Thursday, 1 July 2010
The Death Of Shoreditch.
Being that I have a local business in Shoreditch's oh so hip it hurts triangle, I am one of the first and few remaining business's that started in the early boom of the burgeoning Shoreditch Bohemian Scene.
I have scene the area thrive and change at an alarming rate, and talk to the neighbouring business and exchange deets about whats going on with the area. The triangle is known for it's galleries and bars and the Boho shops that strive to be different from the cack they peddle in Camden to tourists. What I love about the area is that there is a working class feel mixed with artists and city folk, pepperd with travelers from Japan, New York and everywhere else. Do I believe Shoreditch is cool? Yeah, it's got its good points I mean this is Central London, and Shoreditch reminds me of Sliver Lake back in the early 90's when rent was cheap and the vibe was really happening.
But recently a DYI gallery space /bar has been the buzz around the closing of The Foundry at the Old Street/Great Eastern Street Junction. It has been taken over by squatters, whom believe the space should be saved. Hackney Council have allowed for the building that once was originally a bank to be demolished and pave a way for an Art O'tel. for the chain of Park Plaza Hotels. Cue Trendy decor and £500 a night rooms for a 18 story building with supposed shopping space as well. There is already production of a corporate hotel extension being built just a block form my shop and it's not an Arty farty hotel. Just an ugly ass hotel for travelling wayward bankers and their high class ho's looking for a lil something something on the side.
I have great memories of The Foundry (and it's toilets), and Bill Drummond of the KLF fame asking me to give him a piece of my work for his collection in order to show their. The space houses an early Banksy mural of a rat that will be preserved for the new hotel. To which Banksy has made his opinion of them demolishing the foundry that has been a weekend favourite for bike couriers and the Shoreditch Glitteratti at one time or another. I am always opposed to squatting but in this instance I see the point of the protest and support them in their struggle against the bailiffs and the property developers. This is just one aspect of mass consumerism cashing in on an area that has been thriving from the local people and it's inhabitants and sell it off to those he think that simply by visiting in close proximity a luxury 18 story hotel will suddenly make you cooler. No, it just means your bank account is probably bigger than your dick.
While across the street there is a public social housing estate across the street where its residents would never be able to afford a £500 a night stay in one of their rooms let alone afford to eat in their restaurant. Sure the space could bring jobs to the area, yet I feel that a development like this only starts to bleed out onto the outer regions and there by making them the outsiders. I don't think Shoreditch needs a high rise hotel as they are planning to develop three blocks south a wall of high rises, that are already green lit. If you want to help do your part by visiting here and help out.