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ICONS ARE BETTER #24: CAMDEN TOWN

Say what you want about Camden – and people do: dirty, touristy, cheap – you can’t deny its iconic status. Don’t get me wrong, the criticism is pretty accurate; it is dirty, it’s definitely a touristy hell at weekends and there is no other way to describe some of the stuff sold in the Market than cheap tat.

I’ve stopped counting the times I’ve walked past punk-y Spanish art students or goth-y metal groupies relieving themselves in one of the darkened alleys by the station on a Friday night; and the stuff left on the streets the morning after a big night would make Pete Doherty blush.

But yet, it’s just the best, a definite London icon. Everyone has a story about Camden, about a crazy night out ended with making BFFs with the jazz player in the back of Marathon’s kebab shop, some incredible celebrity spotting by the bar in the Hawley Arms, that time they saw Amy Winehouse (RIP) walking down Chalk Farm road puffing on a fag.

Camden is always up, smelling of misspent youth and jaegerbomb sick, of falafel wraps squashed by hairy knuckles and indie bands’ dreams. It’s dirty and cheap, and has a layer of glorious grime that will never shift, no matter how many All Saints superstores or upmarket burrito places you plonk on its tired highstreet.

Camden is beautiful in the way that an ageing film star is after too much sun and cigarettes: Tired and old, yet lingering in our brains the way only true icons ever can.

Matilde Pratesi – Social Media Strategist at mcgarrybowen.

Follow Matilde on twitter @1Matilde