Friday, June 30, 2006

Our Spiritual Home

Much talk has been making the rounds in the West Ham community regarding a potential move to a new stadium in Stratford after the 2012 Olympics in East London have played out. Comparisons have been made to Arsenal's migration from intimate Highbury ("The Library") to the more-opulent Emirates Stadium beginning this August.
Another concern seems to be the "Asia-fication" of Green Street and its surrounding areas. As an American who has been to see the Hammers 5 times at the Boleyn and once in Derby (I even stayed in a boarding house near the ground prior to the February 2004 home match with Cardiff), I must say that even though a neighborhood changes, it is still worth the world to have character and longevity as opposed to the empty concrete happiness of a soul-less stadium. (And who can resist the nearby charms of Ken's Cafe, just 2 doors down from the ground?)
We recently celebrated our centennial at Upton Park. I hope future generations of fans can mark another.