Tag Archives: gentrification

Shiny things #2

Items of interest from around and about …

Femtech – Genevieve Bell’s research shows that (older) women are now tech’s lead adopters.

‘More Olympics cash in tie in nonsense’ – Douglas Murphy’s latest take down of London2012.

Mean Streets no more – an analysis of how NYC radically reduced its crime rate.

And from the old NYC … performance art legend Penny Arcade talks to Run-Riot about bringing her ‘sex and censorship’ show Bitch! Dyke! Faghag! Whore! to the West End.

An anecdote to twee – vandalised vintage crockery from TrixieDelicious on Etsy (as keenly recommended by Regretsy).

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Nuke Nuked

New rave experiencing same problems as old rave with the old bill.

Buster Bennett (previously of legendary Hoxton nights Antisocial and Family) has been running his latest night, Nuke Them All, for a while now. But he’s got a problem — he can’t keep a venue. Nuke was initially hosted at the charming Bethnal Green lapdancing joint, Images. But then the council got wind of it and pulled its licence. So it moved to The Edge, a basement venue on Commercial St. The council did the same thing (do they have clubkid spies or something?) So Buster, showing typical clubland enterprise, moved it to an an abandoned pub. Y’know, like the rave kids do. Then the police shut that down too. Buster’s positioning of Nuke as ‘the most lawless creative gathering ever’ is starting to look a bit too prescient.

We can’t resist quoting in full Buster’s comments on the original eviction, as reported over at Jonty Skrufff’s Skrufff.com:

“It’s the same old story, and exactly why we left the gentrified Shoreditch triangle in the first place. What happens is some wanky trust fund son of an estate agent decides to buy up a flat next to an already established strip club then complains about the noise; specifically; the noise, the giant walking pyramids, the cake fights, the glow in the dark horses, the nudity and our clientele generally. But still, why move there in the first place?”

Why indeed! We’re with Buster.

[Photo ©2008 Darrell Berry]

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Freedom Through Shopping

Dalston says No.

Many Dalston residents are less than happy about plans for regeneration (or gentrification, depending on your politics and focus) of the Dalston Junction area. Regardless of local opposition, development seems to be powering ahead.

For the past couple of months, the banners and signs of the protesters have been fighting a propaganda war with official posters portraying the brave new world planned by London Transport, Mayors Pipe and Livingston, and a consortium of developers.

The battle for hearts and minds escalated over the Easter break: the blandly cut-and-paste architectural renderings of the happy happy ‘Dalston to be’ riveted to the hoardings at the 38 bus stop on Dalston Lane have accumulated some creative amends at the hands of anti-development activists.

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Note the sinister concentration-camp motto over the razor wire penning in the citizens of the gated community: SHOPPING MACHT FREI.

We’ve uploaded more high resolution images on Flickr. As in Hogarth, there is much detail worthy of attention: ASBO-branded shopping bags, anyone?

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If you want to visit, go soon before the Powers That Be erase all sign of it. Map here. The site is just across the road from the Dalston Peace Mural — a 1985 celebration of Hackney’s collective anti-nuclear action during the Cold War.

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Subvertising on the Streets

A flyposter spotted in Hackney (where else) spoofing a local letting agency. The copy reads, “Hackney welcomes young, creative victims” amidst headlines of stabbings, muggings and shootings.

subvertising.jpgSee also previous posts:

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Hackney resists gentrification

Threatening graffiti appears at sites of ‘urban regeneration’.

gentrification 001.jpgWhilst putting the fear of god into new homeowners might not be the best solution, gentrification is a genuine problem in Hackney and many other poor areas of London. It’s a problem shared with many other big urban centres worldwide.

Whilst DINKies (Double Income No Kids) are marketed to with promises of ‘loft city living’ and ‘Armani-suited concierges’, council lists are getting ever longer and those in genuine need of sustainable housing not getting it.

Some property developers have recognised that there is a problem and are blending public and private sector interests. Just up the road from this graffiti stands 16 Hoxton Square, a listed old school and community centre. It has been converted into two luxury (but not overtly so) flats overlooking the square and some community offices. The downstairs holds a Prue Leith restaurant (the Hoxton Apprentice) that doubles as a culinary training school for the long term unemployed and Bob Breen, one of East London’s most celebrated martial arts specialists, who has been given back his old place in the building, with an expanded and modernised gym.

According to Sylvie Pierce of Capital & Provident Regeneration who managed the project (full interview in the Financial Times - subscription required):

We all talk about regeneration but what does it really mean? You produce beautiful loft apartments and you bring the wealthy in. They spend money in bars and restaurants and eventually it trickles down. Or you take a more sophisticated view. What does it mean to live on a local estate and see all this affluence around you?

The graffiti in Hackney should give her a fair idea.

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