Thursday, June 21


"On the map, Shoreditch looks pretty much like everywhere else in the great stew of London. But behind the mild-mannered street plaan lies a raving exhibitionist. Shoreditch has more in common with Brooklyn than it does with Islington. It's been dropped here from the planet me, me, me. It's so cool, so vain, so self-obsessed that it's twinned with itself. Shoreditch is granny's knick-knack cabinet of china ornaments, all of them reborn as irony."

AA Gill's description Shoreditch pretty much nails it. Sonnet and I check out antique furniture from the 1950s to modern household trotchkees. I buy a Finnish-design staple remover and the bearded cashier in espadrilles tells me: "good purchase" without showing an emotion. His co-cashier dressed exactly the same in a Chinese modernist kind of style. I take note.

From there we hang out in Hoxton Sq, which is filled with lush trees and surrounded by bars, coffee houses and companies called "M2".  Hoxton become Ɯbercool when the gays moved in probably about the time we arrived in London. It was urban, cheep and accepting; now it is expensive: a 2 bedroom flat goes for at least £1 million and loft-like accommodations up to £3M. Since the afternoon sunny, the square filled with loungers and nappers and for an instant I can picture myself living here. Then I can't.
Dave Ellis arrives from the US with his family