"Shepherd’s Bush: a grey, malodorous, overpopulated district, the opposite of its name, in west London. The traveller not wise to the truth of this squints and mutters, “Where is it?”, while gazing at the greasy cafés, kebab shops, Australian mega-pubs, cut-price emporiums and honking traffic".Now then, the temptation may be to dismiss Mr Theroux as the snob his name suggests he is, but actually does this have the ring of truth? And is it so bad if it does?
For "greasy cafes" perhaps we could identify Adams Cafe on Askew Road, which is a superb and award winning eatery that is cafe by day and Moroccan restaurant by evening.
For "kebab shops" could this be a reference to a hub of the community King Solomans, whos owner Mohammed Hamid, originally from Egypt but a Shepherd's Bush resident since the mid 1970s has been serving up home made middle eastern cuisine since he arrived but is also one of the few places in the rich patchwork of the Bush that is patronised equally by mosque go-ers and QPR fans and everyone in-between.
Cut price emporiums could be a reference to the linen shops of the Shepherd's Bush Market curently engaged in a life or death struggle against our Council and their developer friends Orion who want to knock them down and build seven floors of flats on top instead. Which of course would contribute to Mr Theroux's point about Shepherd's Bush already being "overpopulated" which you can see at a glance.
And honking traffic seems to be the norm throughout the city.
Which of course leaves "Australian mega pubs" which is surely a reference to everyone's bad neighbour the Walkabout Pub which serves us all a regular diet of violence and vomit on the weekends usually in the form of drunken Australians reinforcing a few national stereotypes of their own.
Apart from that, I quite like it here!