Sat in a pub yesterday, looked more like an abandoned furniture warehouse. It was no doubt one of the hipper venues in Southend on Sea. They were playing The Clash. I thought; 'Proper London', 'London by the sea'. 'The only way, after all!' I was brought up with this crappiness, this exact kind of crappiness fits. At that moment I was staring across a car park at nothing much more than total crappiness, but it was the kind of left over crappiness you might find in Venice Beach Cal. It had a certain charm, a certain crappy charm.
'Look!- In that one room walk up over there across the car park probably resides another Motley Crue- it certainly couldn't house anybody else!' I said. A fat girl wearing roller skates sped past.
And when we walked along the front today it was peculiar to think that I'd spent so much time in the original Las Vegas and all the time it's approximation sits right here on the Essex coast, in the form of Las Vegas Grills, Stardust amusements, and even NYNY and the Monte Carlo next to each other, just like they are there.
Here's to the Happidrome (above). It may not be great architecture, but it certainly piles on the melancholy.
Photo by Julie Cook.