• Camdenist
  • Posts
  • Merch alert! Hacked eBikes! Fringe binge!

Merch alert! Hacked eBikes! Fringe binge!

A wealth of exclamation mark-worthy highlights for the week ahead

Just one of the many bikes spotted parked directly across the pavement earlier this week


🚵🏻‍♀️ The problem with ‘hacked’ eBikes

It’s fair to say we’ve been rinsing out our free 60 mins of Forest credit this week (get yours below, if you haven’t claimed it already).

Once you get a taste for it, hopping on a dockless hire bike very quickly becomes an essential part of the urban transport mix, and riding for free makes the whole experience that bit sweeter.

But the sudden proliferation of thousands of eBikes and scooters on our streets is a big experiment that’s still very much an work in progress.

This week we’ve been taking a look into the Tik Tok-fueled craze for ‘hacking’ and abandoning Lime bikes, and ways that the Council and the operators are trying to reduce the subsequent anti-social dumping of bikes all across our pavements and roads.

Have a read of today’s feature here, then make sure to vote in the poll at the end of this email, where you’ll have a chance to leave your own suggestions for improving how the system works.


🆓 Download or open the Forest app, then enter the promo code CAMDENIST60 to ride for free right away.

Minutes can be used for multiple rides for up to 3 months. Go!


Merch alert! Latest local must-have t-shirt tie-ins

Here are three essential new merchandise collaborations that support both local indie retailers and ethical fashion labels, rolled into one fetching purchase.

Hands down our favourite spot for a waterfront craft beer this summer, 3 Locks occupies a series of railway arches at Hawley Wharf, and they’ve now also carved out a neat little spot in front of the tanks stocking merch from parody pop culture maestro Thumbs.

His range of fluro mash-ups brings hip hop icons, Simpsons characters and video game heroes together on some ultra desirable t-shirts and hoodies.

Thumbprint's tees swerve factory production in favour of low-income communities in India, helping provide education, training and dignified employment for local girls and young women.

Meanwhile, Half Cut celebrate quality independent food, beers and natural wine provision, so emblazoning their logo on your chest is a righteous move for any self-confessed fan of those earthly pleasures.

  • 🐟 And finally, the undisputed OG of merch tees from as far back as the 1970s, Kentish Town’s MAP are reissuing their iconic Three Second Memory (TSM) fish graphic.

The new green mini-tees don’t drop until later this month, so pre-order now to avoid them all swimming away before you’ve got round to it, and help support MAP in the process as their backstreet café/live venue/recording studios still has an uncertain future, and we must not lose them!


Fringe shows you really have to see this week

We speak to director and producer of comedy company Insert Laughter Here, Aaron Weight, about bringing their risky but hilarious format, Spin A Play, to Camden Fringe (10th & 11th Aug at the Museum of Comedy) - a show where the audience gets to write the plot each night.

She's that random bestie you met in the toilets on a night out, the former music hack turned unstoppable standup. The Impish Scribe brings Renaissance to 2Northdown for the Fringe this weekend - and she’s been telling us why you really do have to be there.

Spend enough time alone in your flat with only a washing machine for company and you’ll begin to understand the world from the perspective of the device, as this play explores in intimate detail on the 8th and 11-13th Aug at the Etcetera Theatre, upstairs at the Oxford Arms.

  • ⚠️ The future of Camden High Street’s important venue the Etcetera Theatre is in real peril, as the impact of Covid and the cost of living continues to bite hard. Do therefore make a special effort to attend a Fringe show or two there, or you can also donate to their fundraiser.

She claims to have lived a thousand lives, but is also deep in the process of a ‘quarter life crisis’ in her mid-20s, so who exactly is Farrah Alice Black, and why is she determined to make us laugh at her various misfortunes at 2Northdown next weekend?

Britain’s Got Talent semi-finalist Nerine Skinner gained thousands of social media followers overnight when she made a well-observed parody video of then-soon-to-become-PM, Liz Truss. But just when it all seemed so promising, after just 44 days… well, we all know what happened next. In this new standup show at Aces & Eights (Wed 9th to Sat 11th Aug), Nerine dissects what it was like, and attempts to work out what’s next for her career.


A Japanese pub grub pop-up

The latest kitchen pop-up at Malden Road’s Gipsy Queen comes courtesy of Konbini Kids, the family-run half-Japanese food and culture club.

