Sunday, February 10, 2008

It's a real shame about the fire in Camden. It's always been one of my favourite places in London, particularly given I spent just over a month living there right after graduation, just before coming home to start work. I've always felt it was a place full of character and life, regardless of the time of day.

In fact, when my parents were telling me where they felt they wanted me to live when I came up for work, they cited Canary Wharf as their ideal locations before there're always people around. I, the contrary control-resisting person that I am, replied, "So does Camden. Why can't I choose to stay there?" That response didn't go down too well with them, as you may have guessed.

So it was with a little sadness that I watched the news last night, realising that one of the most famous and oldest pubs in Camden had suffered incredible damage. This added to my general sense of... I guess, frustration that the places I've loved and wanted to go to in London seem to be suddenly disappearing now that I've arrived. The Cross, Canvas and The Key shut down at the end of 2007, and now Turnmills is slated to close in a few weeks too. Not to mention all the old-style English cafes I've been wanting to visit and photograph...

I now live in an area which is just as full of life and vibrancy as Camden, although it too is in danger of disappearing. Not because of fires or redevelopment, but simply because of higher rentals which seem to accompany any place which manages to reinvent itself, thereby driving out all the independent shops which make the place unique.

I'm sure that a lot of places will come out of the redevelopment work around the 2012 Olympics, but I'm just not certain I'll be here for that long.

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