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After an online chat with my long time Essex mate, I mentioned that my son needs a dose of the big smoke in the next decade.

I had my turn a few decades ago and I liked my learning of Englands capital ( sorry here..it is an English thing!)

During my time in London, most figured my accent was from somewhere in Ireland. Nope, ask @MrPin, I am a Manc. 6 years living in the far north changed that. For Sturgeon..I mean the far north of Scotland, not the central belt. I am Estuary English now. Actually I can do most accents so that is not true.

The Big Smoke? Well I do not need the news to remind me of the changes in London since my time there.

That said...a time in London...where is it now?

Before my last move my neighbours from London...worked in media...from Liverpool..had lived there since graduating...Not a pot to piss in. Moved for work in Salford, Media City ( BBC area).

Mind. You need a dose of London, even if for all the wrong reasons.

 

 

Edited by The Grey Man
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I was packed off to boarding school at 11, but I was back to my home town by 14. It was the best thing that happened to me. At 18 I headed to a far away University and have worked all over the world since. Too many of my senior school classmates went to the nearest university, and promptly moved back home. Encourage your kids to travel far, learn much and shag every willing partner they meet. They’ll be middle aged before they know it, live while they can!

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1 hour ago, The Grey Man said:

Mind. You need a dose of London, even if for all the wrong reasons.

 

 

Yes and no.

I would not be happy, for example, if my daughter lived and worked in London in most of the areas I was in when young.  the anti white / anti unmarried female risks are much much higher than they have ever been since the 17th century, in my opinion.

I think for a son, yes, a couple of years seeing what a shithole immigration makes would be good.  One of my sons has spent time in London and time in Australia, and seeing the difference between mostly white and multicultural on things like trust value (bikes left on lawns, etc) has been shaping his views.  

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6 minutes ago, Libspero said:

I like to think I’m reasonably well travelled,  but I can’t for the life of me understand why anyone would want to live in London.  What’s the attraction?

Unless you’re a tourist,  or someone’s paying you a 6+ figure salary to be there..  why would you? :/

I can still see the attraction for the under 30s. Proper smart offices (I recall Bloombergs had about twelve drinks on tap, not just water), history on every corner, fitter burds cos they're all foreign. Nightclubs for any niche music taste at all and not just Friday or Saturday.

I've not been for five years and probably won't ever again though - Birmingham too. I expect to sadly add Manchester to that list during the 2020s.

Leeds has until the 2030s but the city in the sweet spot at the moment is Sheffield.

 

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5 minutes ago, Stuey said:

I can still see the attraction for the under 30s. Proper smart offices (I recall Bloombergs had about twelve drinks on tap, not just water), history on every corner, fitter burds cos they're all foreign. Nightclubs for any niche music taste at all and not just Friday or Saturday.


Ok,  I think that’s why I can’t relate.

I moved from a rural upbringing to university in Manchester. I hated city life..  dirty, claustrophobic, impersonal..  I couldn’t wait to leave.  The only benefit seemed to be if you wanted a greasy kebab at 3am.  
 

For those who like nightclubs and expensive corporate offices..  I guess I can see how that might work for them.

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10 minutes ago, Libspero said:


Ok,  I think that’s why I can’t relate.

I moved from a rural upbringing to university in Manchester. I hated city life..  dirty, claustrophobic, impersonal..  I couldn’t wait to leave.  The only benefit seemed to be if you wanted a greasy kebab at 3am.  
 

For those who like nightclubs and expensive corporate offices..  I guess I can see how that might work for them.

Being immersed in London gives you a sense of scale. So many things that shaped the world happened there (not in nowheresville). You do feel that. 

You also get to experience what life is like for cattle. Not for the claustrophobic or the defeatist. A lot of it is survival of the fittest. 

You are surrounded by fit women (and men) from all over the world so the options are numerous. 

Being able to visit central London whenever you want is pretty cool (there is a big difference in living in say zone 6 and zone 2-3). 

After a cumulative 10 years living there, I'm glad I don't still live there but it certainly has a hand in shaping your views on the world. 

A lot of careers (none of mine) need a stint in London to get your foot in the door. 

Having said all of that, I don't think I'd feel the same about Birmingham or Manchester. I really don't have any affinity for Birmingham. 

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I guess if you come out of it after a 10 year stint with a beautiful wife/husband and a fantastic career then it’s worth the trade-off.

