Swedish Girl In London

London Life: Bright Lights, Big City. Now what's on TV?

Friday, October 28, 2005

East is East (but not for long)

London is moving eastwards, or so Doc keeps telling me when I longingly cast my eyes to the iridescent facades of Chelsea.

“In twenty years time, you won’t even recognise Canary Wharf”, he says. He’s got a point – just check out this development in Poplar Docks.

Still, the social scene hasn’t really kept pace with the gentrification of the old Docklands. Canary Wharf may be full of unexpected waterways and posh-looking little parks, but eating & drinking is stuck in Brand Land: Wagamama, Eat, Starbucks...

... of course, most of all Starbucks. A big penguin colony of suits spill out of the Norman Foster-desgined tube station every morning, sipping caffè latte from beaker cups. I've got a theory about why we love beaker cups so much, by the way: It takes us back to our old nursery days - a much safer time than now, when we have to face the cold world every morning and go into work. If we can't have stuffed toys and lego, at least leave us our beakers.

At the top of the rolling staircase a small, dejected man is handing out free copies of City A.M.

"Your morning newspaper! Free for you, sir!"

But people just hurry by, and for some reason that makes me a little bit sad (and even more in need of my beaker).

The times they are a-changing, though. Just along the road, you have got the gastropub The Gun, for instance, all roaring fires and Lord Nelson nostalgia - and above Waitrose, the Conran venue Plateau serves glitzy food in a Sex in the City setting.

Maybe the latte brigade can mix with the old Eastenders, in the end?

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