Wednesday, 24 June 2015

2015 BC

It seems oddly appropriate that the Black Cap is to become a branch of the Breakfast Club. To take somewhere which has been badly-behaved for fifty years, while at the same time providing a haven for society's rejected, and to turn it into somewhere where you can get French Toast for nine quid on the way to work strikes me as a perfect symbol for what is happening to London. 

I've nothing against the Breakfast Club, in particular- I've had some nice food in various of their branches. Actually, I do have one thing in particular against them, which is the disingenuous, poor-little-us-are-we-the-baddies? narrative they're trying to pass off onto us, but that's just a symptom of something larger, and tidier, and more cosily antiseptic.

One day everything will be rag-rubbed, and we will all sit on upcycled pine, and read menus that pretend to be your friend and chalkboards with quirky little aphorisms on them, and nobody will remember that London used to be a place where the genteel could be genteel if they wanted, but where there was also space to be dirty or edgy or dangerous or unconventional or- in the most inclusive sense of the word- just a bit queer. Where you could go to places whose primary function wasn't just to chummily relieve you of as much cash as possible.

And we'll sit there, and wonder what happened to the chaotic, exciting city we used to live in where not everyone was a millionaire, and how everything got so boring and so identically soulless, and how they managed to make that dinky little sprig of parsley sit so perfectly on top of our goat's curd and chorizo scrambled egg.