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A true reflection?
I hear gak, I think of the bright orange putty toy that would always stick to the carpet and get me in trouble
doof doof doof dadadada
is dead on in.
Also right re: the sheer number of people doing coke on an average night out in that area and the ease in which you can get hold of it too.
the ease of access / high numbers of users
Really taken the glamour off it, knowing that I could probably have an end of Scarface type situation on a Tuesday night for about the same price as a takeaway pizza.
sorry. I haven't had a line this morning.
...they are only really referring to a section of about 2 miles by 2 miles.
What is interesting is his older brother's recollection of speed being preferred to coke back in the day - speed used to be everywhere in the 90s (maybe because you could make it in your bath were you so inclined) and coke a relative rarity. Then at some point around the late 90s/early 00s speed pretty much disappareared and coke took over. Cheaper coke, people with more cash, profile of user changing? Anyone know?
Coke's probably got the best `branding` for want of a better word of any other drug. No amount of bugled up Romfordians cascading into Shoreditch every Friday night seems to distort its cultural caché. Seems to always be the `drug to be seen doing`. Bit like diamonds in a way.
When cultural commentators revisit the early decades of the 21st century presumably it will all just be Swarovski jewellery, designer handbags and gak.
I suspect that the age of coke users isn't changing a great deal, but the age of people coming into Shoreditch at a weekend is. It might be the same people who used to take speed back in the day, but today's kids have moved/been forced on and out.
...but are there similar amounts of coke being consumed around Soho and West London (where I would imagine the main hotbeds used to be)?
Or more similarly to east London, Liverpool, Manchester, Bristol city centres? I genuinely have no idea these days.
Obviously there has always been, and is currently, a ton of coke being shovelled away there...
but half the people who go out in Shoreditch these days are the type that also go out in West London.
I don't know about Soho - it's a bit difficult to get a handle on at the moment. In the past decade it's managed to gentrify gastronomically, shrug off a lot of the tourists and see something of a return to favour of old boozer-type pubs. I think it's a lot better now as a night out than it was back in the early/mid-noughties, even if it doesn't really have a clubbing scene these days. You do still get a lot of advertising and 'sales' types out around those areas, but I've certainly seen something of a drop-off in coke use since the West London, tourist and Clapham types leap-frogged it for Shoreditch for a Friday night out, that turns into a Saturday morning trip home.
Soho continues to be awesome. No deeper analysis required.
and in ways which are very different to other areas of London, then I'd begin to wonder if you actually spent time there.
Either way - yes Soho has changed. For a variety of reasons. But then again, everywhere in London has. Neutralised a bit it might be, but Soho's buzz is still evident to my mind.
it's "always been awesome" and that it "continues to be awesome," manages to be, surprisingly, the most arrogant thing so far in a thread about coke, which is an achievement. Perhaps it was just the phrasing of it that wound me up, rather than the lack of insight. I dunno.
I didn't live in London then, but did used to spend a lot of time down here, in Soho specifically, and even I can see how it's changed dramatically, and in ways that are out of step with most of the other central areas of the city.
Think you've read a bit too much into it there. I was just stating my continued love for Soho, which is my favourite part of London.
No deeper analysis IS required really. But, indulge me. What's changed so dramatically about it which, to your mind, is resolutely out of step with other central areas? Perfectly in acknowledgement you've got a keener eye for this than I have...
In the past decade it's managed to gentrify gastronomically, shrug off a lot of the tourists and see something of a return to favour of old boozer-type pubs. The last of those might go hand in hand with the first, if it was driven by craft-ale pubs, but I don't think it is.
The area has lost some of it's biggest (and best-known) late-night venues, and this has meant that Soho's evening economy, especially the late night one, has lost a lot of the tourists to Shoreditch and, increasingly, Dalston, as well as a lot of the money-loaded city/media-types who used to head there after work on a Friday and stay late into Saturday. This is markedly different to just about every other area in London that contains a lot of restaurants, pubs and bars.
It's similar to Upper Street and maybe Camden, but those areas have seen residential development (of a type that it almost obscenely wealth-targeted) that threatens the continued existence and variety of their bars and restaurants. This hasn't happened in Soho.
Soho, I think, is unique, in that it has removed a fair portion of the traditional cash cows from it's evening economy (tourists and the wealthy hopping over from Mayfair) who typically drive down variety and interest, and have, despite being a very central, largely low-rise location, managed to resist redevelopment and improve the quality of its pubs, shops and restaurants. I don't quite know how they've done it, but I do know that the people who own/run Soho are protective of it in a way that is much more involved than the councils running Shoreditch or Dalston or Camden or Islington are able to be.
Either way, I'd much rather go out in Soho of a weekend now, even though it doesn't have as many late-night venues as it used to, which wasn't necessarily the case five years ago (when Dalston seemed better to me), and not ten years ago (when it might have been Shoreditch).
That Soho's property is largely owned by 2 companies. One of them being the one who owns Paul Raymond's estate. There's a strong agreement and belief in the `essence of Soho` between them (however loosely that's defined). This is why you don't see a Pret on every corner in Soho and independent restaurants are always favoured in tenders over chains. Chain restaurants find it difficult to set up in Soho because the property managers don't simply sell space to those with the highest bid. A very commendable attitude and one that I hope remains.
