Aldgate East, Redux


The entrance to the station remains similar. The twin stairs, bending elegantly one hundred and eighty degrees to the mezzanine ticket hall. Below, the platform, once dark black tarmacadam, painted over. The ceiling peeling, the air thick with memory. The refurb took awhile, flattened, tiled floors, a dropped ceiling, coated and skimmed walls and pillars. But it was a phase one, you see. We all have learned what a nice station means. Money is on the march, on the way.

Now, the Fenchurch Walkie Talkie rises like a squat dumb thumb in the distance and high story offices are multicoloured cubes in the near vicinity of the station. There is a new Pret, a closed Spoons, a new feel, and the older vibe of reality is gone.  This is a place for third sector pathfinders and money-makers. Office drones.  Suits.

London is beyond gentrified now. This is Parisian in its intensity. The centre is a blasted, whited sepulchre. And if you have no money : walk quietly and keep yourself to yourself, or don’t come at all. Chain restaurants and Malls and macaron shops await your disappointed gaze. In other words, fuck you, the City belongs to Boris and the Bullingdons, and don’t you forget it.

Published by gurdeepmattu

I’m an author and publisher. I live and work in London and am the author of “Sons and Fascination” (2011, Paperbooks). It's available here:

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