Wednesday, March 28, 2012

The gentrification of Kentish Town

The gentrification of Kentish Town has been mooted for many years, though I never believed it was real. A good gastro pub and a bookshop do not a new Primrose Hill make. As long as the Superdrug is bigger than the Boots, and as long as there are more kebab shops than bistros, you can safely say it's still an area with some grit to it. The people peeing their pants and shouting at themselves in the benefits queue at the Post Office cannot truly be said to be 'gentry'.

But I think it may finally be happening....

The evidence? Well for a start, even the kebab shops are posh now. Witness E. Mono, with its heritage shop frontage and free range chicken. London's new French school chose NW5 as its base, which explains the preponderance of beautifully accented, Breton stripe-wearing, yummy mummies round these parts lately. Then there's the arrival of Costa Coffee, Pret a Manger, and 'finest Italian fennel' to the veg stand by the tube.

And if that isn't enough proof, check this lovely urban plaza out.
When I first moved to the area a decade ago this shelter next to the tube was dilapidated and missing panes of glass. This did not deter the dispossessed from sitting on the steps underneath it, drinking Special Brew and yelling at each other.

Now, the restored shelter has a groovy coffee stand featuring ethically sourced coffee, a florist, and some cool, itinerant-free seating.

I think NW5 may finally have arrived.

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