North London v South London - The debate

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Time Out's Michael Hodges and Alan Rutter go head to head to explain what's wrong with North and South London



  • North London sucks
    | South London sucks

    'North London sucks,' argues Michael Hodges

    New_20 London NN.jpg

    So what’s wrong with north London? Partly it’s the place (an easy place to get to by black cab, I believe, a service still denied to those of us foolish enough to live beyond the Thames’s swirling waters). Take Parliament Hill. It’s not much more than a hillock compared to the towering peak Greenwich Observatory sits upon. Yet in film, books and plays it is endlessly celebrated.

    And Hampstead Village. An obvious target? Yes it is, and all the more reason to attack it. Self-regarding, snobbish, chocolate-box streets, chocolate-box pubs, sanitised and swept free of any vigour or vim. Or Camden Market? A woeful flea market, engineered to offer exotica and the whiff of danger to people who are not really sure about either exotica or the whiff of danger. Here you will encounter the Peruvian Hat, a sort of knitted headwear with ties that hang down at the sides. Fine in the windswept Andes with the chance of snow blowing up from Bolivia and a group of agitated llamas gathering around you with murder in their eyes, but the mark of an arse in an urban environment. Although it is a handy identifier in a fist fight.

    Of course hitting people just because they are from north London is wrong. And anyway it’s not the majority of people who live in north London who annoy – there are thousands of people who live useful lives in Tottenham and Barnet – but a particular kind of person who lives in a particular kind of way: the north Londoner. He or she will know the best coffee bars in Milan, yet be unable to name one of south London’s many wonderful pubs.

    They will express support for Arsenal football club (never Tottenham), yet know nothing of the game. The contents of their wardrobes will be predominately dark; names like Betty Jackson and Prada will appear there. There is a strong chance of a Japanese print in the downstairs toilet. And you won’t find them in Tottenham either, but in very specific areas: in Belsize Park, in Primrose Hill and in Tufnell Park.

    Take Lemonia in Primrose Hill, the house restaurant of the north Londoner. Who could complain about the fantastic Greek food at very reasonable prices, pleasing decor or the friendly service? Certainly not me: move the place to Peckham and I’d be in there every night. No, the problem is the ‘loyal tribe’, as one pro-north London website has it, that uses Lemonia. That’ll be ‘Jude Law, Ewan McGregor, Gwyneth Paltrow, Daniel Craig, Paddy Campbell and the PM and Sarah to name but a few!’ A few? That’s more than enough. They haven’t even mentioned Chris Martin.

    If you add the slightly less galling Stephen Fry and Geri Halliwell to the array of north London celebrities, you’ll find it runs the full gamut from classy to common (in south London we have that blonde woman who’s quite funny and, well, that’s about it), yet despite their social differences they all a share a similarly enraging worthiness.

    Because north Londoners don’t just eat in Greek restaurants and make odious pop records. They also care deeply about (my capitals) THE LESS FORTUNATE. You know, Tibetans, African people, little seals that get their heads bashed in. Some are even left wing; in fact wealthy north London is packed with socialists. Grand old socialists like Michael Foot, but also less grand, younger socialists who earn £120,000 a year as arts administrators and, strangely, find nothing as hateful and unpleasant as exposure to the working class. The same class, if memory serves, that socialism is suppose to propel to the commanding heights of the economy.

    Not in north London it won’t. And even if it did, north Londoners would still benefit, as they dedicate much of their spare time to pretending to be working class.

    That is why there are so many ersatz versions of the working man’s caff, from which the actual working man has been eliminated (see ‘socialism’ above), featuring checkerboard tablecloths and organic, free-range versions of real food. The bacon will be hand dried by Wiltshire yeomen, the sausages rolled by Tuscan peasant maids on their inner thighs. The tea will be so fairtrade that several Kenyan villages can now boast a Jacuzzi in each hut thanks to the proceeds. Breakfast will cost £19.47.

    However, since they are in the press so often, it is relatively easy to see beyond such lifestyle trappings – along with the pointless recycling, organic wine and other eco-concerned affectations that do little to mitigate the environmental damage wreaked by the Volvo in the driveway – and discover what actually matters to north Londoners.