Walker's Court is going to be completely overhauled in the next few years. I'm sure you'll be keeping an eye on that too - it'll be interesting.
Not sure on your point about `a return to old boozer pubs` mind. Soho's pubs (and bars) have remained largely unchanged in the last decade to my eyes, and they've always been teaming full of punters.
Raymond bought up a lot of Soho to protect it as well as to make money from it (and he believed that the former would certainly help him do the latter).
In the past decade they've been much more active in choosing who opens businesses in the area than in the previous decade. I get the feeling that if they had their way the likes of the Angus Steakhouses and McDonalds/Burger Kings that mop up a lot of the tourists from the rest of the UK and abroad wouldn't be there, and are largely as a result of the legacy of when it was run under a less strict regime.
As for the pubs, during the mid/late-90s, in common with lots of other places and the rise of the alcopop, a lot of the pubs were given cheap and tacky theme bar makeovers that made certain streets in Soho look like the Bigg Market. We're starting to see something of a return to pubs, but as mentioned, I don't think it's driven by the craft beer market as much as you can see in places like Hackney, Bethnal Green, Whitechapel etc in East London, and the prices charged in Soho pubs, while expensive, are much lower than might be expected, given the value of the real estate, and in comparison to other areas of London. Part of this might be because of Sam Smiths, I guess.
this high-level discussion to say that of the tacky themed bars that used to be round there, I have the fondest memories of the horror-goth pub that used to sit on the outskirts of soho (north side of Oxford street, not too far from the big HMV store if I remember correctly). It was like halloween every night and always full of awkward-looking teenage goths
There's still a few knocking about thankfully...
so excited. gonna go'a the remaining one in london!
having not done so for about 15 years, and it was noticeably different
...by a fuck off great building site at the moment.
Plus the fact that Crossrail did for The Astoria, Astoria 2 and The Metro in one fell swoop.
Interesting thing is that coke's always been the knobhead's drug. Always. A rich knobhead's drug at that. Can't think of much outside of working in the banking sector that people wilfully indulge and revel in the status in even though they know full well it makes them look like a cunt.
Never done bugle myself. But there's a strange logic about it reminiscent of Douglas Adams's quote about people's ability to be President making them inherently unsuited to the job - those who desire/need the increase in liveliness/self-confidence which coke affords then are inevitably the LAST people you actually want taking it...
(about 7.5g) for 120 quid in glasgow and manchester.
It used to be £80 for 1g.
it's definitely got cheaper and is cut with things like mcat.
It's all a bit silly really.
It's now in the coke?
I used to adore speed. I think it might have been responsible for starting off my anorexia though, so I probably shouldn't glamorise it so much.
It seems to be extremely difficult to get hold of these days. Innglasgow everybody seems to be doing C, MDMA crystals or ket. (yuck)
...over the counter in Thailand (I believe this is no longer the case) so it was pretty common for folk to go SE Asia travelling for a few months and post a package of speed back to themselves in The UK. Master criminals right there.
have tweo forumatins. the one that is ofgten used in speed production is their pseudoephedrine formulation and they have made these tablets dark red now to try to stop them being used for this.
oh god I do love a sudafed, sorts out any hangover (but only if it's the red tabs.)
I thought this was you: now cnofirmed
Not sure why this made me laugh so much. OH BALONZ. I might have another sudafed.
Wonder if in 5 years time some sort of more expensive uber-cocaine will come on the market restoring its prestige in the face of price deflation...
Also why am I talking about this like I'm a fucking pumped up socio-economist or something. This is what hangovers do to me, clearly.
You can pay for as 'ton bag' which is as the name sauggests £100 for a gram. One of my mates deals this and says it's the real deal.
In terms of widespread use- it's actually qite terrifying, but it does sometimes feel like everybody between the age of 25 and 40 in this city is On It. if you go to a party or even to the pub, you're very aware of what's going on.
Kind of a bit like when Cathedral City rebranded it's usual stuff as the more expensive EXTRA MATURE whilst continuing to sell an inferior cheddar (possibly cut with things like mcat) under its initial branding.
And I will always, always hate them for it.
Jeez. I'm from near Romford and never heard that before.
People in Romford seem to use the term: http://romford.org/people/famous/famous.htm
...the drugs of choice in the 90s were definitely hash, speed, acid - none of which are around in great volumes anymore. Anyone remember the organised dealer gangs who used to sell at the back of the Brixton Academy, right in front of (and presumably sanctioned by) the security? Seems incredible now.
I was living in Whitechapel & working in Shoreditch/Hoxton between 97 & 2001
I could give you the names of establishments and individuals who err 'managed' the changeover but I value my life.
and whispered something I didn't quite hear. Being a bit drunk, I did a friendly, "Sorry mate, didn't quite catch that" and he said it again. He was whispering, so I still didn't hear, so I said again, "Sorry, you'll have to speak up!", and he, getting visibly pissed off at me, practically shouted "DO YOU WANT TO BUY SOME COKE". I politely declined.
