Should I Come Back To LONDON This Year?

e/y

Well-known member
thanks - what would you say are the best things about it? that it's very diverse is about all i know...
I think it combines the good qualities of a big city (diverse makeup, food, arts stuff, etc) with elements of a smaller place - pretty laid back compared to cities in the US where I lived, lots of green spaces, not especially expensive, clean. I lived two blocks away from the financial district / my university, but my street had lots of trees and nice small cafes. People are generally really nice, too.

Not sure what it's like in terms of finding work.

The one thing that I was disappointed in is the music scene: there are a lot of good indie gigs, but in my experience dance music isn't very strong. Electro house seems to still be big (was when I was there in '10, at least), not that much in terms of house / techno (at least not that I noticed) aside from some good local DJs. That said, I think promoters are bringing in a fair number of dubstep / post dubstep DJs now, although I get the feeling that it's kind of bandwagon jumping and they'll move on to whatever else is popular next. There's a few good record stores, too.

sickboy could probably describe the city much better.
 

baboon2004

Darned cockwombles.
@Tea, True - I noticed one bank offering £5 a month 'gift' if you signed up with them. Um, we used to have this thing called 'interest'? But I think most people would rather everyone lost 5 per cent, than they alone lost 1 per cent. There's a name for that theory, isn't there?

I hope so too, but I'm not sure sufficient swing will happen by the next election (2014, presumably) tbh. 1979-1997 was a looooooooong time....
 

baboon2004

Darned cockwombles.
Thanks, will look into it further. Nice people/good civic atmosphere go a long, long way, as does reasonable cost of living. I guess I'd be resigned to no other city being able to touch London for music variety/sheer number of differing venues.

I think it combines the good qualities of a big city (diverse makeup, food, arts stuff, etc) with elements of a smaller place - pretty laid back compared to cities in the US where I lived, lots of green spaces, not especially expensive, clean. I lived two blocks away from the financial district / my university, but my street had lots of trees and nice small cafes. People are generally really nice, too.

Not sure what it's like in terms of finding work.

The one thing that I was disappointed in is the music scene: there are a lot of good indie gigs, but in my experience dance music isn't very strong. Electro house seems to still be big (was when I was there in '10, at least), not that much in terms of house / techno (at least not that I noticed) aside from some good local DJs. That said, I think promoters are bringing in a fair number of dubstep / post dubstep DJs now, although I get the feeling that it's kind of bandwagon jumping and they'll move on to whatever else is popular next. There's a few good record stores, too.

sickboy could probably describe the city much better.
 

Sick Boy

All about pride and egos
e/y is mostly accurate in what he said. Toronto is no means a city of the same stature as New York or London, despite being the biggest city in Canada. Nevertheless, it does enjoy a lot of the same kinds of things you'd find in those cities: a thriving arts scene, a great university, lots of diverse and unique neighbourhoods, an international community, etc. It also has managed to integrate residential neighbourhoods right in the middle of the the downtown core, so you can live off of a main commercial/entertainment strip, yet live on a quiet street with trees, a nearby park, etc.

Where it differs from bigger cities is that we don't enjoy a lot of the things they do to the same extent. Our transit system, while serviceable, leaves much to be desired; the arts scene has a troubling habit of largely importing cultural material from more fashionable cities; the neighbourhoods, while diverse, have the feeling at times of being somewhat segregated. For some people this causes them to dislike the city, but for others, including myself, you begin to identify strongly and personally with it. You want the city to improve because it's your city and its potential is so apparent if you aren't blinded by cynicism and grass-is-greener fantasies of moving to New York. The recent election of a incompetent conservative mayor has actually helped bring a level of solidarity back to Toronto's inhabitants.

I think it's a great place, and while it doesn't have the cultural panache of Montreal, or the more intensified laid-back suburbia type feel of Vancouver, it strikes what for me is a more tolerable balance between the two extremes.
 
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Sick Boy

All about pride and egos
The music scene is alright, but as I mentioned it tends to be a sort of follow-fashion type scene. If enough journalists blog about something, one of the hipster promoter companies will make it their focus for a stint and you'll get to see some acts come through, although they are historically fickle in their tastes.

