Of course this would happen. It was inevitable. It happened to camping, and to caravanning, holiday camps, real ale and beach huts … Canal boating, the holiday preference of bearded retirees, eventually had to succumb to the cool treatment and, yes, it seems the first signs are there. Urban canals may be synonymous with vandalism, stabbings, the pushing-in of cyclists, but over the past couple of years, the stretch of London waterway between Islington and Hackney Wick has developed into one of the capital’s most fashionable locales. Hot youngsters in Wayfarer shades, flatteringly unflattering clothes and brogues swarm there at weekends, spilling out from London Fields to drink lattes at the Towpath Cafe, or gathering as if at a festival, to sit on the canal edge outside The Narrowboat, sipping pints and swinging their legs above the green-brown water. Never mind that the dingy depths are full of carrier bags and Coke cans, that the paths are peppered with poop or the bridges graffitied; what was once an industrial dead zone is the place to be this summer. Canal boats themselves are changing too: new owners now reach for a spray can and stencils, not brass polish; windows are hung… Read full this story
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