Looking at the faces of most of the London commuters I’ve seen they’ve never struck me as looking particularly happy or enthusiastic. O.o

I’ve been the tourist guide several times in London for visiting relatives so I know what you mean about the scale and the architecture. For me I’ll settle for Liverpool for my sense of grandeur.. walking by the docks you can see the remnants of past glory, and almost imagine the cutters and square riggers tied up there unloading their goods under the watchful eye of the merchants.  That’s good enough for me :)

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1 hour ago, Libspero said:

I guess if you come out of it after a 10 year stint with a beautiful wife/husband and a fantastic career then it’s worth the trade-off.

Looking at the faces of most of the London commuters I’ve seen they’ve never struck me as looking particularly happy or enthusiastic. O.o

I’ve been the tourist guide several times in London for visiting relatives so I know what you mean about the scale and the architecture. For me I’ll settle for Liverpool for my sense of grandeur.. walking by the docks you can see the remnants of past glory, and almost imagine the cutters and square riggers tied up there unloading their goods under the watchful eye of the merchants.  That’s good enough for me :)

There certainly was a period - I'd say early 80's up to about 2000 - where you could move from the provinces (or indeed Australia/NZ), flatshare in London with a bunch of 20 somethings cheap enough to have a good nightlife, and get a career that would open doors for you elsewhere or make enough money to head back to the sticks and buy a house.

I lived in a couple of different shared flats in London, one I owned, and everyone had enough money for beers each night.  All the girls I knew/went out with/fucked also shared flats and enjoyed Londons leisure scene.  Mostly the girls had a better chance of finding a high earning bloke (if they were fit enough).  I can think of 4 girls I knew who all met a rich earner in London and married, never worked again.

I also knew a guy who did 4 years in the city as a trader, earned enough to never work again.  He was from Poole.

Very rare risk of an IRA bomb.  Low crime, even in what used to be fairly dodgy bits.  

Contrast with now.  rents sky high.  cost of living sky high (one of the areas I used to rent in now charges residents for parking on the street wtf).  stabby stabby muslims and black geezers.  nightlife dead due to COVID.

Yeah - I think London was a good rite of passage.  Now, it's just a back passage,.

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I think it’s good when you’re young to be soother than the boring endless suburbia that is most of the uk. So that’s either going to be a city or go the other route and somewhere rural or coastal with lots of outdoor stuff.

I know it’s no London but I’ve spent 10 years in Belfast city centre which has been great in terms of easily being able to head out to a gig or a bar or the cinema or whatever on a whim cause everything’s on your doorstep. Having a city centre flat also helped me get laid a few times. No, really. 

Unfortunately even pre-Covid the city centre was going downhill, my local cinema shut permanently, live music is fucked ect. And enrichment is through the roof.

Edited by JoeDavola
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2 hours ago, Stuey said:

the city in the sweet spot at the moment is Sheffield.

Yes, i hear the party area is the Page Hall Estate.

I left Sheffield almost 20 years ago. It was great fun back then. Seems to be full of warring newcomers now.

Plus they bulldozed half the decent city centre boozers to put tower blocks up.

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3 hours ago, The Generation Game said:

Being immersed in London gives you a sense of scale. So many things that shaped the world happened there (not in nowheresville). You do feel that. 

You also get to experience what life is like for cattle. Not for the claustrophobic or the defeatist. A lot of it is survival of the fittest. 

You are surrounded by fit women (and men) from all over the world so the options are numerous. 

Being able to visit central London whenever you want is pretty cool (there is a big difference in living in say zone 6 and zone 2-3). 

After a cumulative 10 years living there, I'm glad I don't still live there but it certainly has a hand in shaping your views on the world. 

A lot of careers (none of mine) need a stint in London to get your foot in the door. 

Having said all of that, I don't think I'd feel the same about Birmingham or Manchester. I really don't have any affinity for Birmingham. 

I have lived in London pretty much all my life, but for the most part out on the edge in Zone 6. I could never understand the appeal of living further in, just seemed crowded and mental. The outer areas seemed to offer the best of both, a slower pace but all the "good" central bits a 20 minute train ride away.

Then I moved in to Zone 2.... fucking brilliant. Lived there for the last 8 years and absolutely loved it. Have moved back out now as my partner and I split, it's obviously not been the same the last year as all the great things about it have been off limits, but still would still love to be there.