    Hampstead residents Radio 1 DJ Edith Bowman and her boyfriend Tom Smith, of a pop group called Editors, are perhaps archetypal north Londoners. Rather than ‘feeding the world’ or ending communist China’s oppression of the Tibetan people (and how oppressive is it to remove a medieval government run by monks where women hold no power?), their real concern appears to be getting planning permission. In their case, for a basement.

    And last year, over in Islington, Derek Draper and Kate Garraway were reported to be ‘delighted’ and ‘excited’ when, after a passionate campaign – at one point Garraway shouted at council officials – they contrived to get planning permission for an extension so their baby could have his own room. The baby, I note, is called Darcey.

    However, it’s not the interesting names for their children, or the self-obsession – all those diets, all that idiot yoga, the tantric sex – but the self-righteous hypocrisy of rich north Londoners that is truly unbearable. They want to save the world but still send their children to public school. They claim to be true metropolitans yet cluster in exclusive villages.

    This isn’t urban life, it’s a cod bucolic nightmare populated by rampaging egotists who, understandably, would be beaten about the head with yellow murder boards if they ever strayed south of City Hall. This is north London, and it sucks.

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    North London sucks | South London sucks

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Of course hitting people just because they are from north London is wrong. And anyway it’s not the majority of people who live in north London who annoy – there are thousands of people who live useful lives in Tottenham and Barnet – but a particular kind of person who lives in a particular kind of way: the north Londoner. He or she will know the best coffee bars in Milan, yet be unable to name one of south London’s many wonderful pubs.They will express support for Arsenal football club (never Tottenham), yet know nothing of the game. The contents of their wardrobes will be predominately dark; names like Betty Jackson and Prada will appear there. There is a strong chance of a Japanese print in the downstairs toilet. And you won’t find them in Tottenham either, but in very specific areas: in Belsize Park, in Primrose Hill and in Tufnell Park.Take Lemonia in Primrose Hill, the house restaurant of the north Londoner. Who could complain about the fantastic Greek food at very reasonable prices, pleasing decor or the friendly service? Certainly not me: move the place to Peckham and I’d be in there every night. No, the problem is the ‘loyal tribe’, as one pro-north London website has it, that uses Lemonia. That’ll be ‘Jude Law, Ewan McGregor, Gwyneth Paltrow, Daniel Craig, Paddy Campbell and the PM and Sarah to name but a few!’ A few? That’s more than enough. They haven’t even mentioned Chris Martin.If you add the slightly less galling Stephen Fry and Geri Halliwell to the array of north London celebrities, you’ll find it runs the full gamut from classy to common (in south London we have that blonde woman who’s quite funny and, well, that’s about it), yet despite their social differences they all a share a similarly enraging worthiness.Because north Londoners don’t just eat in Greek restaurants and make odious pop records. They also care deeply about (my capitals) THE LESS FORTUNATE. You know, Tibetans, African people, little seals that get their heads bashed in. Some are even left wing; in fact wealthy north London is packed with socialists. Grand old socialists like Michael Foot, but also less grand, younger socialists who earn £120,000 a year as arts administrators and, strangely, find nothing as hateful and unpleasant as exposure to the working class. The same class, if memory serves, that socialism is suppose to propel to the commanding heights of the economy. Not in north London it won’t. And even if it did, north Londoners would still benefit, as they dedicate much of their spare time to pretending to be working class. That is why there are so many ersatz versions of the working man’s caff, from which the actual working man has been eliminated (see ‘socialism’ above), featuring checkerboard tablecloths and organic, free-range versions of real food. The bacon will be hand dried by Wiltshire yeomen, the sausages rolled by Tuscan peasant maids on their inner thighs. The tea will be so fairtrade that several Kenyan villages can now boast a Jacuzzi in each hut thanks to the proceeds. Breakfast will cost £19.47.However, since they are in the press so often, it is relatively easy to see beyond such lifestyle trappings – along with the pointless recycling, organic wine and other eco-concerned affectations that do little to mitigate the environmental damage wreaked by the Volvo in the driveway – and discover what actually matters to north Londoners.Hampstead residents Radio 1 DJ Edith Bowman and her boyfriend Tom Smith, of a pop group called Editors, are perhaps archetypal north Londoners. Rather than ‘feeding the world’ or ending communist China’s oppression of the Tibetan people (and how oppressive is it to remove a medieval government run by monks where women hold no power?), their real concern appears to be getting planning permission. In their case, for a basement.And last year, over in Islington, Derek Draper and Kate Garraway were reported to be ‘delighted’ and ‘excited’ when, after a passionate campaign – at one point Garraway shouted at council officials – they contrived to get planning permission for an extension so their baby could have his own room. The baby, I note, is called Darcey.However, it’s not the interesting names for their children, or the self-obsession – all those diets, all that idiot yoga, the tantric sex – but the self-righteous hypocrisy of rich north Londoners that is truly unbearable. They want to save the world but still send their children to public school. They claim to be true metropolitans yet cluster in exclusive villages.This isn’t urban life, it’s a cod bucolic nightmare populated by rampaging egotists who, understandably, would be beaten about the head with yellow murder boards if they ever strayed south of City Hall. This is north London, and it sucks.North London sucks | South London sucks

