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’.
Al fresco dining.
Meaningless awards (‘Greatest Neighbourhood,’ ‘Best market’ etc).
Bikes (single speed/vintage).
Buy to Let.
Buzzword spouting landgrabbers.
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.
Champagne & Cheese.
Canvas shopping bags promoting local shops/blogs/ethical guff.
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.
You’ve become a ‘Destination’ (as in ‘foodie,’ ‘fashion’ etc).
Tiny dogs carried by their owners.
Demographic shift (massive).
Paid dog walkers.
Your neighbourhood described as ‘edgy.’
Evening Standard features.
Exodus (movement of Jah people).
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.
‘Guerilla’ actions for corporate sponsors.
Golf club bags.
Local websites moaning about gentrification.
Grammar school boys.
Hot Dogs sold as upmarket street food.
Haves and Have Nots.
Hideous nicknames for your neighbourhood (e.g. Brixton becomes ‘Brikkers’).
Instagram photos of your neighbourhood.
Businesses claiming to be ‘improving’ the area.
“I Love Brixton/wherever” bags created by newly arrived businesses.
Jumpers across shoulders.
Jolly japes and whizzo wheezes.
Local businesses priced out.
Locals (as in fast disappearing).
Ludicrous little lapdogs.
Ludicrous little lapdogs in handbags.
Money supplying parents.
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-totie fooderie.
Pop up shops.
Pop up bars.
Pop up restaurants.
Pop up boutiques.
Pop up fucking pop ups.
Posh artisan sausages.
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.
Rugby shirts with collars up.
Recently arrived complaining about the even more recently arrived.
SLR film cameras.
Squats (lack of).
Social housing (lack of).
Traditional Street Markets (disappearing).
Secret foodie extravaganzas.
Sausage dog cafes.
Sky high prices.
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.
Time Out features.
Trendy tattoo studios.
Tote bag (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.
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!