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> Save Camden petition, It's a one in a million chance, but it might just work...
Mata
post Aug 26 2007, 08:55 PM
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For those of you who've known London for a while, you may have noticed a creeping trend: Carnaby Street has turned into a souvenir parade, Kensington Market vanished (the new version in the new location just isn't the same), and now Camden Market - arguably the last large bastion of the alternative-and-independent world that is left in London - is faced with imminent closure to be turned into another shopping mall.

Sign up to the UK government's petition and maybe we might make a difference (it's worth a try):

http://petitions.pm.gov.uk/camdenmarket/

What have we got to lose? Camden. What would we gain? Nothing. Sign the petition and try and keep some character in our city!


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Faerieryn
post Aug 27 2007, 08:10 PM
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I can't believe that we could lose Camden! I rememebr when Kenny Market went and that was bad enough!


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Moosh
post Aug 27 2007, 08:46 PM
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The barstewards! They can't take Camden!

Signed and distrobuted to everyone I know. There were about 15,000 signatures when I signed, reckon that's enough to make a difference?


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Mata
post Aug 27 2007, 09:33 PM
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It's in the top ten petitions, but I just can't believe that the government is going to change track. I'm prepared to be astonished, and it's not totally beyond belief that they might rethink their plans for the area; however, I'm not very confident that it will happen. Another part of British culture being lost forever.

So... Where will be left in London? Anywhere?


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Cath Sparrow
post Aug 29 2007, 04:56 PM
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I signed and got my email from 10 Downing Street to confirm I'd sign. Which amused me when I saw it. biggrin.gif


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Daria
post Aug 29 2007, 08:29 PM
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Too late sad.gif Apparently they have already started on part of it.


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Mata
post Aug 29 2007, 10:01 PM
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There's more that's not been 100% settled. Some of the area already has a modern carbuncle on it, but there's a (slim) chance that more could be saved.


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Sir Psycho Sexy
post Aug 30 2007, 12:03 AM
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I just don't see the point in taking something that's made such a name for itself and as such is something of a tourist attraction, and replacing it with something that could be found any-f*cking-where.

They're assimilating camden market...soon even The Dev will be forced to remove it's 'no chavs' rule and show sports channels! ph34r.gif


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Felander
post Aug 30 2007, 10:09 AM
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Personally I'd bulldoze the entire place and put a giant Tescos on it.
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Mata
post Aug 30 2007, 10:36 PM
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Well, Tescos do seem to be taking over every other type of shop in the country, they might as well start stocking cyberdog, rubber corsets, and goth boots too.


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Felander
post Aug 30 2007, 11:17 PM
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QUOTE (Mata @ Aug 30 2007, 11:36 PM) *
Well, Tescos do seem to be taking over every other type of shop in the country, they might as well start stocking cyberdog, rubber corsets, and goth boots too.

Joking aside, did you ever see a programme called Time Trumpet? It was set in the future, looking back on the events of our 'near future', and their past. In it, Tesco invades Belgium (or was it Denmark?). It was pretty funny. Although, not that funny when you type it out...

Anyhoo!
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{Gothic Angel}
post Sep 4 2007, 05:53 PM
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Hmmm... I wonder how much it would cost to open a new cyberdog. In Marylebone biggrin.gif

They'll REALLY regret it when all the subcultures start hanging around their "normal" parts of London and making it their own laugh.gif


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Mata
post Sep 4 2007, 09:39 PM
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Is there anywhere decent left in the capital?


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Daria
post Sep 4 2007, 10:05 PM
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QUOTE (Mata @ Sep 4 2007, 10:39 PM) *
Is there anywhere decent left in the capital?

Yep! It's.. err.. umm... Hmm.

To be honest, the most recent place I have been out in the evening to, is Croydon. We went to The Ship and I chatted to the DJ Helen Of Croy and it was pretty awesome.
The only other places I can think of as being really awesome in the capital are the rooftops of the HUGE mansions you get in the centre- our friend lived in Great Portland Street for a while, whilst being an intern for the House Of Commons, and a group of us spent one night seeing how far across we could get by walking along rooftops. Needless to say we didn't get too far (mainly down to being a little less than sober) but it was lots of fun. Perhaps there needs to be "rooftop" nights for the London "underground" scene.
*envisages all these parkour goths leaping and flying across the city*
I would say that the East End is kind of fun to hang out in, but you have all the Too Cool For School kids who dress solely in Primark and Topshop cool, and have haircuts they did themselves during an earthquake. I'm pretty damn sick of the "secret location warehouse parties", full of them. And even the ones which are reasonably good (at Canvas etc) are coming to an end thanks to the wonderous regeneration of the Kings Cross area.

/end rant

I have a feeling that the South will be recognised as kind of fun. Who knows, Lewisham may even be on the "cool" map.


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Mata
post Sep 5 2007, 12:24 AM
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Helen of Croy? Hahahaha... That's my friend's fiance! I'm standing next to her in one of the images of me on Facebook. It's a small world. She's nice, isn't she?

