Is London truly a crap town?
According to the latest issue of Crap Towns, not only is London a Crap Town but it is the crappest town in the whole of England, beating previous ‘winners’ Bradford and Chipping Norton.
The capital city is deemed so awful that it has beaten a place that isn’t even in the UK, with Gibraltar settling in at sixth place. The reasons given for putting London at the top of the pile are high house prices, City bankers and drab suburbs. According to the newly published guide, the city is ‘a must for all fans of vomit, paranoid schizophrenics and R&B played through tinny mobile phone speakers’.
Now whilst these criticisms will chime with many of the aggravations that Londoners have about living in the city, the characterisation of the city seems to come not from the experience of someone who actually lives here but out of the fevered imagination of a cantankerous biddy who has been watching too many episodes of Whitechapel.
Whilst there is plenty to fix in this city, it is worth remembering that only a year ago the city was the centre point for a truly memorable Olympic Games, and is a place that attracts people from around the world not born into the cynicism that coerces British people to see the worst in their own country.
Between 300,000 and 400,000 French people live in the capital, making London a more popular place for French people to live than Bordeaux or Lille.
Many of us who were not born in London but who chose to come and live here don’t think that London is a Crap Town. Indeed, coming to London allowed us to escape places that really are truly crap. Places like Peterborough, Leicester or Ipswich.
There’s the Hunterian Museum, the Hampstead Heath Bathing Ponds, the Green Note Café in Camden, Art Licks tours and a whole bunch of other stuff that I have yet to experience despite years of living in this city. It’s perplexing, beguiling, bewildering, expensive, vibrant, constantly evolving, hectic and pretty much the only place I could consider calling home.
Image by Dimitri B courtesy of Flickr