There are several ways you can tell that an area has reached Peak Gentrification.
Aside from the crazy increase in house prices, there’ll be new artisan coffee shops, delis, baskets of brioche bread, sour dough sarnies lying about the place and liberal usage of the word “organic”.
TimeOut will write that the trendy moustache and beard wearing hipsters absolutely adore shopping for vintage finds in the area’s pop-up ramshackle car boot sale, and the streets will be full of young, affluent people who, between sobs, will tell you they’ve just paid £600,000 for a 1 bed flat above a kebab shop after getting caught in a sealed bid.
But for me, the surest sign that an area has achieved peak well-heeled status is when people start to form an orderly queue at the bus stop.
I mean, look at this.
Just look at it.
This is the scene every morning at a bus stop on Southgate Road in N1. Here, the commuters queue for their bus; come rain, hail, storm, or tube strike.
At the bus stops before and after – Stamford Hill, Dalston to Old Street – there are no queues. But here in DeBeauvoir the bus shelters are empty, and there is a clear ‘get to the back of the line‘ policy happening.
The only other place this seems to happen is in Canary Wharf, where everyone pretends they are still in a bank even after they leave work.
I suspect this Southgate Road queue business is probably something to do with the fact that the bus is always too full to let people on once it gets here, hence the need for the “I was here first, I deserve the bus more” thing.
It’s all very British.
Personally, I prefer the rules further up the road in Dalston, where commuters advocate a much more effective “My elbows are sharper than yours, and I’ve got a bus arrival app so technically I saw it coming first, and god damn it get out of my way, this one’s mine, bitches” approach to boarding a bus.
What can I say? It’s not pretty, but it works for us.
Queuing is so British! Sometimes I walk through Waterloo in the mornings on the way to Charing cross and I’m amazed by these orderly queues that people form for the many buses and how they calm walk on to the buses in turn without pushing in front of each other or casually stealing places like misguided baseball players stealing bases.It is a free for all crush getting onto buses at North Greenwich i the afternoons and the reason I don’t go through there any more.