To: Chris K
A few minutes away, the only clue that the A10 Russian Bar (267 Kingsland Road, 44-780-942-5905) isn’t your regular vodka-and-pelmeni pub is the line of lithe scenesters outside on weekend nights. The basement club, which is decorated with old Soviet posters, is publicized mostly by word of mouth and MySpace.
The speakeasy vibe continues two doors down at the Melange Social Club (281 Kingsland Road, 44-789-635-0086; www.myspace.com/melangesocialclub). By day, the place seems willfully abandoned. But at night the candelabra-filled bar and sprawling basement come alive with film screenings, poetry readings and late-night D.J. sessions. Parties there rarely end before 8 a.m.
The young new arrivals are also infiltrating old Hackney institutions. At the Bethnal Green Workingmen’s Club (44-46 Pollard Row, 44-207-739-7170; www.workersplaytime.net), a 53-year-old social club for neighborhood laborers, wrinkled veterans now rub elbows with fresh-faced 20-somethings for long nights of beer and bingo. The musty, wood-paneled room upstairs also holds burlesque nights, dance parties and the occasional circus act. On a recent Saturday night, a D.J. played ’60s pop music, while a burlesque dancer in a beret and little else writhed on stage.
Evidence of Hackney reborn is popping up all over. In an abandoned building that used to house the struggling neighborhood paper The Hackney Gazette, an artist collective, Passing Clouds Works (440 Kingsland Road, 44-207-168-7146; www.passingclouds.org), now holds art workshops, film series, experimental theater and music concerts. Visitors are asked to call in advance. During a recent Sunday night jam session, nearly 25 musicians crowded into the space. A dreadlocked African man played the djembe, an African drum, accompanied by a tall, bearded Englishman on trumpet. And they were in perfect harmony.
And our perspective is, this is a trafficking law; let’s leave it focused on trafficking and on traffickers. And also, the more that you go after clients and customers of prostitutes, the less likely they are to actually come forward when you have knowledge, for example, of a woman that you’ve seen who’s in danger. We’ve actually had clients call us and refer women to us, so that we can help them protect their legal rights. And we’ve taken these women on as clients. So, really, it depends on what your goal is. Do you want to help people, and do you want to make sure that people feel comfortable coming forward when they have information?
If there’s one thing that May Pang has been fighting for the last 28 years, it’s the idea that John Lennon was depressed, isolated and out of control during the 18 months she lived with him, from the summer of 1973 to early 1975, when he reconciled with his second wife, Yoko Ono.
Lennon himself fostered that notion by referring to the time as his “Lost Weekend” in interviews he gave in 1980, when he released “Double Fantasy,” a joint album with Ms. Ono that was his return to music-making after five years’ silence. And lurid, oft-repeated tales of a drunken Lennon’s being evicted from the Troubadour, a nightclub in Los Angeles, seemed to support that image.
But to Ms. Pang, now 57, the “Lost Weekend” was a remarkably productive time,
Karl Hoecker en route to or returning from Solahütte. The women with Hoecker “were typists, telegraph clerks, and secretaries in Auschwitz, and were called Helferinnen, which means ‘helpers,’” Wilkinson writes. “Their racial purity had been established—should an officer be looking for a girlfriend or a wife, the Helferinnen were intended to be a resource