So, the government have appointed Mary Portas (Queen of Shops) to head a review of the High Street, aimed at halting its decline - she is to present her report to Nick Clegg in the autumn - if he's still there. (You can comment on this at the BBC website.)
|Oo, here's Mary with our red sofa (guardian.co.uk)|
With so many town centres identical, soulless and boring I'm grateful that Stoke Newington Church Street has always opposed the infiltration of chain stores and can congratulate itself on being pretty close to the prime minister's vision of a 'vibrant and diverse' shopping street.
I'm sure we'd all give David and Nick a nice big Stokey welcome
if they wanted to come along and meet the vibrant and diverse locals one weekend.
Given N16's resistance to global chains it's funny to think that the WORLD'S LARGEST retailer of natural and organic foods has comfortably established itself in a prime position on Church Street. It's easy to criticise the place; carp on about the prices and dismiss it as only fit for well-off, self-obsessed champagne-socilaist types.
Well, for a corner shop I think Whole Foods Market is pretty good. I'd like to know where else, locally, I can stroll around listening to cool fusion-soundtracks, sample unusual cheeses, try out a lipstick and buy a tin of dog food and a hang-over remedy from 8 am to 9 pm every day of the week.
|With barrow loads of tomatoes and artichokes....|
|and buckets full of flowers, it's like a little bit of Provence in Hackney...|
|...and they even provide whippet shelter.|