Field Notes

Note 12: X-Zalia Night Cure

Location: Popham Street (side of 78 Essex Road), Islington, London N1

X-Zalia Night Cure field trip map

In 2002

In 2002

• We head up Essex Road, away from the rarified antique shops and posh burger joints of the Angel. But gentrification is creeping east, with the arrival of Planet Organic. I’m cheered to see that Past Caring is still in business, with its odd assortment of clapped-out chairs on the pavement, a child’s rusty rocking-horse. A man is walking down the street bobbing his head and making a chugging noise. We find X-Zalia; the sign is still beautiful. Outside Essex Food and Wine, which now occupies the site, is a nearly-new pair of Next black ladies’ pumps. Vici looks around, then shoves them in a bag. But the shoes give me the creeps; across the road from the sign for that cure-all elixir is W.G. Miller Funeral Furnishers. A hearse is parked in the loading bay. And on the corner is Get Stuffed, the famous taxidermy shop; inside, owls, foxes, badgers, even a baby giraffe, all suspended in death, their glassy eyes staring back at us.
• Words Tamar Yoseloff / Photos Vici MacDonald

Below: Essex Road, home of the expired. Bottom: exhibition display of field notes.

X-Zalia Night Cure field notes display