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River Man

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Everything posted by River Man

  1. I'm a midlander living down here, have done for 10 years, and I live here because it's the greatest city on earth. EVerywhere else in the UK seems dull and provincial when you've been down here for a while. Nowhere else has the same diversity of shops (there is one specialising in early music instruments roudn the corner from my office), the amazing history on every street, the amount of pubs, the sheer diversity of things to do and see, from theatre to comedy to festivals and exhibitions of any topic you metnion. Sure, it's got its problems. But I love this place and have no intention of leaving. And for those who bang on about countryside, London is pretty ******ing green. I jsut walked home through Regents Park, along the canal and then into Hampstead Heath. Pretty serene I have to say - at times you could have been in the country. I just don't recognise the crime-ridden hellhole some of you desribe. I've lived in inner city Birmingham and Manchester and found those far more violent and scary. I find London a pretty chilled out place in comparison. A lot of Londn haters just don't know the place, though - it reveals its secrets and glories pretty slowly, but that wil last a lifetime.
  2. Almost no chavs in Crouch End/Muswell Hill / Highgate I have to say, but if North London ain't your thing... You'd be surprised how much trouble there is the countryside. Herefordshire, for example, has a big heroin problem, notably in Leominster and Hereford. THere are more smack addicts per head in leominster than in Birmingham. The problem in a lot of rural areas is that there is no work for the old working classes. The middle classes go to public school or work elsewhere, the rest are left to rot. However, I can second Shropshire. Shrewsbury, Ludlow and Bridgnorth are thre eof the prettiest and most pleasant towns in the country. If you're in Brighton, how about lewes? Seemed extremely civilised there.
  3. I get the impression there are very few homes on the market in that area. The rental market, however, is oversupplied and rents are dropping. We managed to bag a house for the same rent as you would have paid for a 2-bed flat just a year ago. I'd recommend renting for a bit until there are more homes on the market.
  4. The only advantage I can think of of Walthamstow over Finchley is the fact that the former is on the Victoria Line which will zip you into Central London in 10-15 minutes. Finchley is on the Northern Line. If you attempt to use that to commute every day you will slowly lose the will to live as it travels at a walking pace past the 896 stations between there and Tottenham Court Road or Bank. It is a nicer place, although I'd venture to say that the main characteristic of both is boredom. Suburban leafy boredom in Finchley, more gritty boredom in Walthamstow. Unless you mean East Finchley, which is more bearable. pie-eater, don't you think being a copper gives you a rather disportionate view of an area?
  5. I know. But there are many other things that are different this time, as well. Transactions didn't fall to this low level in the early 90s. But most importantly, housing was still comparatively affordable in the early 90s compared to now. Back then, the average first-time buyer was on below average incomes buying a below average costing house. Now, he/she is on a lot more than average incomes but still buying a cheaper than average house! I just don't see where the money will come from with prices still at 6,7,8 x income and first-time buyers the most indebted generation in history.
  6. Just goes to show there are a few idiots around looking to plough cash into property. There are only a limited number of them, however, and mortgage-backed buyers are few end far between and unable to pay that sort of premium. In any case, anecdotal evidence.... Look at transaction volumes, look at time on market, for wider areas - that is the interesting sotry.
  7. I agree. A couple of months of rises and a lot of people think it's all over (not much faith in their own arguments!) Look at the last crash. Prices rose for about 20 of the 90 odd months it took for things to bottom out. The important thing is transaction volumes and asking prices. It doesn't matter if haliwide goes up a few percent, asking prices where I am have always been at 2007 levels but transactions have gone down to 15-20% of peak. There simply is not enough money around to justify a reasonable level of transactions at current asking prices. The current spike in activity is driven by cash buyers of a small number of homes. First time buyers are unable to do anything and they are key. The crash will resume at some point soon - later this year, I'd imagine.
  8. That area always seems to have ridiculously high prices compared to the rest of N8/N10. Bizarrely it seems to command Hampstead prices! Have patience my friend. One sale does not indicate anything. Properties are staying on the market for ages and then the 'to let' sign appears. According to the Land Registry transactions in Crouch End and Muswell Hill are at 15% - yes 15% - of average levels!