Dammit, I'd been getting the impression that Croydon was beginning to rock too. You know, it's really annoying to be in the right place at the wrong time.


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Daria
post Sep 5 2007, 12:33 AM
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QUOTE (Mata @ Sep 5 2007, 01:24 AM) *
Helen of Croy? Hahahaha... That's my friend's fiance! I'm standing next to her in one of the images of me on Facebook. It's a small world. She's nice, isn't she?

Dammit, I'd been getting the impression that Croydon was beginning to rock too. You know, it's really annoying to be in the right place at the wrong time.

She is lovely! She got lots of free musicky stuff from me as I had gone there with some Street teaming peoples and the record label gave us about 10 bags of free stuff. She was also seemingly amused at my continuous asking of her to play stuff (I think because she liked it too).

I think the next Mata Meet should be held in Croydon! Then you can go "Hey, I used to drink there!" etc and all the Matazonians can go "OoOOoOoOo" and take pictures.


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Mata
post Sep 5 2007, 08:09 AM
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A Matameet in Croydon? Hmm... You could be onto something there.


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Forever Unknown
post Sep 5 2007, 09:12 AM
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QUOTE (Mata @ Aug 26 2007, 09:55 PM) *
Carnaby Street has turned into a souvenir parade


What, you mean that one shop in Carnaby Street called 'Gear', surrounded by lots of fantastic other shops which makes it one of the nicest places in London to shop...? Are we thinking of the same Carnaby Street here? It's not changed in years, and has a wonderful selection of independant and small-chain shops and one souvenir shop.

Still. It's rubbish that they'll be getting rid of the Stables Market. Lots of fun stuff there, and they've just gone through so much to redevelop and make it larger, too.


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Daria
post Sep 5 2007, 10:43 AM
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QUOTE (Mata @ Sep 5 2007, 09:09 AM) *
A Matameet in Croydon? Hmm... You could be onto something there.

Apart from pub, what else would we do? Not saying that there isn't anything else to do, but I'm sure that most Matazonians would need a real reason to go to Croydon. Because... it's still Croydon, after all tongue.gif


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Mata
post Sep 5 2007, 07:42 PM
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QUOTE (Forever Unknown @ Sep 5 2007, 10:12 AM) *
QUOTE (Mata @ Aug 26 2007, 09:55 PM) *
Carnaby Street has turned into a souvenir parade

What, you mean that one shop in Carnaby Street called 'Gear', surrounded by lots of fantastic other shops which makes it one of the nicest places in London to shop...?

The last time I went there were mostly shops like Muji and Storm watches, or places selling designer brand trainers. This was about five years ago, so maybe it's perked up again? It was posh stuff in the shops, so not TopShop or that sort of nonsense, but I think I only spotted one pair of tartan bondage trousers on the whole street. Bonkers!

Admittedly, there's not a lot to do in Croydon other than the pubs and club-ish places...


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Forever Unknown
post Sep 6 2007, 10:43 AM
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QUOTE (Mata @ Sep 5 2007, 08:42 PM) *
QUOTE (Mata @ Aug 26 2007, 09:55 PM) *
Carnaby Street has turned into a souvenir parade

The last time I went there were mostly shops like Muji and Storm watches, or places selling designer brand trainers. This was about five years ago, so maybe it's perked up again? It was posh stuff in the shops, so not TopShop or that sort of nonsense, but I think I only spotted one pair of tartan bondage trousers on the whole street. Bonkers!


These things do not a "souvenir parade" make. If you go a-visitin' anywhere, you don't go and buy designer gear as souvenirs, do you?

Carnaby Streets shopping includes the following: Muji, Miss Sixty, Benefit, MAC, Lush, B, Vans, Converse, Quiksilver, Liberty, Office, Muji, Storm, Octopus, etc. Half of those are small chain stores, not souvenir stuff. There's a small bit off the side made up entirely of small independent shops, none of which sell souvenir stuff.

Maybe one pair of tartan bondage trousers are one pair too many? They're all over the place in Camden - do we really want that taking over all of London? That's definitely the way to ensure London loses all identity.


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Mata
post Sep 6 2007, 01:09 PM
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I shall go crucify myself immediately for thinking that small chain stores are not much worse than souvenir shops. Factual error yes, general meaning no - every highstreet in the country seems to have a Lush these days, Benefit is stocked in Boots, Storm is stocked everywhere too. You're right, they're not souvenirs, but I don't really get the feeling that when I go to Carnaby Street I'm seeing anything significantly different than I find on other roads. It used to be a focus for alternative fashion and now its populated with designer labels.

Maybe alternative culture generally has become too commercialised for there to exist any sort of sub-culture without mass-production behind it. Whatever, Carnaby Street is no longer a centre of alternative culture.


