Category Archives: Cool Shops

Newtown Love

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It may be an unsurprising confession, but I spend more than the average amount of time a day internetting.

Some of that time, I’ve spent perusing Wellington based threads on sites like Reddit. It seems like people’s reactions to Newtown are a bit like Marmite. You either love it, or it makes you vomit like a lactose-intolerant baby.

Riddiford Street. Whenever I go past Newtown Shoes I always sing the name of the shop to the tune of ‘Uptown Girl’. I don’t know why.

I’m in camp Love Newtown. It’s probably because I live here (most people in my camp do). But the thing is, I chose to live here. I specifically hunted out a flat in this area because I wanted to live in Newtown. I think it’s wicked.

Newtown tends to get some bad press for being a bit dodge. Whenever I hear someone say that, I can’t help but let a wee smile appear accross the old cheeks. I always want to tell said-Newtown haters that, excuse me sir, but I have lived in a half-falling-down block of council flats in the wrong part of North London for the last three years. Newtown is a kiddie’s playpark, comparatively (and one without syringes in the bushes, at that).

Sure, it’s a bit rough around the edges. Occasionally an old man will scream in your face on the street. But I love the pace and variety of this place, and after a couple of months walking home from work in the dark, I’ve never once felt threatened or unsafe. Sure, I’m not going to recommend you go and hang out here down an alleyway with your rolex on, but where would you encourage that? (Don’t wear a rolex, they cost an obscene amount of money).

The best thing about Newtown is its variety, mostly of cultures and coffeehouses. it’s like a well-stocked fruit and veg stand (of which there are plenty non-metaphorical versions on Riddford Street). Sure, there’s always going to be the odd rotten banana that nobody wants to give change to, but there are also so many wonderful, colourful things to see and try as well.

As a place, it kind of reminds me of Camden Town in London. Both have a hipster-meets-ethnic-meets-oddball vibe, and now neither of them contain Amy Winehouse. Sure, the hipster vibe can be a bit annoying, but it’s not as ‘intolerable’ as most people make out. At least you get to laugh at all the silly moustaches.

I went out for an afternoon walk around the neighbourhood earlier today. The sun was miraculously shining, which helped, but I couldn’t help but just feel happy when I walked out onto the street. A couple of busker dudes were playing away quite merrily outside New World, and, a bit further down the road, a collection of women in amazing vibrant saris chattered away outside the Skin and Body Clinic.

There was also a ridiculous amount of gulls and pidgeons massacreing a bread roll on this street corner. They seemed more keen to have their photo taken.

As well as that, Newtown also has everything you could possibly need, pretty much all on one street.

Coffee can never be boring, here. There are at least a bajilllion different cafes to try within walking distance of each other (stay tuned for my review of one in particular. It was delish).

Foodtruck

There are also some cool bars…

Monterey’s

Bar Edward

…and an awesome amount of restaurants, particularly Indian food. The Curry Pot and Planet Spice are the only ones I’ve sampled so far, but both were great value and generally awesome. The Curry Pot also serves the most orgasmic red wine I’ve ever tasted, fyi. It’s called Chantilli Shiraz.

Newtown also has all the amenities you need, such as a supermarket, library, and MacDonalds…(some are potentially more essential than others here…)

It has great little Op shops, in which I’ve often tracked down bargains. Sadly today was Sunday, so they were closed, but I did notice that the Red Cross had a Louis Vuitton blazer in stock. What a win!

There’s also this great little second-hand bookstore called Book Haven. A helluva load of oh-so-beautifully musty smelling volumes, at teeny tiny prices.

Book Haven

Most of all, Newtown has awesome people. Here is one of them.

Okay, so that’s just me. You’re just going to have to trust me on this one.

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