Berwick St

Berwick St in London's Soho. This street is home to a bustling street market, several good record shops, some boutiques, pubs (of course) and a great Fish & Chip shop. It is where I got threatened by a bunch of drug dealers for taking photos they weren't even in and where I once watched a market stall owner delicately clipping the nails of a pigeon at 7am. This is a lively place.

Things change though. This building site was once a row of old terraces and the red lamps glowed from the upper floor windows every night. This was part of London's red light district. The ground floor shops and offices were punctuated by doorways hanging open with small cards advertising 'model, first floor' and the like. Sometimes people would hang out the windows, calling to each other across the street and to the traders and passers by below. I remember pausing with a friend once as we read a few of the descriptions - busty model, sexy redhead etc - and a nervous looking fellow cautiously asked us 'Are you going in?' to which my friend replied 'Sure, after you mate!'. The expression of pure excitement on this gentleman's face and the way he ran up the stairs left us laughing hard on the street outside.

So many things are gone. The basement record store which sold an incredible amount of rare Ska and reggae, the Tattoo Parlour, The busty models. I wonder what will appear in their place.

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