Sunday, 21 April 2013

Only nine?

The Wharf magazine has published a four-page spread (five if you count the cover) detailing 'Nine reasons why Deptford is staging a come-back'.

Yes, only nine. That flummoxed me a bit I'll admit. Not ten, or twelve, or five, but nine. What's more, none of them are related to Waitrose.

Please feel free to read it if you enjoy a bit of insubstantial fluff (one of the authors, after all, is the same individual who spent a night in the show flat at New Capital Quay and whose incisive article reported that it had lots of storage space and that the living area was 'flexible').

For those who would prefer to prise their kneecaps off with a spoon (but still have a nagging feeling they really need to know what these NINE reasons are) I shall explain:

1. Little Nan's Bar (probably the one thing mentioned in the article that truly counts as new).
2. Enclave Projects; the row of hard-to-let studios on the dark, cold, unattractive strip of Resolution Way. Now used for one-off events and temporary shows.
3. The Albany. Celebrating its 30th anniversary this year.
4. Kids Love Ink. Times have changed folks. Gone are the days when the arrival of a tattoo shop (no matter how trendy) signalled that your street had finally hit rock bottom.
5. The Ahoy Centre. In Greenwich borough. (*Lights blue touch paper and retires*)
6. Deli X
7. Panda Panda
8. The Deptford Project
9. Big Red Pizzeria

So to recap: five eating and drinking places, a sailing charity, a tattoo parlour, some temporary events and a long-established theatre.

And in case you were in any danger of taking the whole thing too seriously (tell me you weren't?), I'll finish with this classic snippet.

Somehow we lost a century off our dockyard history.


rich mitch (not really) said...

VIP launch day at New Capital Quay yesterday, but somehow I sneaked in. They are back to using images of narrow boats moored by the development - no doubt fine at high tide, but what happens at low tide?

Show flat - downstairs fine if you like all-in-one living, but upstairs pokey and dark.

Parking is an extra buy in addition to your £500k flat - and not a bike rack in site on site.

Anonymous said...

Ha ha ha. Well done Rich Mitch. It's obvious there's no light in any of the flats facing inwards – do they cost less?! And as for the narrow boats, developers can't wait to get rid of boat dwellers, and have not provided any moorings!!!!

Anonymous said...

Firstly, fascinating blog - thanks for writing!

I feel Deptford is on the rise and it is easily the best area I've lived in, despite being warned of its reputation before I came.

One (sort of two) things strike me about the list you report: communication

Revolution Way is a lovely idea, but I feel terribly sorry for the artists who seem to have been given funding yet little or no advice on how to market themselves. Sitting alone reading a book with your back to the window doesn't entice trade. A number could also be a lot more personally welcoming - frankly it's 'common sense 101', regardless of whether you're selling obscure installation art or books on David Bowie.

The number of places who don't 'do' feedback. New businesses need to listen. For example, we visited one of the businesses listed a while ago and left because of other punters getting out of hand in the eating area early at 3pm. The owners could see it happening, asked for it to stop once (it was a couple of young kids), saw we were annoyed, then ignored it as we left. I wrote a letter of complaint and compliment (for the food) and heard...nothing. Tweets were also ignored. We won't be going back.

This place could well be amazing without losing its soul to Shoreditchification - the refit of The Bird's Nest is a great example of how it should be done, but people need to listen for it to happen.

Yours, local tour guide.