Saturday, 21 April 2012

Soho: Starbucked

"Soho is London's bohemian heart. Britain's pop industry was born there, the film industry was run from it, and Foyles led the bookshops filling Charing Cross Road. Prostitutes lined the streets until the 1990s, when it became London's gay thoroughfare. Late-night drinking dens and cafés served them all in a sometimes sleazy but potent atmosphere. But now, in a pattern repeated in similarly cherished neighbourhoods across Britain, the independent businesses which dominate its warren of streets are suffering. Blander public taste, corporate encroachment and pre-Olympics paranoia have put Soho under siege..."

A great, scary, depressing piece by Nick Hasted in The Independent on the corporate take-over and blandification of Soho. 

Get rid of the junkies, 
get rid of the whores, 
get rid of all your silly second-hand bookstores, 
we've had enough of your knowledge round here,
get rid of that caff where Quentin Crisp drank, 
give us boredom and some more of the same, 
it's all going to be Starbucks now.