Brighton's probably still pretty expensive.
June 30, 2015 12:36 PM   Subscribe

It starts with a vanguard class of young creative types reclaiming zones of social and economic dereliction, setting up what Ehrenhalt sardonically describes as “projects through which a small coterie of local artists seek to display their sheer edginess to one another”. The hipster pioneers are followed by young couples with bourgeois-bohemian sensibilities – what the French call “bobo” – who breed and fill the pavements with space-age prams. I was that cliché once, wheeling my daughters around Hackney in the gentrificational transition between murder rates falling and Foxtons arriving on the high street. Then come the really wealthy types who like urban edge fully blunted by waves of demographic change. Before you know it a draughty three-bedroom Victorian terraced house in what was once a slum costs more than £1m.

(slGrauniad)
posted by Kitteh (31 comments total) 13 users marked this as a favorite
 
Always nice to see a bindle.
posted by sobarel at 12:44 PM on June 30, 2015 [3 favorites]


See also Cory Doctorow: Why I'm leaving London. Mostly the same notes, although Cory is lighting out to Los Angeles.
posted by zabuni at 12:48 PM on June 30, 2015 [4 favorites]




It must be pretty cool to have the option of moving to Brighton when you feel you can no longer afford London. Brighton felt to me as the Kind of Place I Could Never Afford To Live when I was there on vacation recently.
posted by MoonOrb at 12:52 PM on June 30, 2015 [1 favorite]


Left in 2010 and I'm glad I did. I've just seen a good friend and his partner and kid move out too, even though both had pretty decent jobs. I also recently met someone who worked for a private bank in London (so not short of a bob or two, national average-wise) and was struggling to find an affordable rental at the edge of Zone 4.

London has depopulated before, by government policy. This time it won't be the planner's blueprints that will shrink the population, it will be global hot money sloshing through the streets, tearing out everything worth living in London for.

I hope the city boys and billionaires enjoy the empty, bleak glass and steel hellscape they're creating.

The future of London is a smoked glass Slug and Lettuce franchise on the edge of a deserted plaza, with someone in a five grand suit softly vomiting into the water nearby.
posted by Happy Dave at 12:52 PM on June 30, 2015 [51 favorites]


That pesky M25 demonic sigil doesn't help matters either.
posted by Wretch729 at 12:52 PM on June 30, 2015 [10 favorites]


Ah yes, marginal gentrifiers, making neighborhoods comfortable and accessible to the people who will later price them out of the market. Land speculating Russian oligarchs, in the case of London.

And I can't believe I get to say this again so quickly and so fittingly, but this is yet another problem that could be solved via cannibalism.
posted by Panjandrum at 12:55 PM on June 30, 2015 [7 favorites]


Poor folks should be more openly and explicitly hostile to the bobo/yuppie set. As soon as they feel safe in your neighborhood, its not your neighborhood anymore.
posted by feralscientist at 1:08 PM on June 30, 2015 [6 favorites]


The Card Cheat, that cut close to home, as I've written complaints similar to that (Uptown Scoop ice cream priced out of D.C., with its irregular hours!) But I also compare it with the frog in the gradually boiling water. Gentrification has a lot of really troubling aspects, though so does having decaying neighborhoods with crime and few attractions...
posted by Schmucko at 1:19 PM on June 30, 2015


I don't really know that moving to Brighton counts as leaving London.

What's all the stuff about London not being child friendly any more? When was it last child friendly? This is the city of Oliver Twist and boy chimney sweeps. I'm counting back about as far as the eleventh century and not coming up with any child friendly era.

Anyway my impression is that for every disappointed posh English bourgeois that leaves in a fit of pique at not being the richest person around, three eager French people arrive. Plus ca change.
posted by Segundus at 1:24 PM on June 30, 2015 [2 favorites]


London is a nicer place to live now than it was 40 years ago when I grew up here.

