I’m moving to Brixton next weekend after more than 2 years in Hackney. That fact may seem banal to most of you but if you’re a Londoner, changing boroughs that dramatically almost means social hara-kiri. You might as well be leaving the country. It means that I become one of those people who live “saf of the river”, a sort of social outcast for those living north of the Thames. Its funny how we like our divides. North vs south, this team versus that, this part of the country versus London.
Hackney is fantastic and more recently I’ve discovered its hidden nightlife. But in the past 2 years it’s become the borough of the “well off mid-30 something with kids”. That’s not me. I went to walk around my new place and didn’t see anyone above 35, saw lots of people trying to sell you crack and lots of strange run down shops. That’s more me at the moment. And I’ll have a garden, a luxury I’d last experienced in Amsterdam. Excitement is in the horizon regardless.
But that’s not the challenge nor the point really.
The point is I’m leaving an area of town I know well, that I’ve also called home and so I’m filled with nostalgia I don’t know what to do with. I find myself wondering now: “how am I supposed to say goodbye”? Should I spend the next 2 weeks going to all the places I’ve ever been in or enjoyed knowing the likelihood of going back often will be very limited? Should I be trying to tell people I’m moving and having “one last drink” (nevermind the fact I hardly see them even if they live around the corner)? Should I say goodbye as if I were moving to Timbuktu?
It’s a strange feeling and I don’t think any social networking service could ever help. The city forgets us but we never forget it.