It really depends what you want in life, it's not for everybody. I did live in the country for a couple of years and remember very clearly moving back in to London and going to work in the city the first day back and thinking "fuck me, I've missed the absolute chaos and business".

Also very much agree on the careers point.

 

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1 hour ago, JoeDavola said:

I think it’s good when you’re young to be soother than the boring endless suburbia that is most of the uk. So that’s either going to be a city or go the other route and somewhere rural or coastal with lots of outdoor stuff.

I know it’s no London but I’ve spent 10 years in Belfast city centre which has been great in terms of easily being able to head out to a gig or a bar or the cinema or whatever on a whim cause everything’s on your doorstep. Having a city centre flat also helped me get laid a few times. No, really. 

Unfortunately even pre-Covid the city centre was going downhill, my local cinema shut permanently, live music is fucked ect. And enrichment is through the roof.

Indeed, very few places in the world like London. I don't meant that in a "very few places as good" it's not just a city, it's a mega city, one of only two Alpha++ rated cities in the world. There is nothing remotely close to it in the UK, it gets shit on by the rest of the country (which is fine and valid in lots of instances), but globally it's a hugely important place on so many levels.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Global_city#Alpha_++

But yes living central offers a lot of great advantages, if of course that's your thing.

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4 hours ago, Libspero said:


Ok,  I think that’s why I can’t relate.

I moved from a rural upbringing to university in Manchester. I hated city life..  dirty, claustrophobic, impersonal..  I couldn’t wait to leave.  The only benefit seemed to be if you wanted a greasy kebab at 3am.  
 

For those who like nightclubs and expensive corporate offices..  I guess I can see how that might work for them.

I think it helps if you have seen how shit things things are in London, to appreciate everywhere else much more. 

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5 hours ago, Libspero said:

I like to think I’m reasonably well travelled,  but I can’t for the life of me understand why anyone would want to live in London.  What’s the attraction?

Unless you’re a tourist,  or someone’s paying you a 6+ figure salary to be there..  why would you? :/

Men: high paying jobs.

Women: men with high paying jobs.

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Living in London and visiting are two very different things. It takes time to know where is affordable and reasonably pleasant to live. Where to go and where not to go.

If you're into nightlife you won't know how to make the most of it as a tourist. I'd hardly know now if I wanted to go out clubbing from dusk til dawn. It changes too much. I did five and ten years ago. Ignoring covid I do still know where to have a good night out until midnight or so, which is all I really want these days.

If you have a shit commute that is down to choices you've made. Mine, when actually in an office, is less than 30 minutes cycle. A little longer door to door by train if drinking afterwards.

10-15 years ago it was definitely possible to rent a room cheaply and afford to go out several nights per week. I don't know about now as I don't need to but I would expect it to be doable.

If you want to walk in the countryside or look at the stars then London is not the place. I can see the attraction in those things. We're all different and want different experiences.

In my view London was better 15 years ago. Could just be that I'm older but I don't think so.  A lot of London's quality of life decline is mirrored across the country. Far too much immigration. Whilst we have more diversity in some areas we have homogenisation in others. Going in the wrong direction in both cases.

 

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18 minutes ago, Yadda yadda yadda said:

Far too much immigration. Whilst we have more diversity in some areas we have homogenisation in others. Going in the wrong direction in both cases.

Anywhere in zone 3 and 4 and you would think youd accidentally taken a plane to kharchi. Only zones 1 and 2 have any actual "london" left.

Edited by goldbug9999
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2 hours ago, JoeDavola said:

Why? Proximity to 'things to do'? i.e. never a shortage of a way to spend an evening or a day off?

Few reason, it's more densely populated for a start and so yes more things immediately on your door step, also a lot easier to get in to Zone 1.

I know you know this, but London is big, like massive getting on for 15 times the size of Belfast. Living in Zone 6 and going in to central London is the equivalent distance wise* to the centre of Belfast and living in Antrim. It's just a magnitude of difference getting back to Zone 2 as opposed to Zone 6 to the point it puts no limits on you.

Most of London (in terms of Zone 1/2) has 24 hour bus services, normal routes not special services. So that means you don't have to make any special plans to get home.

* I'm pushing distances there (18 to Antrim, but 17 on the Edge of Zone 6), but it's about the best illustration of the distance involved.

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