66 Things You Learn When You’ve Lived In Brighton For 10 Years
The seagulls are definitely not your friends.
Sian Butcher / BuzzFeed
1. Exactly where the tourist-free bits of the beach are. 2. That no good will come from going down West Street after dark, ever.
3. Brighton’s signature scent in summer is 3% sweat, 2% sun-tan lotion, and 95% weed. 4. Lone drummers who set up shop on the seafront are actually commodities traders for the rest of the year.
5. Exactly what goes on at Duke’s Mound. 6. Flats with high ceilings that look amazing in June are bloody cold after September.
7. Going out for a decent fry up on a Saturday takes military-style planning. And if it’s a Bank Holiday, forget about it. 8. If there’s any space available on the pavement around Churchill Square, foreign students will naturally expand to fill it.
9. The sea will eventually infiltrate your dreams. 10. The nudist beach isn’t as exciting as people imagine.
11. Every person you meet who is over the age of 50 will tell you that the best night of their life was the time Bob Marley played at the Brighton Centre. Go on, ask one of them. 12. The best book about Brighton isn’t “Brighton Rock”. It’s “The Giro Playboy”, by Michael Smith.
13. And the best Brighton film is Down Terrace, not Quadrophenia. 14. Although the alley where Phil Daniels and Leslie Ash have sex is always worth a visit.
15. The buses hurtling down Regent Hill won’t hit you. Probably. 16. Where to find the best secret summer raves.
17. Whatever the council says, the King Alfred Leisure Centre is never getting rebuilt. 18. And neither is the dear old Brighton Centre.
19. The noise that wakes you up at 3am isn’t a screaming baby or a dying cat – it’s seagulls making sweet, sweet love on your roof. 20. There’s always someone in Brighton who is more left-wing than you.
21. And there’s always someone cooler than you too. 22. And someone on a stranger, more niche diet.
23. The sea makes stasis seductive. It was here long before you, and will still be here way after you’ve gone: so why bother filling out that job application? 24. To actually get anything done, you have to spend at least some time in London.
25. But the train service is just one huge conspiracy to stop you getting any further than East Croydon. 25. All Brighton estate agents are evil.
26. How does “checking a reference” cost £150? 27. But they will each be granted their own portion of hellfire. And in that hellfire they’ll be forced to watch Latest TV on an eternal loop.
28. People who don’t like noise probably shouldn’t move in next to a club. 29. If you force yourself to be open minded, you’ll even find poi acceptable.
30. The same goes for dreadlocks on white people. And dogs on strings. 31. Everyone who’s lived here for more than a summer has worked at Lloyd’s TSB, American Express, or Legal & General.
32. 99% of the bands at the Great Escape are pony. But the audiences it attracts are always entertaining. 33. Whatever trouble you want to get into, you’ll find it here.
34. A smile from a Brighton bus driver is a rare and beautiful thing. Treasure it – you won’t get one again. 35. Winter in the city is beautiful. You should spend it in warm pubs, recharging after the summer.
36. It gets brass monkeys on the seafront though. 37. The new London Road is not the new Hoxton. But hey, at least it’s the new London Road.
38. Northerners get 25% more northern the second they enter Brighton. 39. Whatever the gay population are wearing, you’ll also have in your wardrobe very soon.
40. When the Argus finally closes, people will miss it. 41. If only for the surreal newspaper stand posters.
42. The people responsible for naming the buses got stuck after “Norman Cook” and just made the rest up. 43. What a mummeration is, and why it’s so special.
44. Mr Scruff will always be DJing here somewhere. 45. All the coffee shop staff look like they’re in bands.
46. Or they’re backpacking Aussies. 47. Brighton is a city in the same way that the Isle of Wight could be described as a country.
48. Throw a pebble to your left on Brighton beach and you’ll hit at least 5 graphic designers. 49. Throw it to the right and you’ll hit 5 social workers.
50. Throw it in the air and a seagulls will swallow it, then dive down and rip you to shreds. 51. 95% of the city’s ex-web designers are now content marketers or SEO gurus.
52. But absolutely everyone is still a part-time DJ. 53. No kids = Brighton. One kid = Hove. Two kids = Shoreham.
54. All those celebrities that are supposed to live here don’t. 55. Unless you’ve seen Adele down the queue in Grubb’s recently.
56. Having said that, I once spotted that guy from Supergrass in Sainsbury’s looking at baked beans. 57. And Jeremy from the Levellers is always cycling around the Lanes.
58. The drummers under the pier are never coming back. 59. Neither is the Zap Club (RIP).
60. Or the burnt-down pier. 61. Or the lost youth of the middle-aged skateboarders clogging up the seafront.
62. The population is transient: back-packers, resting actors, students, tourists – they all leave eventually. 63. This means that each summer the city reinvents itself.
64. Many people come here to escape something. 65. Others to find something.
66. They both tend to succeed.