On reflection

Farewell to Tin Pan Alley

An excellent blog post on the accelerating cancer of gentrification in Soho. Londoners have to get off their backsides and get passionate about this before it is too late. Once this is lost, it won’t come back.


Denmark StreetTo live in London at the start of the 21st century is to enjoy a double-edged privilege. On the one hand there is access to a quite fantastic variety of creative activities and the energy that sustains them. On the other there is the widening gap between extreme affluence and the lives of ordinary people. The imminent fate of Denmark Street — London’s Tin Pan Alley — is where those two phenomena collide, with unhappy results.

For me, much of London’s remaining attraction lies in those places — a stretch of Berwick Street in Soho, the top end of Marchmont Street in Bloomsbury, the northern extremity of Portobello Road in Notting Hill — where independent and often eccentric enterprises still create a village atmosphere consonant with local history. Sooner or later they’ll all be destroyed by creeping affluence. Denmark Street is the latest to go, about to be suffocated by the…

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