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Where I live: Whitechapel, London
I live in a small, very Islamic, enclave of Whitechapel where it's impossible to buy alcohol and you never see drunks on the street...
"Type 52: Multi-Ethnic Areas, Large Families, Overcrowding"
Sounds good, eh? Let's hear some more!
"Residents in this ACORN Type are primarily from Indian, Pakistani and Bangladeshi ethnic groups. They are largely owner-occupied areas, though there is a great deal of privately rented accommodation too [that'll be me then - I own nothing]. A key feature of these neighbourhoods is the high degree of overcrowding - families tend to be very large and homes are often small. These neighbourhoods are found in large concentrations in London, in areas such as Whitechapel, Bethnal Green and Mile End, and in manufacturing towns such as Bradford, Wolverhampton and Luton."
Whitechapel is a built-up and initially intimidating sort of place that eventually reveals itself to be a fairly benign neighbourhood. The diversity of people who live there, from squat-dwelling artists to Bengali Muslims to workaday City types, means that it's very difficult to draw attention to yourself, making life much less stressful. There are constant street markets on Whitechapel High St and Brick Lane, where lots of things can be picked up for very little money (including import cigs), and for the lover of curry this area is a Valhalla - Brick Lane is pretty much the epicentre of the UK's Indian/Bengali cooking industry. However, the lover of any other type of food might as well learn to cook because if you want Chinese, Italian etc you're going to have to go somewhere else!
When you are walking on the streets, the things you see are: pigeons, mess, curry houses, the large mosque right next to the little synagogue, women veiled from head to toe, alcoholics congregating by the tube station, the air ambulance rising from the hospital roof and darting away on its noisy missions...
The things you hear: prayer calls, garage-flavoured bhangra-style music playing from cars, a massive array of languages being spoken, wheezing cars and squealing buses, fireworks, police sirens, the whirring of the air ambulance, and the dull thuds of kick drums coming from my own flat...
I live in a small, very Islamic, enclave of Whitechapel where it's impossible to buy alcohol and you never see drunks on the street. The enclave is an oasis of calm among the hectic carnage of the area in general, with some roads being cordoned off to cars and handed over to the kids, who are always out playing football or cricket, or just running/cycling around in circles. There is also a big disused wing of the hospital near me, which has been squatted now for nearly 40 years - an extremely imposing place, the inside of which is far from pleasant (these aren't university-drop-out squatters, these are hardcore squatters, whose drugs of choice all rhyme with "quack" - smack, crack etc). The squatters in this place never show their faces outside, and most of the kids are oblivious to their presence. In fact, there are some pictures of it here:
I like the little enclave although I don't really like religions generally (and this is a very religious area). The tiny synagogue that's right next to the mosque is an interesting and unusual sight, though, and sometimes you see the two communities mingling when they both come out after a service. There is a very low level of racial or religious tension, luckily, and the Muslims, although dominant in my little enclave, are very tolerant of the others who live there - the area certainly has a diverse approach to debauchery, but I have never seen any abuse. There are, of course, extremists, but even these people have a "talk first, hit later" policy that's always a pleasure to come across in the inner cities - in fact, my brother was nearly converted to Islam on the street one day (he might well have been, actually - we're not sure just what has to happen for one to become a full-fledged Muslim).