Re: Street Hookers in London
Central London has changed a lot over the years, the demand for accommodation and simple changes like people growing old and dying or moving away means Sussex Gardens is as empty as King's Cross and Earl's Court -there may be some casuals but as a regular thing it has gone, or gone elsewhere. I remember Soho in 1970 when it was sleazy and the place was rife with girls at night, but as Prospero can probably explain, in the 1980s the media industry grew at such a rapid pace that it took over a lot of run-down buildings in the area, and because a lot of the people in the industry were gay, the profile of the quarter changed with it. As far as I know the 'Models' in upstairs roooms are still there, but not as many as before, maybe also in Shepherd Market in Mayfair. The Italian deli's -I think at one time there must have been six- declined, and because the GLC under Ken Livingstone actually applied fire regulations to the peep shows and strip clubs also closed, but the market was declining anyway and the internet has trashed it almost completely. Soho these days is lively, buzzing, a place to eat, meet people and have a good time.
At one time, the centre of London's heroin traffic was on Gerrard St in Chinatown where supplies usually arrived around 5pm, it was that compact -again, the 1980s was the decade of change, seeing an explosion of drug abuse, propelled mostly by unemployment, the war in Afghanistan and cheap prices, which made heroin a universal problem in this country; and the money that re-developed Soho did the same in Chinatown, which is still very Chinese but better than it used to be.
On the continent, the open spaces like the Bois de Boulogne and the Luna Parks in Italy, or the areas around football stadia in Madrid and Barcelona are still heavy duty but that's because there is a network of Latina's from poorer countries like Ecuador and Costa Rica who continue to migrate in search of work, and as they don't speak much English they won't come here. As far as transexuals are concerned, we just never had the same scene as the continent, not for street walking transexuals anyway; and in Netherlands and Germany its institutionalised in windows and Love Houses.
Pigalle has changed like Soho -the social fabric is different from what it was, the demand for accommodation meant that the run-down blocks where girls used to work are now smart apartments, if you walk up the Rue Lepic, turn right onto the Rue des Abbesses, as far as the Rue des Martyrs, you find the full range of boulangeries, charcuteries, bucheries, chocolatiers, and so on: plus cheap Chinese fast-food joints, and cafes and restaurants which at night are full of 30-something professionals who can't afford to live higher up in Montmartre -the north side was TS, the south side was women -all gone bar about six girly bars; nothing stays the same, sometimes for better, sometimes for worse -but only if you could take advantage of those offerings.