An Ode to Shoredith
Oh Shoreditch, how I have loved you in these two and a half years. When we moved here, you were still gritty, rough, artistic – just the way I liked it. You reminded me of Capital Hill (Seattle) when it was still cool, when I lived there in the 2000s. Before all the apartment buildings were turned into high end condominiums. On any given day we could open up our door and see some random photo shoot or an artist performing music or a graffiti artist painting on walls. We particularly loved the street art and would take night walks to see the ever changing walls. But, we had to be quick because a new artist would paint over the latest art in a matter of days. Fridays, the pubs would overflow with locals drinking, this is quite a London thing, street drinking on a Friday afternoon. On a warm day, a couple hundred people would be drinking on the street near our house. Often, an accordion player would randomly show up. On most weekends, herds of visitors (hen parties, stag parties, most from the esteemed location of Essex) would roam through the neighborhood from Liverpool Street Station. It was like some sort of take on the Walking Dead, in all their glory of fake tans, big boobs and loud talk. We would often hear them, lost, late at night trying to find their way back to the station. There isn’t any way to describe the high-pitched squeal of a true Essex Brit (female or male).
The pop-ups were amazing. Designer clothes every weekend, new restaurants, music. We loved it. We hung out a lot at our ‘locals’, The Old Kings Head, The Griffin. It was fun to recognize some of our hang outs in TV shows and movies. A wine bar opened practically next door to us, Ba’Cino, Fantástico! Good wine!
Then one day, I saw someone wearing Doc Martens and I knew, it was the beginning of the end. I used to just see hipsters, with perfectly manicured beards and slicked up hair (I think the proper word is poof here). They would be wearing respectable shoes, often ankle laced, skinny jeans, short sleeved t-shirts with the sleeves rolled up. It was a spin on 1950s fashion and, it looked good. Doc Martens or “Dr. Martens” as they call it were a boot worn in the grunge area in the 90s, right before Kurt Cobain killed himself in his garden shed. Everyone wore them and that is the problem. It’s not a unique thing to do, wear Dr. Martins. To me it was the sign that commercialism had taken over. The end of coolness. Then I started to see people wearing a lot of Adidas and Converse and brands that any American would recognize. I had to remind myself I was in Britain. I also have to say, I have seen less and less Essex herds on the weekends which, I think just means Shoreditch has fallen down in the hipster destination list. I used to see crazy, crazy outfits. Youngsters wearing whatever took their fancy. It was fun. Now. Doc Martens and overalls and …I’ve seen flannel and female mullet cuts. Oh god, next it will be baby doll dresses over white t shirts.
What does this all mean? Well, it means it’s time to move.
There was a time when I moved at least once a year for eight years. Then I met Kevin and we decided we didn’t want to move anymore. So, we bought houses, kept them, bought more, repeat. Never “moving” but furnishing the new house, renting the old. I have a love of real estate and couches, so it was no burden. But when we offered to buy the house here in Shoreditch, the answer was a flat “No”. No negotiation, no interest, just no with nope sauce. So here we are. Moving. Hamiltons, moving.
So, we are going on the road…