This sentence - "Thatcher, gentrification, celebrity chefs, they ran mom and pop outta there decades ago" - is complete and utter sensationalist bullshit, pulled out of thin air because it sounds good. Soho may have gone upmarket in recent years, but it's still full of independent businesses: clothes shops, hairdressers, cafes and Vietnamese, Chinese and Italian restaurants run by immigrant business-people. Apologies if I sound pissed off, but I'm a journalist. Do some research. Speak to people. Soho has changed but it's not wall-to-wall Starbucks. And Patisserie Valerie is gross.
@shannowhamo Anecdotes aren't journalism, though. I know The Billfold is a blog, not a newspaper, but editorial standards still matter.
Well, this is some stellar, exhaustive, well-researched journalism. A Pulitzer for you, sir! Anyway, what the hell does the skinhead have to do with it?! Oh, I forgot, in your country poor people aren't all that welcome in hospitals. Pro tip: when you're writing about something as huge as the NHS, do some fucking research.
@stuffisthings The rest of England is fairly cheap – in terms of rent, anyway. I paid £46 a week in rent in Leeds. Horrible house, but still.
@Markham Oh God, I'm so lucky to live here! Not. There are fewer and fewer cheap places in London, because the richer people colonise them so quickly, make them nice and drive up prices. Tottenham is still cheap – that's where the riots happened last year. Damn, I should set up a hipster cafe there before the rich people take over... Because they will. I love my city, I was raised here, but living in Oxford is starting to look really attractive. Especially when I could swap my ex-council flat (ie "the projects") for a three-bed house with a garden.
"I now laugh in the face of everyone who says London is expensive." Kidding me? London is ridiculously expensive. In fact, I often read these "places I've lived" articles and think, "Hmm Brooklyn seems cheaper than Hackney." (Hackney is our version of Brooklyn, only uglier and more expensive.) Moving from a shared hovel in south London to a Manhattan apartment isn't really a basis for comparison. You got some good deals in London, though – I'll give you that.
Oh gosh. Reminds me of when I went to New York on a solo work trip and went insane with loneliness. And that was only for a few days. Great piece.
Interesting – I had a completely different experience of short hair. It was, for me, MORE expensive, because I had to get it trimmed every month, and more trouble because I woke up with bed-head every morning, so I'd have to wash and style it every single day. Now I have long hair. I cut it twice a year, put it up in a bun/ponytail when I'm feeling lazy and wash it every two or three days. WIN. But whatever works for you...
Don't become a music journalist. That's what I took away from this piece. I'm a former music journalist. I wouldn't recommend it, and not just for financial reasons.
@stuffisthings Soz, didn't get it. But Brooklyn is hardly comparable to London, since it's not a whole city. "Why don't they just move out of Hackney" (a hip arty area of London) would be comparable – and I would probably agree with the sentiment. Both cities have a lot of different and interesting places to live, and in both cities, a lot of young creative people think they should just live in one particular neighbourhood, which is getting increasingly expensive. Yes, I live in Hackney. LOL.