Thirty Thousand Streets

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Deptford, New Cross, Greenwich, Control

Yesterday I went to Greenwich to catch a film with Ed. We went via New Cross and Deptford. First stop was a Deptford high street, which gets full marks for its eccentric independent retailers, with quirky signage. Some points deducted for the high number of shut boozers, now masquerading as Halal butchers and the like.

From here we wandered over to St. Nicholas's church in whose graveyard Christopher Marlowe is buried. The gateposts are surmounted with carved skull and crossbones, which are reputed to be the inspiration behind the pirate flag, the Jolly Roger. The church itself is ancient, but appears a rather clumsy agglomeration of building styles – the result of indifferent repair work for gale and wartime damage last century.

We took the post-industrial approach to Greenwich, past gently rusting machinery, and new business parks behind anodised aluminium fencing. Further down the road we popped into a crumbling second hand bookshop on the outskirts of Greenwich, whose walls are shored up by wooden butresses. I really wanted to buy a Glenn Baxter original ink cartoon that was hanging on the wall, which was (unsurprisingly perhaps) not for sale. I'll probably go back as it seemed something of a treasure trove of secondhand books, and moreover, the owner is petiioning to keep it open as the developers move in, so its time might soon be up.

After arranging tickets for the film, we stopped for an ice cream, and wandered round the park, which was heaving with tourists taking pictures of the view of Canary Wharf from the hill beneath the observatory, before wandering back to catch the flick.

We saw Control, the new film about Joy Division, which I really enjoyed. I can't pretend I know all that much about the band, or indeed that part of Manchester's history, though a friend recently told me I should milk it for all its worth, so perhaps I should get brushing up. It's certainly cool; pretty beautiful, in a bleak black and white way. I also thought the acting was very good, though afterwards, Ed and Martin (who works at the Picturehouse) agreed that they thought the script pretty flimsy.

Working in Soho this week, and my social calendar seems pretty busy too. A potential last-minute reunion with some friends this evening, a 30th birthday tomorrow, and two club nights at the weekend, including the wrap party for the DLA Film Festival my housemate was involved in, and Allez Allez's night at the Amersham Arms in New Cross, which I passed yesterday, twice.

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