National Geographic : 2012 Aug
LIVING ON THE ROUGH EDGES, but getting by, John Cook (above), aka John the Poacher, hunts rabbits in nearby marshes and sells them from his "office" in the Anchor and Hope pub. "There's nowhere else in London I'd rather be than Hackney," he says. Sibel Beliczyn- ska (left), a Cypriot with two children, is unemployed, on benefits, and looking for work. An older generation favors the Mecca Bingo clubs in Hackney (top left), where a pint sets you back two quid while you wait for the numbers to line up. By any measure---unemployment, income, life expectancy---most East London boroughs sit at the bottom of the barrel. Unlike the homogenized grandeur of West London, with its Parliament and palaces, East London's landscape was---and remains--- unruly and unkempt.