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74 comments
ray williams
ray williams

as a North Londoner. not a west Londoner or a East Londoner but as a North Londoner i was amused to discover that if you live in Thamsemead you dont have to pay council tazx because the place stinks.

SoUThOne
SoUThOne

Haha sounds like the writers jelouse of South, he's pissed cos North London in reality is the souless, boring, non interesting part of London. South has diversity, in culture & in the fact the areas have their own 'feel' to them, South has character, North is just...North, its all the same, name a part of North that stands out above the rest of north? I was in North London the other day and it just all looks the same, depressing, boring, and echoed. Also, please dont count central, West, North West, & East as part of 'North' simply because its north of the river, as that is just stupid, lol. Out of all of London, I personally find North the most unappealing, and the people, the most stuck up, posh, & fake of all Londoners. They just wish they could boast the character and endearment of true Londoners, the ones from SOUTH!...haha.

Denise
Denise

Thanks Josh for telling it like it is. As an Eastender I am fed up of being roped in with North London just because East London is above the river. The East End unlike North London is cutting edge like you said and interesting. I would not move anywhere to a postcode beginning with N, simply because it really is dull.

Ken Leigh
Ken Leigh

As a South Londoner, I have to say this was a very well-written, funny and perceptive article! I especially agree about how North London is compact and densely populated right up to the edge of the city (although there are exceptions, like Totteridge, which actually feels like a bit of Bromley that somehow got dislocated). But South London's appeal comes from the fact that it is more like separate towns rather than a continous sprawl. A trip from Wimbledon to Bexley feels like a cross-country adventure, and that's the appeal. I think the main difference is that North London is en route to the rest of the country, whereas South London is merely en route to Brighton and the English Channel. You really notice it on a trip back to London from the North. It takes you almost as long to navigate a few miles across the river as it does to zoom down the M1 from Birmingham into Hendon.

Doug Bryson
Doug Bryson

Why is it when ever this debate comes up, people always seem to neglect places like Blackheath and Greenwich? We are certainly South London, and most probably even more distanced from the likes of Richmond and Wimbledon than most "north" Londoners. Both by public, and private transport

oh dear
oh dear

south london is full of posh twats. merton, wandsworth, fulham, merton and westminster. north london is real london. hackney, harringey, islington and camden. another southern snob

matt e
matt e

hampstead is north west you idiot. north london is islington, harringey and enfield .

Josh
Josh

North Londoners shouldn't really appropriate central london. it's not north london. Furthermore to talk of north London is a bit of a misnomer. West Londoners and east Londoners, probably the more interesting areas north of the river, wouldn't consider themselves north londoners. North London is that dull place north of central London and squeezed between the rich west and the cutting edge east.