They bring a more informal style of Japanese cuisine than the posh sushi experiences dotted all over town, including gooey rice balls, killer sandos (pictured) and donburi bowls.

The Gipsy’s bar team have created a paired drinks menu in celebration of the new residency, including a fiery wasabi margarita and a sake and pear daiquiri.

If the damn weather warms up a bit, a summer’s evening in their hidden garden road-testing the menu is definitely in order, otherwise sitting inside is also very nice too, of course.


  • 🍞 Highgate’s beautifully design-led ‘corner shop deluxe’ Grocery Post has just taken over a new site on the corner of West End Lane in West Hampstead, bringing their enviable selection of cult brands with them.

  • 🥙 Diminutive Neal’s Yard wine bar and restaurant The Barbary Next Door are now open at lunchtimes as a grab ‘n go pita bar, serving a rotating menu of classy stuffed breads and serious homemade pastries.

  • 🎭 In the latest local pub dramas, Kentish Town Rd’s historic corner boozer The Lady Hamilton has suddenly announced it’s closure for good.

  • 🎭 Meanwhile threatened King’s Cross folk music pub The Harrison has been designated an ‘asset of community value’, and while it doesn’t solve their potential bankruptcy from the landlord slapping them with £99k of lockdown rents, it does in some way protect the venue’s future.


What to go hear this week

  • 🎷 British jazz legend Courtney Pine plays tonight and Saturday at The Jazz Café, and while the upstairs restaurant seats are long gone, if you’re quick there’s still standing tickets available on both nights for what is guaranteed to be a serious night of jazz from the multi-instrumentalist.

  • 🤠 Described as a ‘genre-defying Folk troubadour’ in his promos, Chris Fox plays Americana, Country and Bluse, despite being UK-born and raised. His rich vocals and complex guitar can be heard at The Green Note on Monday (7th).

  • 🪗 Award-winning proponents of live klezmer (a traditional music from Easter Europe and the Balkans) She'Koyokh appear at Open-Air Thursdays up at Lauderdale House on the 11th, bringing exuberant violin, accordion, double bass and percussion to the Tea Lawn.

Gig highlights in association with the fabulous Halibuts.com


  • ➡️ Art on the Streets is the next free inspiring talk in a series being run by Camden Inspire ahead of their upcoming festival. Join renowned street art practitioner Aide Wilde and others to discuss the politics of urban public art.

  • ➡️ The last of the West End Projects to add public space to previously hostile roads has been unveiled at Prince Circus, and it all looks rather lovely from those Instagram photos.

  • ➡️ Check out the free Modernism at The Mall exhibition at the ISOKON Gallery for a look at the artists’ enclave in Belsize Park where Barbara Hepworth, Ben Nicholson, Henry Moore and Herbert Read changed the face of 20th Century British Art.


It’s been quite a low-key handover, but Cubitt Square’s micro-brewery morphed from an outpost of Aussie brand Little Creatures to become the Babel Beerhouse a while back. Their ‘Hop Desking’ offer (Mon-Fri, 12-5pm), for £10 gets you fast wifi, unlimited tea or coffee and a pint of beer. There’s even an upgrade to include a burger and fries lunch.


📊 What exactly are you lot thinking?

We ask a question each week. Here’s what was revealed when we asked…

What do you think of the plans to build a big wheel by the canal at Camden Market?

Yes, I love the idea of being able to see across Camden
🟨🟨🟨⬜️⬜️⬜️ 23%

No, it's going to be an amusement only for tourists
🟩🟩🟩🟩🟩🟩 46%

It's just progress, and the wider redevelopment sounds exciting
🟨🟨🟨🟨⬜️⬜️ 31%

“Wheels have been popping up all over the country since 2000. It shows a lack of imagination and is out of character with the area. This is not Legoland, we don't want another Southbank.”

Comment from reader Steve P

How would you solve the problem of eBikes cluttering the pavements?

Please also leave your suggestions in the box on the page that follows.

Login or Subscribe to participate in polls.

Collaboration is essential, so your feedback, suggestions and requests are always welcome. Reach out to us: [email protected] 
Got an editorial idea you’d like us to consider? Just fill in the online form…
Camdenist newsletter is run on Beehiiv.

It’s the new all-in-one tool tailored for growing email newsletters (rather than plan old marketing mails), so it’s the ideal platform for us – and one you might want to explore too.