The secret of change is to focus all of your energy not on fighting the old but on building the new.
Nice words, but do they always apply?
I’ve been in the Elephant and Castle, an area of London which is a mere 15 minutes away from such lovely things as the London Eye and the Houses of Parliament. Lovely however probably isn’t a word anyone would use when describing this busy and chaotic area. It’s grey, it’s drab, it’s congested, it’s dodgy. Yes those were my first thoughts when I emerged from the Underground, and then it’s quickly apparent ‘improvements’ are in the offing. Words like luxury apartments and concierge are now popping up all around, along with roof garden, green space and artisan… so basically, your home is going to get knocked down & you will no longer be able to afford to live here. It’s happening everywhere and is all in the name of social improvement, but which society? Who will be living here in 10 years time? What will be special or different about this place? Where’s everyone else gonna go?
I spent a few days down in the market which nestles below the shopping centre. I soon learnt that the many subways have all now been filled in meaning the once thriving go between is now gone. Instead TFL have employed people up above to show you where to cross the road, I discovered that nowhere is safe by the way.
Far from living up to the area’s reputation and first appearance these hard working individuals were all lovely and were happy to give me some of their time. They described their experiences of the subway closures, their fears for the future and the fast changing face of the town. It’s not good, in 6 months time they’ll probably all be gone, but where to? And who will replace them?
Personally I’d recommend stopping by for a few moments, or if you can’t then check out a place where you would never usually linger – there’s so much to discover and you may just be seeing something for the last time, you never know.