Taufik
Taufik

Carlos please do not be tired of life! We begin as London began - with the Thames, on the Thames. Silvery lifeline, main highway, chief processional route, the Thames is, quite simply, London's Grand Canal. Tower Bridge, where we embark, and Westminster Bridge, where we go ashore, bracket London and to take ship on this stretch of water is to glissade down the centuries. Here kings and queens were borne in painted and gilt state barges; on the one shore, Wren's St.Paul's Cathedral engraved the sublime against the London sky; on the other, Shakespeare wrought his magic, "not of an age, but for all time!" The Thames knew great men and women in death, too: these waters bore Elizabeth I's funeral and Nelson's and Churchill's. And hand in glove with the history...the most famous of all London views, as throat-catching today as it was to Wordsworth 200 years ago: Earth has not anything to show more fair. Ashore, we take in the Tower of London, Westminster Abbey, St. James's Park, Whitehall, Buckingham and St. James's Palaces, the Mall and Trafalgar Square. As ever, the sights behind the sights is our watchword. In short, this is the walk that most memorably captures London's inimitable mixture of idiosyncratic detail and grand, powerful statement. O.Wilde ------------------------------------------------------------------------ Earth has not anything to show more fair: Dull would he be of soul who could pass by A sight so touching in its majesty: This city now doth, like a garment wear The beauty of the morning; silent, bare, Ships, towers, domes, theatres and temples lie Open unto the fields and to the sky, All bright and glittering in the smokeless air. Never did the sun more beautifully steep In his first splendor, valley, rock or hill; Ne'er saw I, never felt a calm so deep! The river glideth at his own sweet will: Dear God! the very houses seem asleep; And all that mighty heart is lying still! Wordsworth

cheryl
cheryl

I'm surprised the writer (celebrities aside) was positive about Lemonia. We went there once and will never go back - awful! Holy Bush in hampstead is a must.

Carlos
Carlos

Emptiness, soullessness, and pretention - real London!

Max Godwin
Max Godwin

I just want to clear up a big misconception regarding South London and the tube. Certain areas of London do not have a tube line not because nobody wants to go there, but rather nobody wants to go to these areas because there isn’t a tube. The cart is being put firmly before the horse. South London is built on softer, more waterlogged land than the north and when the bulk of the underground train system was being constructed it was deemed simply too difficult and costly to try and tunnel through many of these areas. This together with the fact that historically places like Peckham (believe it or not) where actually very affluent, and the local snobs campaigned against the intrusion of any public transport into their posh little enclave. Peckham for instance was one of the only places in London to be spared from having its iron railings melted down to produces arms during the first world war. So there.

Timbo
Timbo

Last time l woke up and smelt the coffee, Stamford Bridge was in fact NORTH of the river? I am a converted south Londoner, just by the simple fact that people smile and talk to each other in south london. North London is plainly fairly dull

maro
maro

I agree with both...it is a question of what u can afford - as usual...but if u have to pick a side - at least improve it...

ArchieMac
ArchieMac

Is Cockfosters not a "name that should be a joke"??? I actually remember it appearing in a Two Ronnies sketch.

Taufik
Taufik

For QOTL I suggest he takes Omega 3 fish oil to calm down at first. His anger may hurt him. Then following: 1) Put your preconceptions aside. 2) Put your own perspective aside. 3) Don't respond as if the perceived criticism or accusations are diected at you.. 4) Try always to remain neutral. 5) Avoid the urge to step in and "correct" the other person's views. Remember, every person views things in his or her own unique way. Their perspective may be different from yours. Treat the other person as a teacher. He or she is teaching you about his or her feelings and perceptions. Through such sharing of feelings and inner thoughts, people deepen their level of intimacy and trust in one another. 6) Ask questions until you are sure the other person has said everything there is to be said about the conflict, from his or her point of view. When the other person seems to have had his or her say, ask: "Is there any thing more you want to add?"

QOTL
QOTL

Timeout - some adjudication please. What is the definition of a fascist? Is it someone who is a bit scared of the south and thinks there's a bit of a smell? Because, based on these comments, my fear has now become paranoia. The hatred from the south is palpable! So, was I being a fascist - or have I hit a nerve (vein of truth?)

jay
jay

what a fascist you are and what little idea you have of the people living on this side of the border. I have an appreciation for south as a north inhabitant, but you have made cruel and indiscriminate nuances base on what is hard to believe of your own experiences. London on the whole is regarded as the Mecca's of the world solely because of its history. How much privatise transport a mass of transport have. Even the PM and queen reside on north Banks... You bastard.

