Biagio meet locals at “El Comandante”
LONDON: Biagio Mastroianni works as illustrator, painter and printmaker in Lucerne and London. His illustrations, paintings, drawings, etchings, screen prints and monoprints are shown in exhibitions in London, New York, Italy, Norway, New Zealand and Switzerland. Moreover, he illustrates in publications like Horizon Magazine London, The Naked Punch Magazine, Neue Zürcher Zeitung Zurich, for the Swiss Red Cross Bern, for the company Feltbrook Ltd. London and he coact to audiovisuals installations for theatre- and dance performances. His illustrations and Paintings are also published in the annual Book “Illustrators 55“, In the Book International Contemporary Artsists I.C.A. New York and exhibited at the Society and Museum of Illustrators in New York. Biagio is a part-time teacher at the Lucerne University of Applied Sciences and Arts.
Where do you live? I live in London and in Lucerne, Switzerland.
Here I grew up: I grew up in Lucerne and have family in Italy.
Why I visit London: I was always attracted to this big and cosmopolitan city with many cultural backgrounds and I was also attracted to arts, music, film, opera theatre, buildings, street scenes, architecture, many different food cultures and the atmosphere of London.
My early memory: The kindness, the helpfulness and the hospitality of the Londoners, also the interest of the multicultural society.
How do you find the best places to eat? When good friends of mine recommend restaurants or if I discover one myself then I give it a try.
My favourite place to eat: Pane e Vino Trattoria in Kentish Town, very genuine Italian delicatessen Kitchen, unfortunately it had to close its doors recently due to high rents. But the owner is looking for another location.
What did you eat there? Spaghetti and seafood. The food is all home made and the service is so kind and really familiar. They used to show Italian movies on Sundays and it included a set menu.
Typical local food? Sunday Roast, Fish and Chips, Burgers, Steaks, and Jacket Potatoes.
Meet the locals: I use to meet locals at “El Comandante” pub in Annette Road, next to Emirates Stadium. Here it is live jazz and Latino concerts, there’s very good south American Food and BBQ’s and they show Football matches on the screens on Match days. The waitresses, waiters and locals are very friendly, it is a mixture of North and South.
My favourite pub: “El Comandante” in Annette Road. In the evening it is like an oasis: The light situation is so awesome inside there and with the surrounding Victorian buildings and also the children plays on the street. There is no traffic and the regulars to this pub are really nice.
Best place for a first date? Here are so many places, but I recommend a nice park, it is so poetic and romantic!
My secret place: Haringay Green Lanes in North London is such a colorful Street, full of nice restaurants, shops, markets and coffee bars. The Gökyüzü is a fantastic Turkish and Lebanese Restaurant. After the meal I suggest to visit Salisbury on the same road, a very nice old-fashioned English Pub with live music.
My best advice: Think Positive, live at the moment!
My favourite shop: Salvino on Brecknock Road, an Italian delicatessen and coffee bar. The pasta, the wine and all the Italian food specialities are so fresh and gorgeous. Salvino has been there for more than 25 years run by the same family.
My favourite Event: It is in the Apollo Tavern, a Greek and Cypriot Restaurant on Seven Sisters Road towards Finsbury Park. The food is really good and from 11 pm till late they play life music and the people are dancing, drinking and eating and they enjoy themselves. Not to be missed!
Taxi or other local transport: Bus and the London Underground.
Why do you travel? I love to see and to experience new cultures, cities and landscapes and every time it inspires me to create new images.
Where next? To the south of Italy, in the area of Naples, which I really love.