Camden is a bit of a paradox. On the one hand you have the multi-million pound townhouses, and on the other you have the vibrant needle sharing community. It seems like the abundant junkies of NW1 must reside in Georgian luxury which, on the evidence of Amy Winehouse and Pete Doherty, they probably do, frustratedly cooking-up on pastel painted Agas.
Down the road from Camden is Primrose Hill, which is notable only as the location of Liam Gallagher’s Google Streetview Gotcha which, for the keen Street View enthusiast, is a worthwhile pilgrimage.
Of course, if your enthusiasm is less for mapping technology and more for British indie music then there are some more interesting pilgrimages in the heart of Camden Town. Head to the Good Mixer for a cider, drink-in the birth of Britpop vibes, and try not to get into an argument with a Brazilian metalhead and his unfeasibly attractive girlfriend. Then head up Camden High Street, dodging the small time weed dealers and Lambretta merchandise, and into the Hawley Arms where you can pay homage to Pete Doherty and Johnny Borrell. Take a moment to imagine Amy Winehouse being dragged out of the pub by her father, red faced and raging with jealously at his daughters’ fame. Enjoy a pizza.
However, if the idea of worshiping at the alter of the Monarch, where Britpop shitmunchers Shed Seven once performed seven nights consecutively, is a dangerous amount of excitement then why not head back down Camden High street and across the junction, skilfully avoiding the truly awful World’s End and the pleasingly awful Dublin Castle, and into the backstreets of Mornington Crescent where you will find the Sheephaven Bay.
Unlike Graham Coxon’s face, the Sheephaven Bay is one of Camden’s lesser known drinking holes. It’s an Irish pub with Spanish influences, and hosts a popular weekly pub quiz for the few Camden residents who have retained at least some of their faculties. It shows football, and has a beer garden in which you can enjoy both beer and shivering simultaneously. It has few metalheads, and few indie celebs, which after this particular pilgrimage, is a blessed relief.