If you're into house though, I'm not really sure where e/y gets the impression that we are lacking in that department. As far as I can tell, house and techno is one of the only genres of electronic music in the city that seems to consistently be thriving.

Oh, also, Toronto is pretty much one of the comic art/cartooning capitals of the world, if that's your thing, and pretty much has one of the best shops/organizing bodies in North America. Chester Brown lives here, Seth lives in the town over, etc.
 

Sick Boy

All about pride and egos
Oh and girls here are beautiful. That's a fact. Every single tourist I've ever had over here has commented on that without fail.
 

e/y

Well-known member
...you begin to identify strongly and personally with it. You want the city to improve because it's your city...
I felt the same exact way, despite the fact that I lived there only a few years. I've spent much longer in other cities in Europe and the US, but they never felt as 'home', whereas Toronto did. The streets, parks, shops, bars - I began to identify with them and refer to them as 'my'.

(bah, this has started a really intense yearning for the city...much as I like Cologne / Bonn so far, they don't compare to TO)

If you're into house though, I'm not really sure where e/y gets the impression that we are lacking in that department. As far as I can tell, house and techno is one of the only genres of electronic music in the city that seems to consistently be thriving.
It's very possible that I wasn't looking in the right places - I'd check RA's events section for Toronto, but it wasn't often that I found out about DJs from outside Toronto who I was into. Also, pretty much no-one I knew was also into house / techno, so maybe my circle of friends also helped to create this (incorrect) impression. That, and a few crap experiences early on.

There were a few really good loft parties by local DJs that I enjoyed going to, and I caught Basic Soul Unit on one occasion and he was excellent.

Oh and girls here are beautiful. That's a fact. Every single tourist I've ever had over here has commented on that without fail.
Yep :)
 
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baboon2004

Darned cockwombles.
thanks for all the info, sickboy. particularly like this: "It also has managed to integrate residential neighbourhoods right in the middle of the the downtown core" - I was just talking last night about how London has this, in a slightly different way, the confusion of residential and cultural, and i couldn't live without it (have always tried in London to live in places which are 'centres'/proper neighbourhoods in themselves to some extent).

Montreal - I have to say I have found a lot of French Canadians I've met among the most insane people ever. Nice, but insane. Think I'd prefer Toronto for this reason.

What with Drake and the Weeknd and all that, I'm surprised that music in Toronto isn't flourishing at the moment.
 

mistersloane

heavy heavy monster sound
where did you go and what did you do? i like cities and the cities in aus are verey depressing. very very depressing.
Drove across NZ and then drove from Brisbane up a bit and then down through the outback to Melbourne and then to Sydney, it was nice I thought. Australia felt like this weird bubble where they haven't understood that people dont live in a paradise dream world anymore. It was delusional and lovely. NZ is too expensive for humans.
 

luka

Well-known member
Staff member
nz is about as expensive as sydney but wages are vastly lower. i have just been in the blue mountains which i love. sydney i think i could like if only i had partners in crime. life is easy here. i know i have more disposable income, much more, than if i lived in london. i just dont hav anyone to get up to mischeif with. i make people a bit nervous.
 

mistersloane

heavy heavy monster sound
nz is about as expensive as sydney but wages are vastly lower. i have just been in the blue mountains which i love. sydney i think i could like if only i had partners in crime. life is easy here. i know i have more disposable income, much more, than if i lived in london. i just dont hav anyone to get up to mischeif with. i make people a bit nervous.
No way man, it was really really really crazy prices in NZ, it was frightening.

I can see that - about you and about partners in crime, it must be hard in other countries - and see what you think if you come back here, but things are really hard here now. Sure you'll be able to get a job, but if you work part-time now, you just cant use the tube, no-one can afford pubs. Course there are ways round it - there are always free economies and all that - but it is hard here at the moment.
 

luka

Well-known member
Staff member
ok fuck that, im used to having plenty of disposable income and working 4 days a week in a coffee shop. im not scrimping and im not working more than 30 hours a week. anyone want to come and join me here?
 

luka

Well-known member
Staff member
maybe i should retitle this should you lot come to SYDNEY this year. i need to be entertained.
 

luka

Well-known member
Staff member
more spartan window paperless televisionless pubs in hackney selling 100 types of home brew that all taste the same and all claim to be 'pale ale'
 
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