QOTL
QOTL

Hmm.. fascist.. a bit harsh I think. If you said I was being precious or even snobbish, I may agree. Have a tendency to take things a bit far, do you?

Martin Koerner
Martin Koerner

Ah! So you're just a fascist. Sorry, I was worried you'd actually compare North London with South London but, no, thankfully you decided instead to attack the people. You went down the facetious route because you realised the pointlessness of your task. If having a go at North London because of the celebrities who hang out in a few- as you admit yourself- okay joints, is the best you can do then I'm more than happy to read between the lines and accept that you have conceded defeat.

QOTL
QOTL

'Of course hitting people just because they are from north London is wrong'. And there in a sentence is the north/south divide. I will take a bucket-load of norther pretension over the urban and gritty 'sowf' anyday. I may cringe over my coffee when hearing the Hampstead crew compare notes over their latest Petite Bateau jumpsuit for little Ludo; or I may even want to start elbowing the little darlings and their amazingly coiffed mothers/second-family fathers when I'm heading for the train during the school run. But each time I head south, I clutch my bag a little tighter and just pray I get home ok. And what's with the smell?

whitey singleton
whitey singleton

Well, well..somebody upset a few middle class sensibilities! And quite right too! There's nothing that upsets the bourgoise habitus quite like a rant, and for that reason it's bloody good journalism. Thankyou for pointing out just how gentrified this place is, the only thing I'd add is that it doesn't matter where you live (north or sarf) London is like some sort of in-joke that alienates those of us that move here from provincial industrial towns. Everyone seems to know each other from uni, all living within gentrified enclaves such as Angel, Shoreditch, Clapham, E Dulwich & Borough. Unless you have the Estuary Accent you won't fit in so do as a friend of mine did and have elocution lessons (I kid you not!) For me, the biggest irony is all this plastic civic pride coming from people that don't usually identify with a sense of place (I never heard anyone bigging up their association to Winchester, Canterbury or Cheltenham) so why here!? The free-floating middle class usually find this sort of working class behaviour incipiently backward and choose to plant their colours to anything but locality. Having lived in all parts of London I'd say that south is prettier, but not so much going on (apart from The Telegraph on a Bank Holiday weekend), whereas North has more going on, but it's wasted on the wrong people (ie: The Old Queens Head on Essex Rd) for whom the student union would suffice. As for London football it's wasted on the sort of people that enjoy Adam Sandler movies (why clap; you're sat in a pub for Gods sake!) Thank God for Millwall I say...

William
William

I love Elephant & Castle where I live. It may look grim now, but once the regeneration programme gets under way the area will be transformed. But moreover I was able to buy a 'loft' apartment with proper mezzanine level in a converted telephone exchange with a garden for a bargain price compared to other areas of London, north or south. Transport connections are fantastic and there's not an prententious overpriced lounge bar in sight - yet!

james durrant
james durrant

The North is honest, hard working and embracing of both artistic and commercial london. South london is full of self righteous,ex-public school educated yuppy (yes, lets bring back this highly nostalgic and appropriate nomenclature) bores with little or and a plague on the clapham - could it be the most tedious place in London?

Murray
Murray

All the best psy-trance squat parties are in South London!

John
John

I lived in new Cross for a year, New X itself, and Deptford, are ok. But overall, south London is a pit of the highest order. Run down, a nightmare to travel around and dull. Chill out people, we all love the north v south debate. it's fun. And North London is better!

Paul
Paul

Both writers sound like absolute arrogant pigs. The whole point of London being great is it's diveristy, and that includes it's areas. Yes the hustle and bustle of London is great, but so is the fact it has so many great green spaces too. There is no 'better' part of London it's all great! And as for it taking so long to visit people in South London, well strangely enough the journey time is exactly the same when they visit you!

lalitte Stolper
lalitte Stolper

Speaking as an artist, I always found South London a more practical place to live. The studios were cheaper and there was a wealth of industrial estates where professional and dedicated craftspeople could be relied upon to fabricate the big stuff for complex projects. North London consumes culture - South London makes it.

samuel bass
samuel bass

Big up south london, but seriously these articles were a complete waste of time, i dont live in North london and therefore i wont write about it, what gives a Northerner the right to talk about my end like he actually knows it. Mr Rutter stop talking about stamford bridge and the like, no one in south london cares about that, try real stadiums and fans such as the valley, the den etc

Rob
Rob

The North London bloke beats you hands down mate, this is toilet. Besides, East London beats both.

