Shoreditch Twins Cities
Why do Cities twin? Throughout history, cities have expanded, neighbourhoods have evolved and left their footprint on culture, aesthetics and architecture. Andrew Morgan, the E1 Brew Co guvnor, looks into which cities would twin perfectly with our beloved area of London.
There used to be a time when towns were ‘twinned’ with others and you can still see signs across the UK announcing their twins to those entering their boundaries. I started thinking of what the twin cities of Shoreditch would have and decided upon Margate in Kent and Williamsburg, Brooklyn.
For years, Margate was referred to as ‘Shoreditch by Sea’ and we’ve affectionately used the name ‘E1 by Sea’ for our E1 Brew Co residency at amusement park Dreamland’s summer festivals. It’s fair to say that there are many reasons why Margate is far more than an extension of Shoreditch; it shares so much of the same DNA being such an inclusive, tolerant, creative, artistic, historic town.
Margate has operated as a historical port since the Middle Ages. In the 1960s, subcultures of punks shaped the landscape of the area and had an impact on the youth culture. Today Margate is home to notable landmarks such as the historical ports, the eclectic Dreamland amusement park and the critically acclaimed Turner Contemporary Art gallery, which opened in 2011.
On the other side of ‘the pond’ there is Williamsburg in New York. Originally purchased from Native Americans by Dutch India Company, later being established into the Town of Williamsburg, with notable residents such as German chemist Charles Pfizer, founding Pfizer Pharmaceutical in the area. Later during the wars many Jewish communities from Europe migrated alongside with workers from Puerto Rico and Dominican Republic into the area. Traditionally low rents have attracted artists and creative industries to Williamsburg for decades. Gentrification is a recent phenomenon, just like in Shoreditch.
Williamsburg, was the first place I ever saw advertising murals painted on the side of buildings and it looked awesome by legitimising and developing street art into a commercial concern. Some may not like the big brands muscling-in on things but change is inevitable and, like Shoreditch, nothing stays the same for long. Again, the core DNA of creativity, warehouse conversions, street art, amazing vibes and shopping shine through.
Maybe Shoreditch should consider welcoming people to the area by recognising these amazing global twins? From our side, we’re going to be reporting on what’s happening in both Margate and Williamsburg on our socials and reaching-out to these awesome, like-minded twin-communities in the future. #E1BrewCo.
For more updates of our twinning cities, check out our Instagram.