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The Secret Barris...
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Danny Wallace
“I love London. I love everything about it. I love its palaces and its museums and its galleries, sure. But also, I love its filth, and damp, and stink. Okay, well, I don’t mean love, exactly. But I don’t mind it. Not any more. Not now I’m used to it. You don’t mind anything once you’re used to it. Not the graffiti you find on your door the week after you painted over it, or the chicken bones and cider cans you have to move before you can sit down for your damp and muddy picnic. Not the everchanging fast food joints – AbraKebabra to Pizza the Action to Really Fried Chicken – and all on a high street that despite its three new names a week never seems to look any different. Its tawdriness can be comforting, its wilfulness inspiring. It’s the London I see every day. I mean, tourists: they see the Dorchester. They see Harrods, and they see men in bearskins and Carnaby Street. They very rarely see the Happy Shopper on the Mile End Road, or a drab Peckham disco. They head for Buckingham Palace, and see waving above it the red, white and blue, while the rest of us order dansak from the Tandoori Palace, and see Simply Red, White Lightning, and Duncan from Blue. But we should be proud of that, too. Or, at least, get used to it.”
Danny Wallace, Charlotte Street

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