Rob
Rob

Spot on mate, I've lived in Islington & Clapham & your discription of South London couldn't be better...

Helene G Markstein
Helene G Markstein

Nearly chocked on my breakfast with laughing, best belly laugh I've had for months... Thanks for pointing out the so obvious... loved it!!! both sides..... xxx

third time lucky
third time lucky

You are so, so wrong. Do you realise that you, Mr Rutter, are epitomising the image of the ignorant, glib, moneyed & unrealistic North Londoner that thinks nothing of offending half a city - essentially wishing it to drop off the Earth altogether because of an entirely fabricated 'soullessness'? Where, exactly is north London's soul? or Humility? Hmm. We do most of the honest work of living and dying in this city, as Norman Collins wrote in London Belongs to Me, which I suggest you get hold of if you can possibly bear the horridness of having to read about real people - 'London is the Walworth road and the Lambeth Road and the Elephant and Castle. Strange, isn't it, how much of the real London still lies South of the river, just as it did in Shakespeare's day, and in Chaucer's before him?' p.s Smugness was undeniably born and bred in North London. So don't be threatened.

Taufik
Taufik

Friends came and friends went but I have gone on and on in North London for 30 years. I want to say only one thing about South London, it is from my experience and kind of impressions which somewhat registers from the background rather than in a direct manner. I don't know why but it always was the case that successful in a materialistic way but sort of shallow in an American manner kind of acquaintances always moved South.

Dan
Dan

Beautifully crafted and written As an American and one who frequently visited London I agree but my agreement is not important Seems a bit like a contemporary English H L Mencken write more -- about anything -- it doesn't matter just keep writing

Macca
Macca

All real Londoners know that the river is the dividing line - postcodes are irrelevant, some London boroughs don't have London postcodes. Twickenham is far enough out to be called West - (but not South by any stretch of the imagination!). It's an attitude and outlook that tends to divide us - although we are infact slightly beginning to unite against in the Londoners v's Non-Londoners (the main reason for the North's poncyness) battle instead (living here a couple of years does not give you the right to be a Londoner!!). That said... "Oh South London, Is wonderful. Oh South London is won-der-ful..." etc etc.

Veronica
Veronica

Not informative. Fact is the city is massive so people make up reasons not to leave their areas. Moving from one side of the river to the other is a good adventure for any Londoner. Moved from North (and yeah have lived in the fancy, the trendy and the 'interesting' bits North of the River) to South last summer and I'm still enjoying the hidden delights, excellent bars and food...A bonus of moving south is that friends can't be arsed to come down (cos they can't work out overland timetables) and it means you have to meet a whole newbunch of people - which is a healthy thing to do before you become a grumpy old middle aged git who never leaves the shire.

John
John

Probably been mentioned already but aren't Stamford Bridge and Twickenham North of the river Thames? It appears he is getting South London mixed up with the class system

Mel
Mel

Having spent five years in London on both sides of the river I get the overall arch of the debate- it's just as me vs you kind of thing- but that's about it. I live in Walworth and really like it for its distinctive architecture and proximity to the city, which I could barely imagine in Stoke Newington, as delightful as that was. I like South London's large boulevards, which remind me of my home country, the USA. But the North vs South thing is so much less meaningful than, say, the North vs South of the whole country or of mine. By the way I think of Richmond as far west London- who cares what side of the Thames it falls on?

paul
paul

He talks of london needing to be 'a hectic, heaving mass of people from all corners of the globe bashing against each other like energised atoms to create constant, noisy cultural explosions' and conveniently forgets Brixton,Stockwell (unless Portuguese doesn't count) and Peckham. Also Tooting beats Brick Lane for curry any day of the week. Does central london count as north London just because it's north of the river? Besides I'm suprised a Time Out Journalist found there way at all considering the bias in your articles and eating guide

Bels
Bels

Oh come on guys, the article is hilarious! Regardless of whether it can be classed as high brow journalism or not, it is entertaining. So what if it is cliched? This tongue-in-cheek debate has raged on for as long as anyone cares to remember in watering holes, pretentious or otherwise, north and south of our imaginary border. In fact I have probably used some of them myself when justifying my northern existence to friends happily ensconced in the south. The fact is we all quite like the stereotypes because they give us something to laugh at, so why not laugh at ourselves.

