By Julia Barnes
For a newcomer to the area Fitzrovia News holds open a fascinating window on Fitzrovia. I enjoy your articles on the social history of the place and the quirky local businesses, but sometimes the view from that window is unremitting bleak; traffic problems, rent hikes, the BID. The gloom can be dispiriting… until the next time I step out of the door in Fitzrovia and feel that energy crackling on the streets and the re-affirmation that there is much more that is positive to this place than the tone of the paper can sometimes suggest.
The recent Griff Rhys Jones article was immensely enjoyable because it managed a balance rarely achieved which extolled all the best of Fitzrovia in a really upbeat article whilst decrying the BID status foisted on the area. It was a rallying cry. I like the idea of Fitzrovia as a quartier, occupying the ground between the smug torpor of the west and the dangerous dark soul of the old city; those who live there are immensely lucky to do so.
Whilst appreciating that community groups and amenity societies are usually waging war on a number of fronts, Fitzrovia News can sometimes seem very entrenched, and could do with coming up for air.
The role of local papers as a forum for pressure groups and community action is exactly right and proper though the window on Fitzrovia that Fitzrovia News holds open can be shaded by campaign fatigue, which can feed into the more positive aspects of the paper; the recent article on the Olympics being one.
Why is it a rule that you don’t smile on the tube? We are living in difficult economic times, and yes the Olympics was an extravagance we could ill afford but having committed to it in other times we must take our pleasure where we can.
We rarely have the opportunity to bond as a nation over something that is neither politically biased nor mawkish, so let us do it without embarrassment for our cool credentials.
It has been tricky moving in at this time with deliveries, etc, but not a huge inconvenience; possibly, dare I say it, fun. Here’s looking forward to more!