A young garden in the hood. A young community-built garden tucked away behind old houses, with a recent eviction notice attached to it.
Most times I walk to Greenwich village I take the longer route via Royal Hill street simply because this neighborhood still feels like a community. People don’t rush, they stop for a chat, try the fresh produce in the local shop, greet and smile. It still looks like a residential area with a bit of heart, a flower shop, a couple of family friendly pubs, grocers.
The community garden popped up a few months ago. When I discovered it, on a grey late January Sunday, it still looked lovely. A big yard where everyone chipped in, brought a flower pot, a rake, a bench. And the less visible, but easily detectable additions: attention, time, patience, and care. The eviction note and ensuing quarrel on the walls is not in the least surprising. By most standards, this is a good location, and in London, that’s both a curse and a blessing.
Given similar examples in other parts of the city, it’s a matter of time until the whole row of independent shops will be pulled down or “cosmeticized” to look like any row of stores in the western world. You know, hotel-supermarket-hotel-corporate-flats-chain-cafe-hotel-supermarket-overpriced-fast-built-flats like.
I can only hope those in power realize that this city needs maintenance too, not just building (thank you, Mr. Vonnegut).
Oh yeah, I do know Greenwich park is nearby. It does close at sunset though, and you can’t have any humans tell stories around an open fire. Or plant mint.
This too is a form of resistance.
I hope they win.