Saturday, May 03, 2008

a tale of two cities

Build-a-Bear, Bristol

St Nicholas Market, Bristol

We did the trip round Bristol today, first visiting the Mall, then going down to the market. What a contrast! The Mall is all pointless chain shops struggling to sell stuff that nobody needs and even less can afford. The market is buzzing with local people buying local produce, but also sampling the various delights from many of the cultures that make Bristol such an exciting place. From the blandness of the Mall (which is being developed even further right now) with its escalators and chain shops, cash points and bland food outlets to the market is less than half a mile, but it's like going forward 50 years in time. Transition Bristol will be like the market all over. Bustling local businesses selling food and goods produced within ten miles of the city, probably using cash that is only useable in the immediate area. People coming in by foot, bike and tram and taking it easy.

I wonder how the hippies live like they do, flashing their credit cards, buying cheap tat, rushing around, driving. We'll look back on these days in twenty years with a mixture of incredulity and intense amusement!
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