Is Crystal Palace crap?
The urban massive debate the merits of a south London suburb
(Photos/words © urban75, November 2006)
Back in May 2006, a new thread by the poster 'sonik' appeared on the bulletin boards, asking: Crystal Palace - your thoughts?
We figured that others may be interested in the urban75 verdict, so here's the thread highlights:
What's it like? Really!
I went there on Saturday and had a brief look around the Crystal Palace Triangle but it was raining so didn't hang around to long. Saw a whole bunch of pubs. Which ones are the best and which should be avoided, saw one called the Postal Order that looked like the one to avoid and one called the White Hart that pretty looked good.
Ianw already mentioned a good curry house up there (can't remember the name) although not a huge fan of the old curry tbh.
Any Crystal Palace knowledge would be greatly receive, pros and cons.
I'm biased cos I'm a dedicated SE Londoner.
CP is top - more than your fair share of good pubs and restaurants. Bit lacking for shops of much interest (warrior CD store and bookseller crow being the obvious exceptions). White Hart/Black Sheep/Bluebottle all rate on the 'trendy'-pubometer, Alma for 'quirky', Albert and Railway Bell for traditional. The subterranean bar at Numidie is the best place for a drink in my opinion.
Great park. Fantastic views over London.
Affordable (by London standards) rentals/property
Surprisingly (for the tube-addicted) good transport, although an encyclopedic knowledge of train timetables will help you maximise this.
My friends and I have been going out in Crystal Palace a lot more recently as our inexorable move southwards continues. - None of us could afford to buy in Brixton, and have been gradually moving out towards Streatham, West Norwood, Gipsy Hill etc. This in turn, necessitates re-evaluating where you go out for a pint. Seeing as Streatham and West Norwood have a dearth of half decent pubs / bars, Crystal Palace has proved relatively welcoming with a good choice of restaurants and a few pubs worth going to.
The area is definitely on the up, the triangle itself in particular as it has such a large catchment area.
There isn't nearly enough nightlife (you wouldn't go there for a serious night out) and there are a few dingy boozers (and that includes the Puzzle) but I love it. It's like a section of central London cut and pasted in the suburbs, but minus the madness.
Brilliant park, despite having been neglected for years by Bromley council - and flawed by the hopefully-soon-to-be-demolished sports centre and associated shithole buildings. And the TV mast is cool as fuck.
The Numidie basement
The White Hart
The Royal Albert
the Black Sheep
The Bluebottle (but avoid on weekend nights!)
Best recording studio-cum-guitar/skateboard shop
Crystal Palace/ Upper Norwood is a great place to live....
I recommend it...
If you move there.. check out the indoor market down on Haynes lane. Its bonkers..
check out Antenna studios, (they some-times have Art & music events on..)
& check out 'The shop' Under antenna studios for sex toys, skate boards, amps & guitars.... its round the corner from the indoor market....
Palace has everything really.. a great park designed by Paxton. Loads of eating establishments, pubs & bars Including weekend Fights..
my top gaffs are The Alma pub.. Nu midia.. restraunt... Domalis vegetarian returant.. The booksellar crow.. Bambino seconhand junk shop.. The secret garden...
Also check out the local fanzine 'The Crystal Palazine' sold in the Book seller crow....
I hope you do move to palace as its got alot to offer...
DON'T MOVE TO THE PALACE!
1. Lots of hills. Really, really steep hills.
2. No tube. Nope, no way of travelling underground whatsoever. Not like that nice North London, you can travel underground all you want up there.
3. Nowhere near as edgy or exciting as Brixton. Stay in Brixton, or move there, it's great. Loads of stuff happening, a vibrant multicultural community. And you can buy weed. On the street. You can't do that in Crystal Palace.
4. The park isn't all that great. Not really. And when would you ever go there? It's cold and wet half the time.
5. The White Hart is full of braying obnoxious tits. It's always packed. And they don't sell crisps. They sell Wasabi peas. For £3 a cup.
6. The 'Triangle' is rubbish. Honestly. Even the McDonald's has closed down. I know. A place where not even the McDonald's can make any money. It'll be a tumbleweed infested wasteland within three years and your new flat will be worth shit. Precisely. Didn't think of that did you?
7. The Woolworths is awful. They never have anything in stock, and it takes them half an hour of incoherent mumbling and half hearted searching to find this out.
8. At the weekend there are lots of fights.
9. They all bang on and on and on about the bloody palace. It's like they have a brain transplant when they arrive and all they can think about is something that burned down 70 years ago. Probably because nothing at all has happened there since.
10. It's too close to Penge.
That is all. Don't move there. You'll regret it if you do.
DON'T MOVE TO THE PALACE!
1. Lots of hills. Really, really steep hills - so nice views and not boring like SW London.
2. No tube for two/three years. Nope, no way of travelling underground whatsoever. Instead you will have to travel overground and look out the window. You may even suffer the dignity of an airconditioned train or have to sit down.
3. Nowhere near as 'edgy' or 'exciting' as Brixton, so fewer malcontents and fewer Tarquins who think tension=cool, never having experienced uninsulated inner city life before. Stay in Brixton, or move there if you want this, it'll be great. Loads of stuff happening here, a vibrant multicultural community (a bit like Palace, cometo think of it...) And there are loads of dealers. On the street. Not many of them in Crystal Palace.
4. The park isn't all that great. Not really. It is only one of the highest points in London, one of London's largest, has stuff like lakes and concrete dinosaurs, that sort of shit. It's totally rubbish compared to Brockwell Park; there are hardly any neandethals with uncontrolled brutish dogs.
5. The White Hart is full of braying obnoxious tits. It's always packed. And they don't sell crisps. They sell Wasabi peas. For £3 a cup. A bit like most places in SW London. Fortunately there are plenty of other places to go.
6. The 'Triangle' is rubbish if you like refried grease. Honestly. Even the McDonald's has closed down. I know. A place where not even the McDonald's can make any money. Bizarrely, the locals are not all that into total shit food. FFS, there's even a vegetarian restaurant among all the other places to eat.
7. The Woolworths, like every Woolworths except Nicosia, is awful. They never have anything in stock, and it takes them half an hour of incoherent mumbling and half hearted searching to find this out.
8. At the weekend there are lots of fights, albeit fewer than Brixton.
9. They all bang on and on and on about the bloody palace. It's like they have a brain transplant when they arrive and all they can think about is something that burned down 70 years ago. Probably because it was quite a wonderful building and Bromley council have yet to think of anything decent to do with the site.
10. It's not Penge.
That is all. Don't move there. We'll regret it if you do.
I moved to Palace (from Brixton) last summer and I love it. I particularly love the fact that its surrounded on all sides by bigs hills that are a good workout for me and me bike. Plus its 20 mins ride from hundreds of miles of the best cycling lanes in Britain around the London/Kent/Surrey borders...then theres summer racing in the park and the St Germain cafe is a mecca for roadies from all over - even N.London cyclists come down here on sundays.
And I love seeing that transmitter from 20 miles out.
What do you think? Let's hear your opinion!
Join the debate on the urban75 boards
More Crystal Palace info and debate:
Crystal Palace Pubs
What's it like living in Crystal Palace, Forest Hill?
Eco-battle of Crystal Palace, 1999?