August 24, 2008 | Posted by Londonstani - 7:50am | 0 Comments
One of Abu Muqawama's less appreciated achievements was to introduce a corner of London affectionately known as the 'Stow to the wider world. So, it's with a little saddness that Londonstani announces that the AM-'Stow connection will draw to a close at the end of August.
Sometime last year, when AM and Londonstani contemplated where they might call home for a year, the decision was settled by the number of Walthamstow locals arrested in connection to terror attacks. (OK, the price and quality of the Algerian coffee helped too). AM - were he to comment - might well say the 'Stow gave him an insight into London's multicultural modern reality that he would have found hard to come by living amongst foreign students on generous grants. Londonstani met many people who helped him gain a deeper understanding into the deep and depressing roots of urban British dislocation and dissatisfaction, which would have been a far more foreign and distant problem if he had been hanging out in fancy parties with poncy media types.
Things are changing in the 'Stow. The permanently empty Pakistani no-nonsense barbers has become a busy frills and lace Polish beauty salon. The Baker's Arms - once the R&B magnet of northeast London - stands near empty night after night following its transformation into a Polish pub.
However, some things remain the same. Londonstani and AM never did figure out where the hot Polish girls hang out. And sadly, desperation, frustration and anger are present - as always - in abundance; as this BBC story about the latest victim of London's teenage violent crime epidemic shows.
Stories that remain untold - probably rightly so; including AM's unfortunate run-in with a 12-year-old girl who threatened him with actual bodily harm, Londonstani's unexplicable popularity with large West Indian single mothers and the same sex Indian and White gerriatric couple who meet for amourous liasons at a bus stop.
But never fear, Londonstani might be moving to a slightly less grimey part of town, nearer to where he grew up but he will carry on doing his social life no favours by allowing himself to be drawn to snooker halls, kebab shops and crime infested public parks instead of cafes, gastro pubs and artisan bakeries.