London is the best city in the world and all the others just aren’t as good. Right?
For me London is like that friend we all have – the one who gets rip roaring drunk and takes their clothes off in the middle of the high street, skinny dips in winter and shouts private information about your sex life in crowded places. Really fun at times, a little crazy and completely unpredictable, but ultimately, freaking exhausting.
Before you protest, as I know you will – shooting examples of never-ending raves and a city drenched in opportunity – here are five indisputable ways that Brighton is just that little bit better than London.
1. A slower pace of life
After work we often wander down to the sea, sit a while and take in the scenery. If we were in London we would be stood amongst an undulating crowd of pissed off people, being pissed off, fuelling the general atmosphere of pissyness that follows you around the underground like a horny dog.
Brighton is the perfect size – big enough to house a plethora of restaurants, clubs, bars, live music venues, street food extravaganzas, massive chains and quirky indys. It has different areas, each with their own atmosphere, yet everywhere is within walking distance. Hazaaaa – you save money, tone that butt and avoid all the pissed off people huffing into each others’ armpits and complaining about ‘their space’ while systematically invading yours.
I dare you to argue against this one. Go on..say it. Say you just live for the commute, the expensive trains and sweat stains on your shirt.
2. City meets countryside
Don’t get me wrong, London is beautiful. I love the history, I love the architecture and I really love days spent chilling on the South bank, soaking in the atmosphere. All these things are within very easy distance from Brighton and, by jingo, it’s great to be there. Sometimes.
However, occasionally you want to escape the city (and I don’t mean taking a stroll in Hyde Park and pretending there’s not a gaggle of tourists each and every way). In Brighton you can get out of the city within minutes, head along the coast or towards the South Downs for less than £5 and be totally immersed in the Great British countryside. Bliss.
3. Passion for the arts
Ok I’ll share this win – with London being home to the most incredible arts associations, museums, theatres and libraries, how can I not? But let’s be fair here, London is the capital of the greatest country ever to have enforced a worldwide love of tea so…isn’t that like a handicap or something?
What is just amazing about Brighton is every May we have the Brighton festival, Fringe and Open Houses – three festivals offering an array of arts and culture, predominantly for free, that support and celebrate local artists and give those just starting out the opportunity to be seen. There is an eclectic array of entertainment tidbits on offer including cabaret, circus shows and even the Lady Boys of Bangkok (you’ll have to wait until next year for my take on that).
London has Nottinghill, we have Pride. They’re both pretty darn skippy.
Brighton’s support of the gay community in the UK is second to none. In fact this is not a place for prejudice full stop. I feel safe as I walk the streets in Brighton, people SMILE at each other and there is a range of colour from head to toe amongst the wacky diverse residents of this unusual city.
Brightonians are proud. I have done a lot of work with the Chamber of Commerce, which is by far the most inspirational, non-stuffy enterprise I have encountered in such a field, and have reported on many events and debates all centred around how we can make Brighton better. We all want to make Brighton better and we want to do it together. Do you know your Eastend neighbour? How often do you smile at a stranger?
Chaching! Brighton wins.
5. To see the sea
Ah to see the sea. There it be, peaking out the bottom of most of Brighton’s roads, tinkling across pebbles and, granted, it is pretty darn dirty and the pebbles hurt and there’s an awful lot of white vajiggle jaggle in the summertime, but none-the-less, Brighton beach has a certain British charm. Tacky, yet incredibly appealing.
My favourite time to head to the beach is very early in the morning when the sea is like glass and the extroverts come out to do yoga or meditate at the tides edge or scream expletives as you run past.
Ok I admit it, Brighton and London are pretty much incomparable – one contains the world while the other floats by in a midsummer nights dream. But still, for me and many of my fellow city-meets-sea dwellers, Brighton takes the gold for cities in Blighty every time.