the flats?
I feel like the community must be really interesting too. Most of the flats are still council housing but the privately owned ones are highly sought after by people who want to live in these iconic buildings. I'm sure it makes for a mix typical of London's diverse population.
All the way along the Rowley Way blocks there are these planters featuring brilliantly curated flowers. Slightly wild, and fantastically juxtaposed against the harsh reinforced concrete. The evening I was there the light was great, the overcast sky created a soft box of dappled even lighting. A photographer's dream lighting basically.
A lot of the time I find living in London pretty difficult. The fast pace, the pressure, the financial strain but finding spots like this and taking the time to walk around and appreciate some of London's unique beauty makes it a little easier to handle.
I'm also really grateful that I now work part-time so I can afford to use my free days to focus on some of my creative pursuits, like my photography, without feeling pressured to be "productive". That is a privilege I don't take for granted.
Do you know any other hidden spots in London that are perfect for this kind of exploring? I know of a few spots out of London I'd like to visit, one that I've been meaning to go to for a while is Dungeness beach in Kent. Have you been?