Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Brixton Revisited

Back to London and time for a quick, nostalgic drive around Brixton. I lived on Coldharbour Lane, right in the thick of it, for most of the 90s (joined by Liz for the second half). It was a good time to be there. There was a riot somewhere in the middle but not as bad as '81 or '85. It was edgy but exciting. I liked the sense of community, varied ethnic makeup, the little restaurants (Ethiopian, Malaysian, Franco's pizzas, Helter Skelter...), the healthfood shop where you could measure out spices by the ounce, Ritzy Cinema, 5-a-side footie at the Rec and drinks in the Prince Albert afterwards, the second hand bookshop across the road, good music at the Dog Star, Kraftwerk and Morrissey at the Academy, some fun nights at The Fridge... 
We moved out in '99 (to Tokyo, as opposite as you could get), and for the last 15 years we'd heard that it's gentrified beyond recognition. But driving around, we couldn't really see much difference. Most of the above places are still there & running, it still looks a bit tatty (and in the case of Connaught Mansions where we lived, very tatty) and it's still a Starbucks-free zone. We failed to check out Trinity Square which I gather is now officially trendy but if that's it then it's still a fair way off from Shoreditch and Hoxton.

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