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Knightsbridge and Stepney

Posted by Bruce Kahl on January 24, 2002

In Reply to: Knightsbridge and Stepney posted by Jim on January 24, 2002

: : : : Knightsbridge and Stepney are probably towns or neighborhoods but I have always wondered about the significance of the lyrics from the Stones' song "Play with Fire":

: : : : "Your old man took her diamonds and tiaras by the score
: : : : Now she gets her kicks in Stepney
: : : : Not in Knightsbridge anymore....."

: : : You are right that Knightsbridge and Stepney are 'neighbourhoods' in London. The significance in the song is that they are almost polar opposites. Knightsbridge is the most affuent part of London while Stepney is one of the poorest and most run down. Knightbridge is almost entirely upperclass while Stepney was, is and probably always will be exclusively working class.

: : : Presumably she's having to get her kicks in Stepney because she can no longer afford Knightsbridge after the loss of her tiaras.

: : : On the other hand, she might well be choosing to seek her kicks in Stepney - think Lady Chatterly - because the men in Knightbridge are so utterly useless and pathetic - think of Hugh Grant. Now if she were to try Wimbledon...

: : : Yours with some prejudice,

: : : Camel

: : Knightsbridge is in West London, while Stepney is in the East London. Interesting, the pattern of eastern povery and western affluence is also found in most European cities. American cities, by contrast, tend to have informal divisions between North and South, New York, Philadelphia, Chicago and LA, but to name a few.

: Towns/cities tend to grow upwind in America, from original town centers located along streams, rivers and railroad lines. One reason is cleaner air. Coal was the dominate fuel for heating and industry until replaced over the last 50/60years by natural gas. Coal effluents, primarily soot, made property downwind from town centers less desirable. Odors from industry, poor or no sewage treatment and stockyards also made living downwind a little rough. Upwind property is more attractive and expensive. In general, prevailing winds in America blow west to east. Basically, the more money you have, the more upwind (sw-w-nw) you go. The growth pattern is self-sustaining once established. There may be similar patterns in Europe.

Thank You to all for the info.
I have a friend who recently purchased an apartment here in NYC in a neighborhood called "The Upper West Side". His seven figure possession is, in his words, on the "toniest of blocks" yet just ONE block away I had to step aside to avoid the crack and flesh peddlers who populate the area.
I'll take a block in St. John's Wood, thank you.