Compiled with the help of folks living at the sharp end of a rapidly gentrifying neighbourhood, this guide hopes to let you swiftly identify the tell-tale words, phrases and signs that indicate your area is about to move ‘upmarket’.
Before you start spluttering the froth from your stretched piccolo latte into your fashionable waxed moustache, please note that not all of the individual things listed are necessarily bad or even outright proof of impending gentrification, but collectively they are likely indicators that the neighbourhood is ‘on the move’.
Adults calling their parents ‘Mummy’ and ‘Daddy’
Artists everywhere (often rich ones replacing the poor ones).
Airbnb all over your street
American millionaire DJs closing down local clubs
Artisan fucking everything.
Al fresco dining.
Antique stores selling any old shit.
Anger from locals (growing daily).
Affordable rents that are not actually affordable.
Meaningless awards (‘Greatest Neighbourhood,’ ‘Best market’ etc).
A-Boards outside bars and restaurants with ‘amusing/ironic’ comments.
Awards for everything (‘Best Artisinal Cheesemakers With A Green Shop Door 2016’)
Bare light bulbs in bars, cafes, barbers etc.
Bikes (single speed/vintage).
Trendy bike stores
Billionaire DJs buying up the area.
Brioche fucking buns.
Buy to Let.
Buzzword spouting landgrabbers.
Blackboards with ‘witty’ slogans.
Billionaire socialites DJs buying up half the town
Coffee with fancy designs on the froth.
Cupcakes (“the footsoldiers of gentrification”).
‘Community’ grants for well-heeled and well-connected new arrivals.
Specialist cheese shops.
Chalkboards with ‘quote of the day’ or some such other bollocks
Champagne & Cheese (or ‘Champagne & Fromage‘ for the gentrifying jackpot).
Cocktail with stupid names.
Cocktail bars with stupid names.
Canvas shopping bags promoting local shops/blogs/ethical guff.
Christmas jumpers (‘sooo kooky’)
Co-operatives crucified by the local council.
Recently arrived ‘Community Spokespeople’.
‘Cleaner required’ notices.
Local characters and colour (as in fast disappearing).
Chain stores masquerading as independents.
Cash from chaos.
Cod Caribbean restaurants (see Turtle Bay)
Curated art shows.
Curated trainer shops (yes, really)
Design collectives in the pocket of corporates
DJs in shops
DJs in markets
DJs in the street
You’ve become a ‘Destination’ (as in ‘foodie,’ ‘fashion’ etc).
Tiny dogs carried by their owners.
Demographic shift (rich in -> poor out).
Paid dog walkers.
Luxury developments with idiotic ‘edgy’ names (e.g. Block Porn)
Estate agent cars with ‘trendy’ artwork.
Your neighbourhood described as ‘edgy.’
Evening Standard features.
Exodus (movement of Jah people).
Food feasts. A meal is no longer enough. It has to be a ‘feast’.
Celebrity food journalists banging on about their latest ‘discovery.’
Fucking Foxtons’ wanky Minis.
Fucking Foxtons’ wanky Minis and the twats sat inside them.
Fucking Foxtons etc etc ad infinitum.
Fair trade bags.
Festivals (pop up festival/food festival etc etc)
‘Guerilla’ actions for corporate sponsors.
Golf club bags being wheeled about by twats.
Local websites moaning about gentrification.
Grammar school boys.
Haves and Have Nots.
Hideous nicknames for your neighbourhood (e.g. Brixton becomes ‘Brikkers’).
Iconic branding of the neighbourhood.
Industrial units converted and rebranded (‘The Old Ballbearing Factory’ etc).
Infantile descriptions like ‘yummy’ and ‘scrummy’
Instagram photos of the iconic branding of your neighbourhood.
Instagram photos of meals
Instagram photos of chalkboard with wacky messages
Businesses claiming to be ‘improving’ the area.
“I Love Brixton/wherever” tote bags created by newly arrived businesses.
Incubators for business.
I Saw You Coming – rubbish tat shops for well-heeled gullible types.
Jumpers across shoulders.
Jolly japes and whizzo wheezes.
Kids’ fashion events
Local businesses priced out.
Locals (as in fast disappearing).
Ludicrous little lapdogs.
Ludicrous little lapdogs in handbags.
Lexadon property developers.
Money supplying parents.
Mummies. Yummy mummies. Posh mummies. Mummies referring to themselves as mummies.
‘Iconic’ murals everywhere
Neighbourhood described as once ‘notorious’.
Novelty nick nack stores.
Endless noise complaints from people moving into a ‘vibrant’ area.
1970/1980s/1990s retro fashions.
New arrivals outraged at non complimentary reviews for their favourite nu-hoitie-toitie fooderie.
Old shop signage kept above a trendy new and unrelated store.
Pop up shops.
Pop up bars.
Pop up restaurants.
Pop up boutiques.
Pop up fucking pop ups.
Posh artisan sausages.
Pampered pet stores.
Pubs closing down to make way for upmarket housing and supermarkets
Planning permission (lack of).
Massive 4×4 prams.
People photographing their fucking food.
People bragging about property deals.
Pulp’s ‘Common People’ never sounded so relevant.
Pre-loved (i.e. second hand crap).
Rugby shirts with collars up.
Ridiculous job titles.
Recently arrived complaining about the even more recently arrived.
SLR film cameras.
Squats (lack of).
Social housing (lack of).
Social media influencers.
Shipping containers re-purposed into vibrant commercial hubs.
Traditional Street Markets (disappearing).
Secret foodie extravaganzas.
Stupid shaped plates
Sausage dog cafes.
Sky high prices.
Stupid bar/restaurant names
Shop signage that looks like it was painted by a 5 year old.
Shop shutters painted by trendy artists .
Schools sold off for yuppie flats.
Stupid bar names.
Secret Gardens in pubs.
Street art sponsored by brands
Talks about gentrification.
Time Out features.
Trendy tattoo studios.
Tote bags (promoting some local hipster shop/blog)
Tories slithering in.
T shirts of underground bands never seen – or even listened to – by their wearers.
Uniform (skinny jeans, ironic glasses etc., copied directly from Brooklyn circa 2005).
Ultimate frisbee team.
The upwardly mobile.
Vibrant fucking everything.
Working class’ apparel.
Exclusive wine shops.
Arriviste writers reviewing everything.
The place turns into a fucking zoo.
Have we missed anything?
Please add your own suggestions below and we’ll add the good ones!