Saturday, 29 September 2012

The university that wasn't.

The corner of Seven Sisters and Hornsey Road has a bike shop, a Chinese supermarket, and a pub that survived a Zeppelin attack.

It doesn't have a university. It never had a university. It is unlikely ever to have a university. 

The 'American University in London'

It does have a building with a plaque. The plaque, just about visible in the photograph above, says 'American University in London'. 

AUL was never accredited anywhere, and could no more confer degrees than I can (though if anyone's interested in a Hornsey Road MA my fees are reasonable and attendance requirements not onerous). 

Its website is still up. It shows good-looking young people smiling and skates over AUL's premises being a few rooms over a bookies. 

Note the crest with House of Commons-y portcullis

It recruited up to the 2011/12 academic year even though AUL was fined in 2006 for 'misleading prospective students by deceptively representing itself as a university in spite of lacking proper accreditation' and I can find no evidence that they became accredited after. 

The plaque's still there too. 

Sunday, 23 September 2012

Everest Spice

So I was cycling home with a friend the other day and we had one of those disjointed conversations where you catch five words before the traffic lights change. Anyway he recommended Everest Spice.

'Really?' I said 'This place?'

Photograph from here
'Really' he said.
'Mmph' I said. 

But I tried it and he was right. You should try them too if you haven't already, in which case I suppose you're shaking your head at my slowness of uptake.

Photographing food is difficult

If I had more data I'd theorize that there's an inverse relationship between how rundown takeaways look and how good they are. Someone should do a study. There should be graphs. 

Really difficult

Where? 53 Hornsey Road
When? Monday to Sunday 17:00-23:00
Tel: 020 7609 7487

Monday, 3 September 2012

... by any other name

The police said Josie Daly was 'in the premier league of London madams', making millions out of the Aqua Sauna on Hornsey Road and two other saunas (only one of which had a sauna). 

She claimed to be shocked, shocked that anything illegal was going on in her establishments. Then she was fined £2m and opened a bottle of champagne to celebrate having dodged a jail sentence. 

The story made the nationals, who wrote about her house (named 'Bunty's corner' after a dog buried in the garden), her white Rolls-Royce, the 1000-1500 men who visited her saunas every week and (magnificently) that she had advertised in the British Transport Police's official magazine.  

The journalists made the Aqua Sauna sound like it belonged in: 

A) an x-rated Whisky Galore: 'Daly was wheeled from court past flowers and pot plants from well-wishers stacked against a wall. Messages included one from ''a customer" which read: "Keep smiling, the end is near." '; 

B) an N7 Lilya 4 Ever: 'Fiona was 21 when she worked for Daly. "She was the worst brothel owner I ever worked for," she said. "OK, so she didn't rape or beat me like most of the male pimps did, but she was cruel and nasty. We had to work 12-hour shifts and ask her permission to go and buy a sandwich." '; or 

CJuvenal's Satires: 'one would suppose that in a "grown-up" world, there would be no hiddenness, no shame, no furtive visits to Josie Daly's massage establishments'

I don't know which of these takes is closest to the truth. I can guess and you can probably guess what my guess would be, but my biases aren't evidence. I do know, however, that all this happened in 2000 and that I took this photograph last month: 

They didn't even change the name.