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Wednesday, February 02, 2011
New butcher and grocer on Lewes Road
If I could have chosen a mentor I'd have gone for Walt Whitman, printer's devil, poet and just as Alan Ginsberg imagined him in the supermarket, I'd take him for a wander along Lewes Road.
I think Whitman would enjoy the renaissance of this polluted spar out of the city, lethal for cyclists especially in winter rush-hour rain.
At the junction of my hill a new butcher's is opening. The big white tiles are on the walls, the sign - meat and poultry - is on the front. A few doors along, a new multicultural grocer (their description) advertising halal meat, fruit and veg. There's a new internet cafe too.
Lewes Road seemed doomed when Tesco forced the closure of the community garden but then pulled out, leaving developers to a digger and impenetrable fence decorated with signs like 'children don't play here'.
But some of its renaissance must be down to a brilliant Turkish grocer that opened a few years ago, perhaps in the wake of Taj's success in town. Its olives, haloumi and bread are incomparable.
And new shops are opening around it with names to dream on: Wizard of Ink, Charisma, Fellas. As cash is squeezed, maybe we're going back to shopping locally and daily?