Right people, right place: Croydon

By Sarah Sansom

We meet at Smoothbean! in Croydon.

We talk about Streets.

Memories of home and childhood float, mixing with the aroma of the unctuous coffee,  caressing my pallet. Smoothing my morning worries.

Lithuania, Croydon, Sofia, that place I can’t remember the name. We are gone.

We start our journey, paired together and already discussing Big Ideas.

She gets them in her room; a temporary temple for thought. I fish mine with the end of my cigarette, here there and everywhere. I take a puff. “It doesn’t happen every time though”.

We hit the North End. “Is it the North end of the North end?” No, we are south.

Notice what attracts you?

The ringing of a bell. A plaited woman walks past me. I love the curves of her hair and her sunshine reflections. Sunshine! I sit down and slow down and look up.

“Be social, Be sensible” says a t-shirt, so when the two boys stroll down the road I smile. We talk and he tells me about his job and his past and prison and that “it is not about the wrong place at the wrong time but it is about the wrong people”.

The wheels of a buggy somewhere nearby sound like birds.

Red is the pattern

And those wheels… wheels everywhere!

I ask the streets how we could engage Croydon’s passers-by in our upcoming outdoor performance. And in general: how do you make people care? I’m stopped by someone who works on this street.

“You make them laugh! Connect with them; treat them as your friends. We are all human beings after all!” This resonates with me all day.

And then we finish and continue; we get into the room and we question why do we do what we do.

I smile.

For we must be the right people for others; their friends who care for them and laugh with them…

Even if it’s just for the time of a singular spin of that bird sounding buggy wheel.

Lora Krasteva


“My encounter with Street Wisdom came purely by accident, and rather by surprise. What I thought was going to be a business meeting about a creative event in the borough, ended up with me serenely soaking in the atmosphere of a high street I’ve walked down probably 1000 times before.

Like everyone, you become quite used to your home town. You notice things, but don’t really notice everything. You know every nook and cranny, or so you think. What Street Wisdom did was shine a new light on an area that’s always been familiar to me. By thinking about the questions posed to me, I slowly strolled the streets, feeling, embracing and taking in my surroundings. The very streets I normally whipped through in a hurry, I was taking my time to really see and notice its uniqueness.

The experience left me peaceful and more connected to my environment. A wonderful way to begin the week!”

Stella Fasusi


Crodon Changing Places/Time Won't Wait workshop