Hackney’s not nearly as bad as it was when I lived round there in the early 1980s, and in fact has become quite the place to see and be seen in, a bit like Brixton but better. Church Street is for people working their way from Tottenham and Wood Green towards Highgate and ultimately the empyrean of Hampstead, where the blessed spirits go. In the meantime, there are a couple of good bookshops, but for me the highlight of a trip here must be the facade of Abney Park Cemetery, which is built like an ancient Egyptian temple complex, complete with pylons, plaster papyrus plants and embossed scarab beetles.
It’s a member of the exclusive club of Magnificent Seven cemeteries in London, with over 200,000 permanent members/residents, and the ‘Egyptian Revival’ main entrance leads through meandering ways to a magnificent Gothic chapel with a neoclassical design. Unfortunately there is no resident vampire like the one that haunts Highgate Cemetery. On the other hand, there are quite a few solicitors and law firms nearby.