Wednesday, 20 August 2008

The Thickopedia Guide to Cardiff and Surrounding Areas


“And on the sixth day, God created Adamsdown. And it was Not Good. And thus, on the seventh day, He decided to Give Up…”

Adamsdown is a sticky inner suburb of Cardiff, about 5 minute’s walk from the throbbing city centre. According to some sources, it was named after Adam Kidyounot, who worked as a porter at Cardiff Castle around 1330AD. Due to the nature of his work (looking after poshos before the word had even been invented), he suffered from severe bouts of depression, and the then residents of the area were often heard to remark, in response to the query “how be Adam”: “he be down”. Being thickos (before the word had even been invented), the peasants at that time took “Adam’s down” less as a statement reflecting the psychological and emotional state of a particular individual, and more as a sort of fact, reflecting the anti-inspirational feeling that the area at that time (and to this day) invokes in many of its residents, and nearly all of its visitors.

Alternative sources, in particular the people who live in Adamsdown, think the name may be “summin religious, like”.

Adamsdown is home to such landmarks as Cardiff Royal Infirmary, Cardiff Magistrates’ Court, and Cardiff Prison. The atypical Adamsdown resident, liking a bit of a weekend drink, followed by an alcohol-induced scrap, will ideally pass through all three of these erstwhile institutions, usually in that order.

As if to offset the grim starkness of the suburb, many of its streets are named after metals, precious stones, and astronomical terms. The delicious irony of wandering along “Gold Street”, dodging dog crap as you walk (quickly), meandering around single mothers with their pushchairs full of little accidents, the garden-free terraced houses to either side reminding one of the discoloured teeth inside a tramp’s mouth, is something not to be missed. Unless you live in another area, of course.

There are several Sikh temples in the suburb, as well as a Reform Synagogue, but most residents are not seeking to reform, and spend all of their time in the far more numerous public houses therein.

Adamdown is part of the STAR area of Cardiff. STAR stands for Splott, Tremorfa, Adamsdown, and Roath, four inner city areas born out of the industrial revolution. Again, no-one is sure which bright spark thought up such a wonderfully sarcastic name, but, believe me, no-one actually living in this piss-hole is the least bit duped. Broadway, one of the main streets running through Adamsdown, is the precise polar opposite of its American namesake: there are no stars here, and the splotches of gullshit liberally splashed over the pavement are a very poor substitute indeed. There are no stars in the literal sense, either: as far as Thickopedia is aware, no famous persons have emerged from this particular Cardiff ’burb, and we can safely presume that none ever will.

In brief, Adamsdown is a less than superb suburb, and potential visitors are warned that the only stars they will be seeing here will be the ones in front of their eyes post-punch-in-the-face mugging experience. Lying dazed upon the shit-spattered sidewalk, you will be down both in terms of your feeling and your unfortunate physical position.

And if your name happens to be Adam, well, that will be the funniest thing about your visit.

This Cardiff location article is a stub. You can help Thickopedia by f*cking off and smoking it.

Next time: Butetown!!!


ChristopherBrooke said...

I'm genuinely surprised at your ignorance & overall dim-witted attempt at being superior in your faux middleclass rubbishing of Adamsdown. As a resident in the area for over 15years, having been a victim of theft, burglary & mugging in the area over this period of time, & having witnessed an array of of petty & serious criminal offences, I still don't see this area in the same blinkered, stereotypical way you seem to think everyone else does. It's no different to any other fringe area of Cardiff (or city, for that matter) & the vast majority of Adamsdown residents are quite happy with & in their surroundings.

There has been over the last 10 years a serious amount of money spent on the housing, infrastructure, security, businesses & community aspects of the area. Clifton Street is currently at the start of a regeneration exercise, whereas a large percentage of Adamsdown has already been tended to; there is a thriving Community Arts program that hold a number of annual festivals (poetry events included)& crime in the area has dropped by 20% over tha last 3 years.

One word for you before you again go opening your mouth about a subject you clearly know nothing about: RESEARCH.

Your explanation as to why the area is so called, where clearly informed with an attempt at 'clever' humour, is clearly bollocks & driven by ignorance.

Similarly &, more alarmingly, shallowly, there have been a number of well known/'famous' people from Adamsdown. The Earl of fucking Bute to begin with...

Anyway, it's all quite surprising, really, especially as you are about to open a business on Clifton Street.

Care to share your thoughts on that one?

Mab Jones said...

Mr Brooke -

As you may know, I work within the sphere of COMEDY. There is a strand of comedy known as SATIRE. Of which this article is a damn fine example.

I love Cardiff. I grew up in Ely and have lived in Adamsdown. I am well aware of the regeneration currently taking place within the area, and I support it wholeheartedly.

My plan is to write a range of such satirical articles covering all areas of the city. I have been carrying out research, but as the umbrella title to these articles suggests - THICKOpedia - "ignorance" here is intended, in order to make the reader laugh.

I don't know you well enough to be surprised at your staid, serious, and rather aggressive response. You are entitled to your view, and I, for one, would never presume to take such a haughty, judgemental tone with a fellow human being. Except -

"One word for you before you again go opening your mouth about a subject you clearly know nothing about: HUMOUR...."

Love Mab x

Spen said...

I might have taken his comments more seriously if he had taken the time to make some of the words rhyme....