Sure, if you want to have three kids and a garden and air then you're in the wrong place. But in the 70s the areas that were cheap to rent were just desolate wastelands and only Chelsea or Mayfair were nice. Children played in the filthy streets - Islington, my area, had no parks or anything. Everybody on the street was an alcoholic racist. There was WW2 bomb damage on street corners.

Now we have young and interesting people come from all over the world and as long as they work in the 'app' business, they have plenty of money and fun.
posted by colie at 1:27 PM on June 30, 2015 [17 favorites]


In many parts of England the broad feeling is that London is detached, distant, and without a great deal of connection to our daily lives. To the man in Hull or Hereford it's just a place you see on the news and maybe sometimes visit--overnight theatre trips are still popular. Outmigration will only make it worse: when that distant cousin or daughter of your acquaintance ups sticks and moves away, who then will we know in London?
posted by Thing at 1:33 PM on June 30, 2015


Renting gentrifiers really don't get it. Gentrifiers who buy, boy can that work out. New York is full of guys who are set for life because of the graffiti-spattered, broken-windowed, junkie-squatted real estate their hippie-artist parents bought for a song in the 1970s.
posted by MattD at 1:53 PM on June 30, 2015 [5 favorites]


It starts with a vanguard class of young creative types reclaiming zones of social and economic dereliction
what he really means here is that young struggling artists are willing to live in any neighborhood with cheap enough housing
The hipster pioneers are followed by...
and he's got this wrong too...the hipsters are the wannabe's who come next, with enough money to live comfortably in these same sketchy neighborhoods, thus making them seem edgy by co-opting the affectations of the artist scene, while simultaneously making them seem safer, because, lets face it, who's less threatening than a style conscious urbanite?
posted by OHenryPacey at 1:54 PM on June 30, 2015 [3 favorites]


I have wanted to live in London since, well, childhood maybe? (Weird how a young girl from a small Southern town attaches her yearning to there and not, say, New York City, which is considerably closer and more probable.) But obviously, I would never be able to afford to. It's recurring conversation every other year with friends who are still holding on in living there (some are well-to-do, some are not), wondering if and when they will be pushed further and further out until they are no longer in London. It sucks seeing how angry and sad they are about it.

Anyway, my money is on moving to Canterbury these days with trips into London.
posted by Kitteh at 1:54 PM on June 30, 2015 [1 favorite]


Don't worry- we still have Detroit. No yuppies to disturb your urban funkyness there.

Also, Look in the bright side- within a hundred hundred years, thanks to sea level rise, London will be totally uninhabitable.
posted by happyroach at 1:58 PM on June 30, 2015


According to John Cleese, "London is no longer an English city".
posted by theorique at 1:59 PM on June 30, 2015


Hilariously timed - I'm moving out of London this Saturday!

I've been here 13 years (cripes), and have been smack bang in WC1 for the past four. Great location, great nightlife, great restaurants, and I sit on the couch doing bugger-all.

I may as well have have a bit more space, some garden, and less helicopter noise. There's only so many HungryHouse restaurants I need.
posted by sektah at 2:00 PM on June 30, 2015 [4 favorites]


London: The City That Ate Itself.
posted by Doktor Zed at 2:16 PM on June 30, 2015


As an American, London just seems... bizarre. We have New York, of course, but there are plenty of other large cities you can live in that provide fine amenities and job opportunities at far more reasonable prices. London seems to be utterly unaffordable to Normal Humans, and yet packed full of them, and yet it seems - maybe this is a skewed perception - that the gap between London and any other city in Great Britain is just massively more than between NYC and, say, Chicago or DC or LA or Seattle. I know plenty of people who leave NYC and move to other places, but they describe it very much as moving to Seattle or Austin or wherever; in the case of London, all I ever hear is "I'm leaving London" without a counterpart "Woooo Manchester!"
posted by Tomorrowful at 4:02 PM on June 30, 2015 [1 favorite]


