Dedications: My four late friends Rory, Stan, Bryan, Jeff - shine on you crazy diamonds, they would have blogged too. Then theres Garry from Brisbane, Franco in Milan, Mike now in S.F. / my '60s-'80s gang: Ned & Joseph in Ireland; in England: Frank, Des, Guy, Clive, Joe & Joe, Ian, Ivan, Nick, David, Les, Stewart, the 3 Michaels / Catriona, Sally, Monica, Jean, Ella, Anne, Candie / and now: Daryl in N.Y., Jerry, John, Colin, Martin and Donal.

Monday, 6 October 2014

Midtown !

How cities change and develop .... here in London that dull area (I worked there years ago) between The City and The West End (Oxford Street & Soho) - formerly Holborn, St Giles and Bloomsbury - is now the hip new happening area: Midtown - it sounds just like New York!. 

As the BBC put it recently:
If you asked for a London cab to take you from Cityside to Noho via Midtown, the driver would probably respond with a raised eyebrow.
But all three are names given to central London locations that have faced rebranding in recent years.
Bloomsbury, where writers, intellectuals and artists congregated throughout the 20th Century, is home to the British Museum and is celebrated for its cultural history.
But the area, along with neighbouring Holborn and St Giles, is facing what appears to be a rebrand by local businesses, under the contentious new name of Midtown.
The term Midtown has been used for a number of years by estate agents hoping to promote the area's central London location and by hotels looking to attract US tourists.

It is Central London but does not (yet) have the cachet of its neighbours Soho or the West End and Theatreland, but they are working on it. The hip new businesses are piling in - and its a mix of location, transport links (the new Crossrail is almost ready), culture and services: trendy bars and cafes, with appropriate prices, and some hip new hotels. Just like the gays revitalised Vauxhall before migrating to Shoreditch. Thus hip London keeps evolving (and getting more expensive). Old Money still prefers Belgravia, Chelsea, Kensington, Marylebone, Pimlico, but for the groovy new hipsters & entrepreneurs its Midtown all the way. 

Its not enough that Londoners are being priced out of the suburbs but now the central area is being transformed too. Holborn has a rich cultural history with museums and then all that literary associations with Bloomsbury. Now its contemporary and tech-driven - it has an amazing mix of industries:law, media, tech giants. There are Georgian buildings, garden squares, the British Musuem, the Inns of Court, some very old pubs, all very British, but its also the future: innovative, award-winning architecture, hotels, bars and restaurants.        (With thanks to The Evening Standard). 

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