Sunday, November 16, 2003

A great afternoon

The same sorts of people who go to Camden markets in London on a Sunday afternoon go to Harajuku on a Sunday afternoon in Tokyo. The two places contain the same sorts of shops full of iconic popular culture, and the same mixture of (very) independent stores, multinationals, cool definers, and cool hunters, feeding on and spitting out something close to ground zero in street culture. This is recognised by lots of people, and one consequence of this is that you see many Japanese in Camden Town in London. Possibly the British do not recognise this in the same way - there are plenty of westerners in Harajuku on a Sunday, but they do not seem to be British dominated in the same way Asians in Camden are Japanese dominated. Or maybe they do, and Harajuku is full of Londoners but my senses are not intense.

I find this cultural ground zero quality of certain places fascinating. I am not of it myself - I am about the least cool person in existence - but as an observer I am drawn to it. I don't quite know why.

More on this, and photos, when I return to London.

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