I'm so white sometimes.
but doesn't reflect my experience at all. perhaps because i'm too old (36) or i go to the "wrong" places but i'm out and about in the east end - shoreditch/whitechapel/behtnal green/hoxton/hackney all the time and i very rarely see it going on and don't bother with the stuff any more myself. same goes for 95% of my friends.
we probably all drink too much apart from a few straight-edgers but other than that...
None of my regular mates do drugs of any sort beyond over-priced craft beer, so I don't feel part of any sort of "gak scene", but at the same time, when I'm in the Crown and Shuttle on a Friday it's easy to tell that a load of punters - often the crowds that are coming in from Essex - are on it. The one guy I know who is mainlining it lives in Brentwood, works in the City, and drinks in Shoreditch, and by all accounts he's getting through mountains of it.
compared to other white powdery things is
1) makes you horny
2) makes you irrestible to women
3) allows to to achieve bonk on status
That said I see a hell of a lot more people doing Mandy. Coke just seems a bit of a gimme now. I don't know many people that do this kind of thing in pubs though which is good.
I've seen mandy about far more often than coke.
Maybe I'm basing this too much on a work of fiction, but Ned Beauman's latest, Glow, is set in south London and is all about how the drug scene has completely focussed on lab-developed mind benders.
I do too, of course. But i eat it with complete disdain.
Thought it was the opening scene from American Psycho.
MC Shit Remake
feels like the whole of W12 is on it
my toes are all curled up
I always notice its prevalence when I'm in London
Much cheaper stuff is in vogue in my scumbag South Wales coastal town
Uppers turn people into preening dickheads though fuck that
he seemed to assume that everyone went through a phone a year as well (I think at that point I was on my second in eight years)
So then he had a go at me for working in the construction industry, until I told him that I'd deliberately chosen to work for a firm that did public sector projects with an eco-leaning.
does anyone have the statistic from coke trade deaths which is like 10billion dead
I used to indulge from time to time. This and a couple of other things are basically what stopped me.
thats the one
The thing is, if it was legal and regulated in the first place, you wouldn't see "10 million deaths" or whatever bullshit statistic is being bandied around this week.
(I'm not so naive not to understand that no government is ever going to legalise the stuff).
The thing with coke is that it just has a certain cultural cachet. And I think in part, that's because of the price. The fact that it is pricier than any other drug (most recent time I've bought it, it was £50 per gram in London still) gives it that rep. Don't get me wrong, I enjoy doing the stuff, but it's not worth that (until you've had 5 pints and you're phoning your dealer). MDMA is better, I enjoy it more, but coke does allow you to "keep your shit" in a way that you can't on mandy.
Another really bad consequence of coke, and this is going to sound quite yuck, is waking up next day. Feeling your nose blocked, blowing it, and blowing out half your septum. Red and black gunk everywhere. Fucking horrid.
maybe drink a little less?
Sometimes I can have 5 pints and go home and have a cup of tea and watch a nice documentary on BBC4. Sometimes I feel the need to go on some self-destructive binge. We've all been there. I'm sure you saw enough bugle back in the 1870s when you were one of the hip kids.
the good old 1870s
the drugs trade and subsequent war on drugs is alive and well
keep telling yourself in your london that you're separate from it
Has been on behalf of governments in not acting more rationally and to enact legislation to legalise and regulate narcotics, so we don't have so many narco-murders in the first place.
The global narcotics trade is such a complex system that I'm not sure you can blame the end user, (the final piece of the jigsaw in a labyrinthine system of users, dealers, middle men, cartels, growers) for a significant portion of responsibility.
Keep fighting your little puritan fight against us metropolitan wankers though.
I don't understand your point
But you're never going to stop peoples' desire to get fucked up or to be curious about different ways of getting fucked up.
I just think criticising drug users for doing drugs and enjoying getting off their own tits now and again totally misses the point about who's to blame when it comes to the harm the drugs trade does.
'im engaging with something really immoral and i know it is but don't tell me not to do it cos it's just my nature, man!'
people justifying buying into the cocaine trade with the idea that it's not their fault they're contributing to the death of millions of people because the harmful illegal trade they're engaging with should be legal anyway... are idiot dickheads.
But i'm sure the people from those poor countries no one really cares about, that are brutally oppressed because of the drugs trade, think on balance it's all probably fair enough as long as rich people in london can 'enjoy getting off their own tits now and again'.
but jfc there is literally not a single moral argument that can justify using cocaine and i find it really baffling that people still try instead of just admitting that they don't really care.
Genuinely. Either be okay that you're a part of something horrific and enabling it with every purchase, or stop doing it.
One or the other. There is literally no middle ground other than ignorance, and the second you're past that there's zero high ground to take
That s_h told me that years ago, and I ignored it to make myself feel better. But I was absolutely wrong and so is anyone trying to deflect their involvement in the trade
Coming back to that thread like a dog sniffing its own shit I know, but for me it's just the usual no-fun, straight edge guys failing to engage with the points I've raised. Shame.
to get away from GAK? Er...
Why not move to somewhere a little more sedate, I mean in terms of rep as a "party city" and being full of drugs then Brighton's the closest thing in the south to London.