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Forever Unknown
post Sep 6 2007, 01:23 PM
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Lush is more prevailant now than it was a few years ago, but it's certainly not chain to the extent of Starbucks. Benefit is only stocked in some bigger Boots, and doesn't have their complete range. I've seen about three Storm shops in my life.

It still has a lot of 'alternative' fashions, but maybe they're not the same kinda of 'alternative' you're looking for - it's not all about New Rocks and bondage trousers.

Again, the bit off the side full of independent and second hand fashion places. There's some (another four, I think?) other shops down the main stretch whose name I can't remember who are certainly not big chain shops. They are expensive, though.

You can get your alternative gear in Camden. What's the point in making Carnaby Street exactly like Camden? It's gone a big higher class, so what?

Still, your original comment is that it was a souvenir parade. You seem to be backpedalling and saying it's no longer 'alternative'. I don't claim it to be alternative, couldn't care less if it is or isn't. But calling it a souvenir parade is a load of rubbish.


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Daria
post Sep 6 2007, 01:27 PM
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QUOTE (Mata @ Sep 6 2007, 02:09 PM) *
Maybe alternative culture generally has become too commercialised for there to exist any sort of sub-culture without mass-production behind it.


I have a theory that, apart from alternative culture with regards to sexual practises, there can't be an "alternative" culture anymore.
The Internets are to blame.
Information is so widely available these days that by the time the ball has enough momentum to create a change in society or another cultural revolution (i.e how Flower Power, or Punk in the UK did) everyone has been able to track its progress and it isn't a sudden thing. One change quickly fades into another and nothing can get radically changed.

If someone is visually 'alternative'- i.e a big green mohawk, with more metal than face, then it is probable that they will just be viewed as someone who is trying to hold on to the last remains of a former scene (such as the 1970's London punk). No one can get it right: as soon as a style or a fashion is seen by a few and can be related to by those people (so they then adopt it themself), it will be known about. With social networking, blogs, image searches and online "publications" which can be made by just about anyone, these fashions will be known about almost instantly and although those who then adopt the style themselves may relate to it just as much, the following will get bigger. Which then leads onto fashion stylists and retailers wanting to suddenly cash in on the "new phenomenon!" and you will get what was once someone cutting their hair on the slant and wanting to wear cool clothes they have modified themself, evolving into entire fashion ranges. The few people who started it all will just be seen as 'common' followers and the cycle will happen once again.

Apologies for the rambling. It is a theory in progress wink.gif


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Mata
post Sep 7 2007, 12:12 AM
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You're in good company with those thoughts:

QUOTE
"Bohemias. Alternative subcultures. They were a crucial aspect of industrial civilization in the two previous centuries. They were where industrial civilization went to dream. A sort of unconscious R&D, exploring alternate societal strategies. Each one would have a dress code, characteristic forms of artistic expression, a substance or substances of choice, and a set of sexual values at odds with those of the culture at large. And they did, frequently, have locales with which they became associated. But they became extinct."

"Extinct?"

"We started picking them before they could ripen. A certain crucial growing period was lost, as marketing evolved and the mechanisms of recommodification became quicker, more rapacious. Authentic subcultures required backwaters, and time, and there are no more backwaters."
(William Gibson All Tomorrow's Parties, p174-175)

FU: I'm not exactly sure what you're arguing for here - yes, I was mistaken to call it a souvenir parade, I've already said that. So what point are you making? I was asking if there was anywhere like Camden left, saying that Carnaby Street wasn't, and you are stating that Carnaby Street is different and aimed at a different market... So surely we're agreeing on the important bit and just disagreeing on details?

The last couple of times I went to Carnaby Street, before I gave up going, I didn't feel any energy of anything new being created there. Everything seemed to be filtered versions of things that had gone before with a price tag that would put it beyond the scope of the people who probably started the trend two years previously. There was no intimacy for me. It just felt like Punky Fish being stocked in TopShop (or was it Pilot or New Look?) - great because smaller ideas were being recognised and bought to the mainstream, but there didn't feel like there was anywhere left for the small ideas to grow. I like the small ideas, the things that start fashions (I can never get away with any of them, but I like seeing them!) and those seeds didn't seem to be there. Maybe I should go back again to see if I still feel the same way.

For want of a better term, I like to see street culture giving birth to new things. Yes, you'll see 600 pairs of New Rocks for every set of ruby-red ballet shoes that become indispensable in 18 months, but that's the fun of places like Camden - finding the jewels. By the time they end up in Miss Sixty they've undergone translation through whatever melange of decades is deemed to be fashionable (pop art is always coming back, with 70s frills, and eighties cuts) and are a step away from the reason that it's become good all of a sudden. Street culture, youth culture, whatever the hell is 'urban' (those really are horrible terms, but I hope you get my drift), it's all more interesting to me than what I last saw over my last trips to Carnaby Street. Maybe I gave up too soon and it's made a comeback, but from what you've said I still don't think it's got what I'm looking for. I agree, my tastes just don't run in the direction that Carnaby Street has gone, but do you think it's still as important to youth culture as it once was?


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