Chrissie
Chrissie

sounds like somone is jealous they can't afford to live in North London ;)

sunshine115
sunshine115

I am also sad not to have a quirky guide to both sides, I feel that as a South Londoner I could let people know about all the nice/hidden places I have found in my two years here, and would relish the opportunity for someone to do the same about the North!

Annabel
Annabel

I have to agree, this article is very cliched. I am not a Londoner and have lived in North and South London and enjoyed both. Surely if both parts were similar, how dull that would be. Yes Primose Hill, Hampstead etc can be a little pretentious but then so can the South; think Wandsworth/Clapham Junction (Northcott Rd) for example. East London is brilliant but being that cool and trendy all the time would be pretty hard work! The beauty of London is that there is something for everyone. You can go north, south, east or west to suit your mood and enjoy ALL that London has to offer, wherever that may be. Variety is the spice of life is it not? Surely the very essence of London.

Jessica
Jessica

Perhaps we should all relax and take this article in the spirit it was intended. It's very well written fun. Having lived in both halves for about the same time, I can confirm they're both lovely for their own reasons. And whilst I enjoyed the diatribe about north london, it's really just a rant about champagne socialists, which is always nice to read, but unfortunately not limited to north london. :)

Minxy
Minxy

Greetings from the Shire Of Elsewhere that is South East London. Deptford Fun City to be precise. I think London is a great city and that for it all to be the same would be bland and boring. It's a game of two halves but a team that should be United. We declare independence from divided London on Saturday 4th July and you are all invited to the mini-fest that is Today Deptford. Six minutes from London Bridge by rail (time it writer bloke!) or get a boat to Greenwich and walk 10 minutes, or a DLR to Deptford Bridge and go to the front and pretend to drive around the Planet's Time Zone. Different parts of a city are different! Erm... great.

Minxy
Minxy

Greetings from the Shire Of Elsewhere that is South East London. Deptford Fun City to be precise. I think London is a great city and that for it all to be the same would be bland and boring. It's a game of two halves but a team that should be United. We declare independence from divided London on Saturday 4th July and you are all invited to the mini-fest that is Today Deptford. Six minutes from London Bridge by rail (time it writer bloke!) or get a boat to Greenwich and walk 10 minutes, or a DLR to Deptford Bridge and go to the front and pretend to drive. Yes, the Planet's Time Zone is a little different from North London. Lucky London!

Marta
Marta

Jeez take it easy guys! I don't see why people feel so let down that Time Out has published a petty thing such as ranting... come on! It's fun! We all know that we become patriotic of our corner of London and that's actually a good thing - we all need to belong innit? I've lived in South London for about 7 years and have recently move up to Stokie, about 1 year ago... and I tend to agree with the articles. South London is sweet and chilled and green and I have many lovely amazing memories of it... but then you grow up and you move up and you realise that... wow!!! THIS is the real London! 15mins bus ride to The Barbican? No vast expanse of nothingness between central London and my home? Etc etc etc... And yes, East London is more fun, which is why I think Stokie is the best place in teh world. Near town, but ever so near Dalston and Shoredtich! :)

DrP
DrP

I really object to everyone living in central London being lumped into 'North London', I live in CENTRAL London, South London at a push. North London can't claim all the amazing culture in Central London for itself! Anyway, I define North London as anything north of the top of the Circle Line! I'd love to see a good argument for both, i.e. transport, crime, food, night life etc... not this class war garbage. Time Out might gain some readers if it wasn't so obsessed with insulting people with too much/too little money. It would be even better to see an informed article about West vs East... I might actually learn something interesting...