Where the hell has the Vortex gone?

It had been a while since I walked down Stoke Newington Church Street but I was shocked to see that the old Vortex building has gone. Having been away for a year and a half I kind of half expected that the Vortex would have been saved at the last minute (like in the movies) by a kindly anarchist-philanthropist, and was once again happily jumping to the sounds of atonal improvised sax playing.

But the Vortex had gone, to be replaced by a load of scaffolding. No more will I come staggering home at half past two in the morning, dying for a waz, and be suddenly seduced inside by the strange wails of freeform jazz. No more will I be able to ruin a perfectly good evening by suggesting "hey let’s go and see Penny Rimbaud out of Crass live in Stoke Newington." In its glory days there was also a rest home downstairs for all those lost texts about structural film theory and feminist cultural critiques.

Has the Vortex by any chance been put in the British Museum?

A cold wind blows from Woodberry Down

It’s the same every morning. At the end of the tree-lined bank that used to carry the New River, as you turn vaguely northwards towards the fenced off no-dogs area, the temperature all of a sudden drops. A cold dry wind hits your face, whirling in from the direction of Woodberry Down. Narrow your eyes and try  you can see that you’re on the slopes of a very gentle hill.

A can of Kestrel Super  lies at the side of the path. A possible sign that a shamanic specialbrew energy diviner has been in the area, mapping the lines between Stoke Newington and Highbury. That or a lazy drunk.