Camden Town

Firefighters battled to save the club in Camden, north London.
When you think of Camden what springs to mind? Banksy knock offs at the market? Goths? Amy Winehouse tribute acts? Dawdling groups of Spanish tourists? The stench of overcooked sweet and sour chicken? Drunk teenagers throwing up at 2am?
I'm concerned about the impact Eric Pickles' Permitted Development Rights (PDR) policy is having on business in London.
Visit Camden next week and you might stumble upon a mythical creature floating on Camden Lock, designer Wayne Hemingway giving a talk on his brilliant career and hundreds of people all over the city coming together to enjoy a drink on the canal. This will be the start of the first ever Camden Create festival...
The Hybrid Bill that makes the provisions for the planning of 'Phase One' of the project, from London to Birmingham, no longer represents a direct threat to Camden's businesses community. Actually, it now represents an opportunity; and one that we are keen to pursue.
This particular Bill is something of a behemoth... with a colossal 50,000 page environmental impact assessment to accompany it. Within those 50,000 pages lies the future of Camden Town. Every single road closure, bridge widening and business affected is supposed to be taken into consideration within the report. It's why it's so big. However, we don't think they've taken the impact on Camden seriously enough.
HS2 needs to link up to our existing high speed rail line that takes us to France. The current proposal for this would mean a link that cuts directly through the heart of Camden Town... 90% of Camden Lock market falls within 30 meters of site, as does 95% of Stables market. Hawley market would effectively be closed, with other iconic markets devastated by the project.
Camden Town markets are one of London and the UK's most popular tourist destinations, visited by over 100,000 tourists each weekend. Restaurants, bars and entertainment venues contribute to a multi-million pound night-time economy. The area has grown so much that the main tube station is struggling to cope.
We could feel that Camden was different than anything we knew in California. Southern California was hot and bright, the Santa Anna winds dried out your skin and messed up your hair. I was using SPF 50 and had my hair cut like Justine from Elastica. I didn't fit in to say the least. But when I was in Camden I felt like I finally fit in.