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he remains (Gilbert)

White Cat is refusing to follow Ginger to the New Hackney. Even when the last handbag wholesalers has become a bar called ‘Last Handbag Wholesalers’, White Cat will be sitting on his car in Columbia Road. Scam builders, up and down the streets of E8, throughout Europe’s cities, the world, have the pattern book for interiors and even Clive Denby is transforming erstwhile greasy spoons into subway tiles and brazen bare lightglobes. There is no conversation about London that isn’t about gentrification. It is like Godwin’s Law but without the debate in between. I can’t even bring myself to say gentrification because I feel like it has come from within. The accepted story is that a creative community lives somewhere shit and makes it interesting and then they (and the others who lived there all along) are priced out of housing, but this gives too much agency to artists and their friends in what is at its base an economic and spatial formula, in which art is just one of many commodities alongside coffee, theatre, transport, kitchens, and rooms upon rooms of marble blocks.

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