  9. I agree with everything you say and have a lot of sympathy. Although i think the mentality was alive and well well into the Menzies era (allowing the British to conduct a-bomb tests in South Australia) and exists to a certain extent today. It's a shame, though, that after cutting the ties with Britain you renamed your pound a dollar and started calling lifts elevators, but that's another matter. It's perhaps ironic that the Kiwis, who perhaps have retained a stronger cultural link with the UK, have actually on close analysis had a much more independent foreign policy than Australia despite this.
  10. I trust you are aware that more British troops than Anzacs died at Gallipoli?
  11. The west coast is wet and mild and not dissimilar from much of Britain. Inland is a different story.
  12. But from the awful urban hellholes of Highgate and Muswell Hill it looks very different...
  13. I agree with the first part of what you said. London is massive and very diverse - to speak of one "London experience" is utter rubbish. It depends where you live and where you work. If I lived in SE London and worked in Canary Wharf I would have a very different experience from living in leafy north London and working in Marylebone. One other thing is rubbish as wel;l - those who refer to London as 'concrete' or 'too built up' - it has more parks in the centre than almost any other city int he world.
  14. Most British cities do badly in these surveys. The reason - we don't do cities very well. In fact we don't do cities at all. When frenchmen make it they buy an apartment in the best arrondisement in Paris. When an englishman does, he buys a country estate. We're obsessed with living in the country or that second-rate versiono f it, suburbia. We can't build urban places very well. DH Lawrence was good on this - still relevant today: "There's nothing to be said for the "little home" any more: a great scrabble of ugly pettiness over the face of the land." "As a matter of fact, till 1800 the England people were strictly a rural people -- very rural. England has had towns for centuries, but they have never been real towns, only clusters of village streets. Never really urban. The English character has failed to develop the real urban side of a man, the civic side. Siena is a bit of a place, but it is a real city, with citizens intimately connected with the city. Nottingham is a vast place sprawling toward a million, and it is nothing more than an amorphous agglomeration. There is no Nottingham, in the sense that there is Siena. The Englishman is stupidly underdeveloped, as a citizen. And it is partly due to his "little home" stunt, and partly to his acceptance of hopeless paltriness in his surrounding. The new cities of America are much more genuine cities, in the Roman sense, than is London or Manchester. Even Edinburgh used to be more of a true city than any town England ever produced. That silly little individualism of the "Englishman's home is his castle" and "my own little home" is out of date. It would work almost up to 1800, when every Englishman was still a villager, and a cottager. But the industrial system has brought a great change. The Englishman still likes to think of himself as a "cottager" -- "my home, my garden." But it is puerile. Even the farm laborer today is psychologically a town bird. The English are town birds through and through, today, as the inevitable result of their complete industrialization. Yet they don't know how to build a city, how to think of one, or how to live in one. They are all suburban, pseudo-cottagy, and not one of them knows how to be truly urban -- the citizen as the Romans were citizens -- or the Athenians -- or even the Parisians, till the war came. And this is because we have frustrated that instinct of community which would make us unite in pride and dignity in the bigger gesture of the citizen, not the cottager. The great city means beauty, dignity, and a certain splendor. This is the side of the Englishman that has been thwarted and shockingly betrayed. England is a mean and petty scrabble of paltry dwellings called "homes."
  15. I agree - I know lots of aussies and kiwis who are settled in Londno. Poor old London haters. I cycle 25 mins to my office each day through parks, live inear a beautiful ancient woodland, and have loads of great old - traditional - pubs and good modern restaurants in walking distance. And all the theatre and cinema and museums that the city can offer a bit further afield.
  16. When we get to the winter months the seasonally adjusted figure will be higher than the 'real' one. In December or January, will Ray Boulger be telling us how the 'real' figures are actually much worse that the widely reported ones?
