February 19th, 2007

If you keep picking it it'll never get any better, part 94

I know that Cory Doctorow is a fool and that I should eschew the irk rather than commenting on things he writes, but see http://www.boingboing.net/2007/02/19/americas_superstar_c.html, specifically "Go to a superstar city like NYC or London and check out how similar all the restaurants, stores, and galleries are. When you need to make $[RIDICULOUS] per square foot every month, there's not a lot of room for a crazy, experimental bookstore or a funky, marginal cafe."

Whilst I don't got up to the smaaaaaaaaaaaahhhhhhhhhhk (as we Londoners say [ha ha]) very often, a quick browse of the Time Out Restaurant Guide (*) suggests that funky, marginal cafes are probably not dead. A Google search for London unusual bookshops looks similarly promising. Galleries I cannot comment on, really, but I imagine that he is just as full of shit there.

Then again he may have more exacting standards than I. My tastes in food are mercifully cheap, and if anything getting cheaper, and the places I like may not be funky and marginal enough for him.

Nor do I think that what he says is any truer of New York than London (I think that New York may suffer by comparison to London due to having a clearer geographical distinction between Manhattan, the other boroughs and places that aren't in NY city, or state at all, whereas London bleeds out more slowly until, bugger me, you find yourself in York or Brighton or on the Eurostar to Paris). On the whole, I do not buy the 'people leave the big cities to go and do exciting things somewhere cheaper' theory.

(*) I subscribed to the on-line version once due to the hatefulness of anything free when I was trying to find somewhere to go for a birthday or something, and when they stopped charging for it they refunded the remainder of the subscription which I thought was beyond the call of duty, so fair dos to Tony Elliot (if he still owns it)

Apropos nothing...

Is it just me or are the ads supplied by gmail getting weirder?vicarage's reply to my last LJ post provoked an ad for Spanish courses in London and one for Tokyo apartments, whilst jinty's reply provoked one for kabbalah.com. Apart from anything else, the bizarre thing is that jinty mentioned Madrid, but it was the other reply that got the ad for Spanish lessons.

I have noticed this recently. It is rather bizarre. vicarage's latest comment has caused ads for 'italian leather journals' and 'leadership training' to appear.