I'd say Bristol and Edinburgh are probably the Austin/Seattle/Portland equivalents for the UK, but of course it's not an exact analogy.
posted by Jon Mitchell at 4:42 PM on June 30, 2015 [1 favorite]


Metafilter: yet another problem that could be solved via cannibalism

Whenever I encounter an article or thread about gentrification, I wonder if anyone's every done a study on what happens after gentrification? I mean, does the area just become wealthier and more set-apart until they finally set up gates, does it gradually depopulate as the hipster contingents grow older and less edgy and move back out to the suburbs? Is there some sort of revolving door of weird caste-based migration into and out of cities?
posted by AdamCSnider at 6:28 PM on June 30, 2015 [3 favorites]


As a French speaking person, I've always understood "bobo" to mean something so easy even a child could do it.
posted by furtive at 6:36 PM on June 30, 2015


Whenever I encounter an article or thread about gentrification, I wonder if anyone's every done a study on what happens after gentrification? I mean, does the area just become wealthier and more set-apart until they finally set up gates, does it gradually depopulate as the hipster contingents grow older and less edgy and move back out to the suburbs? Is there some sort of revolving door of weird caste-based migration into and out of cities?

Hopefully someone will be able to point you to some citations, but people definitely do long term studies of places, such that you can see longer cycles of changes (encompassing within shorter periods of gentrification). "Post-industrial" might be a useful search term -- there have been some really interesting pieces written about cities in the US and Europe that were once centers of industrial might and are now in a variety of later phases -- some doing very well, others seemingly caught in a long cycle of decline.
posted by Dip Flash at 6:49 PM on June 30, 2015


Poor folks should be more openly and explicitly hostile to the bobo/yuppie set. As soon as they feel safe in your neighborhood, its not your neighborhood anymore.

Keep Slumtown Slummy!
posted by 2N2222 at 7:12 PM on June 30, 2015 [2 favorites]


I hate the rising rents and speed that good venues have closed down in London as much as anyone else, but it does feel like trendwatchers are trying that little bit too hard to be the ones that make the call about when the artistic community collectively upping sticks and leaving for Berlin, Sheffield or somewhere else.

This is a feature about a Guardian writer leaving London for Brighton. I doubt they couldn't have found someone on staff who's made that move every year for the last 20 years. The fact they had to bury where he was leaving for so far into the piece makes this feel somewhat disingenuous.
posted by garlicsmack at 2:47 AM on July 1, 2015


As someone who lives, works and rents (while trying to scrape up a deposit inbetween paying practically London rents to a london based BTL landlord) in Brighton, articles about how hard it is to live in London so we moved to London-by-the-sea, I mean, Brighton give me the mouth-frothing rage.
posted by halcyonday at 4:14 AM on July 1, 2015 [1 favorite]


I know Londoners who moved to Brighton and ended up paying almost London rents but enjoying about 1 percent of the cultural and entertainment benefits of London.
posted by colie at 4:19 AM on July 1, 2015 [1 favorite]


And let's not forget the cheap annual train passes to/from London that cost an arm and a liver.
posted by ersatz at 11:32 AM on July 1, 2015


paying practically London rents to a london based BTL landlord

What does BTL mean here?

(I assume you don't mean the Battle Creek, MI, USA airport!)
posted by theorique at 1:38 PM on July 1, 2015


Theoreique, it stands for 'buy to let' - they're investment properties. Frequently owned, in my experience by people who already have own a house, who haven't a clue how to be a landlord and managed by the parasitic scum that are letting agents.

Brighton has a very high proportion of BTL properties (a lot are student housing for the two universities here) to owner-occupied. Of the nine flats that make up the three house terrace I live in, two are owner occupied, the six are BTL properties rented out and one is a mostly unused second home. this is pretty much par for the rest of my street. we are at least spared any student houses.

I might be somewhat bitter. But any house buying my partner and I do will have to be outside of Brighton, which of course then pushes those locals out of their local area.
posted by halcyonday at 1:57 PM on July 1, 2015


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