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October 04, 2011


I started to write a comment saying that whatever else Camden is, it's not exactly a typical London neighbourhood… but it sounded like I was trying to suggest that the UK doesn't have an aggressive, heavy-drinking culture. Or that it's atypical. Which would plainly be ridiculous.

Just to clarify: what I was getting at is that Camden is a bit of a destination within London, a place where people go shopping or for a night out, and it draws people from quite a large area. I haven't been to Camden Lock market recently, but it always used to be the place where teenagers from all round the suburbs and exurbs of London went to buy teenagery stuff. I grew up south of the river and we certainly did.

So what you're seeing in the centre of Camden is a somewhat concentrated, exaggerated version of British drinking culture, because it's one of the major focal points for that sort of thing. So don't imagine that the whole of London is like that all the time. But it's not actually atypical either. Because every town and city all over the UK has somewhere where young people go to drink, and some version of those kind of scenes can be found there, if not every night, certainly on Friday and Saturday night.

ha! I used to work opposite the Vine, and we used to go there for team lunches and after work drinks most memorably on 7 July 2005, sitting outside, feeling the fear, drinking the beer, not really knowing if or how I'd get home that night (i did)

ooh haven't passed by your blog in a long time... was amazed to seem photies of camden.. one of my best friends lives in parliament hill so I'm often on a 214 bus or c2 zipping up to see her when I'm in London...

I can say that, in the days of going "Clean for Gene," you let the screwballs stuff envelopes in a back room somewhere so that nobody would see them, but that was only a holding action at best. Still, you didn't send the screwballs out to the factory gates for pamphleting, at shift change, because you were kind of hoping to win people over, not alienate them.

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