There is a particular form of guilt that comes from being a liberally educated white middle class male who has had all the advantages that life can throw at him, erm, thrown at him. For instance, when people start talking about getting one of Brixton’s historic markets (Granville Arcade), renaming it Brixton Village, giving it a twitter hashcode and attempting to gentrify the hell out of it I get nervous.
Also having grown up near Brixton (well Dulwich) I have a nostalgic affection for the shitness of Brixton and its markets. They are different, they are shabby, they smell but they are local and are defiantly not Dulwich or Clapham. Also great produce.
So I read about the pop up craft fair on the Londonist (here) a few weeks ago with trepidation. What relevance or benefit do pop up stalls with cupcakes and crochet have to Brixton or its residents? Then I went down there and got it a bit more. It is good, it is wholesome, it is relevant. Each stall was not taking anything away from the area but was attempting to fill what really was a bunch of slack space (not push out existing occupiers). As I got some more detail afterwards on the spacemakers website (here) this is a project worth supporting. Whilst there are some temporary shops there are also new permanent ones opening that will give a long term benefit to the community.
We went relatively late so a lot of the pop up food shops had closed (or been eaten out for the day). Also the newer food shops were a bit overwhelmed. Well this gave me the perfect opportunity to be “authentic”, to be “local” and go to Take 2wo’s Caribbean food establishment.
I have always been curious about Take 2wo when I have passed it. Just like the Korean shops down in New Malden they cook right on the street. There is an oil drum sitting out in the middle of the Arcade’s forecourt where they just get busy on the bbq, day in day out.
So we ordered a jerk chicken with rice and a can of cucumber green drink stuff. The cucumber green drink stuff was interesting but could have done with some vodka.
The jerk chicken was absolutely great. We chucked our forks to one side and got working on the bones. Then we mopped up every inch of the sauce with our forks and the rice. What can I say, grilled jerk chicken on a forecourt in Brixton is the only way to eat it (though I succumb to Jerk City on days when I don’t want to travel).
I hope #BrixVill can bring a long term change to the declining market without the normal gentrification cost.
Price – £6 to 7 for some dirty bbq’d jerk chicken