When you live in a place for almost four months, you get to know it.
"My mother, Ellen Ridgway, was trapped in the crush and her last act was to ensure my safety. She held me aloft above the crush so that a policeman could reach out and grab me. I was the youngest survivor but the emptiness of not having a mother's love and guidance will never leave me."
In recent years, the suburb has seen an upswing away from slum status, gangster takeover and wartime desolation. Since the early 2000's, Bethnal Green had been in the process of gentrification, attracting more wealthy residents due to its close proximity to the centre of the city. Though you can still see the odd abandoned building as you walk down the street, it doesn't feel like an unsafe place, and actually reminded me of Newtown in Wellington where I lived during my uni years. This feeling is definitely influenced by the rich cultural diversity, which is bolstered by the large Bangladeshi population. Every day, the footpath would be lined with market stalls, vendors selling everything from clothing to vapes to fruit. And there were so many permanent fruit and veggie shops as well! Any time you'd walk down the street there would be a paradise of watermelons, cherries and nectarines that would be calling out to you with their bright colours "I'm ripe! I'm in season! Don't you want to take a bite?"
Maybe it's just because I spent so much time there letting Bethnal Green grow on me, but I really think it's one of my favourite suburbs. No, it doesn't have a great food scene, and no, there aren't a lot of events going on there. I can't pinpoint exactly why I like it - there's some inexplicable atmosphere. You'll just have to go and see for yourself.
Today's post was almost called: Never Mind Squirtle, this Park has Squirrels!