  17. N5's alright, though, isn't it? Always thought it was the most normal bit of Islington. In fact I briefly lived in an estate off Highbury Park and that was fine. More of a mix than most of the borough. Also the bottom bit of N7 around Arundel Square and Ellington Street etc. as well as round the Swimmer pub off Holloway. Otherwise (apart from EC1), bits of N19 are OK, especially the Tufnell Park side, as well as the Islington bits of Stroud Green. I'm sure you're right about reported crime, but if ethnic communities tend not to report crime as much and Islington is mostly white how come reported crime appears low in Islington compared to Lambeth/Hackney/Southwark? Surely those areas would be underreporting, not Islington. Incidentally in those same Met police stats for Burglary Islington comes 16th - Lambeth, Southwark and Newham all occupy the top 3. Theft is the only place Islington comes in the top 3, below Westminster and Camden, although I'd suggest that's more because they cover busy central areas where there are loads of people passing through. are you sure you wouldn't feel the same way about any inner London Borough if you worked there for a while? A mate of mine works for Kensington & Chelsea council (in crime prevention) and he always says, if you knew what goes on in this borough (He always points at Notting Hill, which I imagine has similar issues to Islington, but also bits of Chelsea surprisingly). Anyway back to the original question. If you're looking at North/North East adn want something decent but affordable then I'd try the cheaper areas of N8/N10 (Hornsey, Alexandra Park, Colney Hatch but west of the railway), even Stroud Green but not too close to Finsbury Park.
  18. Probably. But are people iN lambeth and SOuthwark more ready to report crime than people in Islington? or is someone from Islington got more access to the figures that their colleagues in other boroughs? I'm not saying the place is heaven on earth, but it's not as rough as the inner bits of South or East London, as the figures suggest Because of the quality of its schools, a typical inner London level of crime and absurd, Chelsea-esque prices given both of these.
  19. I'd ignore pie-eater, he's obviously got some anti-Islington thing going on. As crime in London boroughs go, it's pretty average really and much better than most. Check the met's statistics if you don't believe me. Here's a table of 'crime against the person' - worst boroughs: 1. Southwark 2. Westminster 3. Lambeth 4. Lewisham 5. Tower Hamlets 6. Ealing 7. Newham 8. Greenwich 9. Hackney 10. Croydon 11. Camden 12. Islington Total crime: 1. Lambeth 2. Southwark 3. Lewisham 4. Newham 5. Ealing ... ... .. 14. Camden 15. Enfield 16. Islington I lived in Islington for years in HIghbury and then off UPper Street - it's quite safe. I didn't even notice a dogshit problem. And it's a pretty vibrant, interesting place to live with pretty bits and urban bits mixed up together. I used to live between Camberwell and Peckham - now that is a scary, crime-ridden area. Islington doesn't come close. There is a social divide between rich and poor which can be shocking, and there isn't much greenery and the schools are crap, which is why I'm up in N8 with my kid. But I wouldn't overdo Islington's problems either.
  20. Still, Barnsbury's bloody lovely, isn't it? The most attractive part of the whole of London in my book.
  21. Yes but townhouses tend to have larger rooms and higher ceilings, at least the older ones. And are much more beautiful than shitty semis.
  22. Here in London the most expensive homes are townhouses, usually Georgian admittedly, but some 4 or 5 storeys high.
  23. They're all suburbs old chap. London is a 'collection of suburbs'. It's not Paris, with loads of amenities on your doorstep and lots of people with families living in spacious flats. I used to live in N1 too, and enjoyed its peculiar combination of mega-rich lawyers and chavs with nowt in between. I loved living centrally, but I have a family now it's not ideal. Unlike most big cities elsewhere in the world, it's just not as convenient living more centrally, in fact you can find there are hardly any local facilities for residents as it's set up for those who come in to work or drink. What do I want? Well, for a start off, a pub where I can get a drink and sit down after 11pm, I have two like that in CE. And a decent choice of local food shops - butchers, fishmongers and greengrocers. And a couple of decent restaurants, and ok-ish local schools (I have a young family). Of course, in most cities, you would be very likely to get all that centrally. But sadly, not in London - in fact Crouch End fulifills those criteria far more than Islington or Hackney or Bethnal Green. Marylebone would, true, but very few parts of London have the sort of combination of facilities I require. So I'm happy with 'suburban' living (believe me, I grew up in a proper suburb, miles and miles of housing with nothing but a few dogshit-ridden parks). Enjoy N1 - just don't send your kids to the local school or try to find a decent butchers or somewhere to sit with a pint after 11pm!
  24. The streets I was thinking of are round the Swimmer pub and the Waitrose. The N19 on Sussex Way is a nice pub - good selection of beers. Still, it is rough round there. Not the roughest by London standards though.
  25. There are actually some really lovely roads around Holloway, tree-lined streets with Georgian town houses that would go for over £1m in Islington. This isn't one of them, though.
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