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We Asked Londoners the Worst Things About Living in London

“The price of a pint.”

by Daisy Dalgliesh
01 August 2019, 7:45am

London is home to a whole range of characters. Whether you’re a businessman riding an adult scooter through Bank, a yoga mum off to an organic deli in Dulwich Village, or even a guy who sings into traffic cones at 2AM on the corner of Leicester Square, the capital will have welcomed you with open arms. London even makes space for European tourists who break the cardinal rule of not talking on the tube. Truly a #blessed city.

Of course, London can also be ball-ache to live in. The eye-watering cost of living, entire neighbourhoods lost to gentrification, the inescapable pollution – and that's without even mentioning how bloody long it takes to visit mates who live south of the river. And yet, despite all this, millions of people call the city their home.

I headed out to the streets of London to ask some IRL Londoners the best and worst things about living in the British capital. TLDR: Would be nicer if the weather wasn’t so shit.

David, 51

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All photos by the author.

VICE: What do you like about living in London?
David: Not the weather! Although it is glorious today.

How long have you lived here?
I have lived here for 25 years. It’s just a fabulous city for parks, museums and restaurants. There is just so much to do. I think what’s fantastic is that there is so much to do that doesn’t cost a lot of money as well, because people are on all sorts of budgets and it’s just a fantastic city for supporting that. One of the most exciting things I have done is a street art tour around east London, to see a different side to the city I have lived in. There is so much diversity here.

And what do you dislike about living in London?
The weather isn’t great. And as soon as we get the slightest bit of heat or snow or even leaves on the track, the trains don’t run. But I think the positive side of London more than makes up for the fact that the weather isn’t fantastic.

Jake, 30

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VICE: What is the best part about living in London?
Jake: Firstly, summer in London is always amazing, there are so many public parks and there is always something going on and always something to do. In terms of living, I’m from up North and I live in north London now. I think it’s just a different way of life here.

What is the worst part about living in London?
Property prices are too steep, making it difficult to get on the property ladder. The commute can be a bit tricky sometimes, it can be super busy, I’m not really into that. But I now cycle to work to avoid that, so that solves that problem, really.

Jessica, 23

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VICE: Hey, what is the best thing about living in London?
Jessica: There is always something going on, but there’s free stuff as well, everyone always says that London is expensive but there are free galleries on your doorstep.

What about the worst?
The price of a pint.

Yes! £7 in places.
I’m from Yorkshire so paying that much is very different for me, but I’m finding that if you can find a good pub, cheaper pints do exist.

You need to find yourself a good local.
Exactly.

Aisha, 27

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VICE: What is your favourite part about living in London?
Aisha: That there are different types of cultures collected in loads of different pockets around the city, so you can pick and choose what you like and can go to so many different areas. It feels like there are so many worlds that you have right here.

What is the worst part?
Well, the worst thing has to be travelling here, the commute can be very long and traffic is horrible. Oh, and getting the tube has to be one of the worst things about living here, especially in the summer.

Luke, 22

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VICE: What do you like about Living in London?
Luke: Availability – everything that you need is never that far away, whether it’s activities, restaurants, bars, whatever it is, and even if where you are going isn’t in your area, it won’t be that hard to get to.

What do you not like?
Congestion, public transport in the heat. I mean it’s London, so it’s not hot often, but when it is hot, we can’t cope. We’re not designed for extreme temperatures, like last week when it was almost 40 degrees Celsius.

No air-con on the tube right?
Exactly, transport had no air-con and half the services were delayed or cancelled, dealing with that can be quite annoying.

Joanna, 47

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VICE: What is your favourite part about living in London?
Joanna: I like living here because of the vitality of the city. I also enjoy the multi-ethnicity, there are so many cultures within one city.

What about the worst part?
Well, I live just there [points to nearby flat], so it’s very noisy at times! Living on such a busy street also means a lot of pollution, which isn’t great.

Nadia, 23

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VICE: What is the best thing about living in London to you?
Nadia: There are so many things to do, you can never get bored. I’ve lived here my whole life, I’m 23 I’m still finding new things to do and new places that I’ve never been before. I’ve never been on the London eye which is mad. Oh and there’s such a variety of people!

What about the worst thing?
The worst thing for me has to be the amount of pollution and that there are just too many people. There’s not enough resources for certain people, which is more of a community thing I guess.

@daisydalgliesh

Tagged:
pollution
London
rent
cost of living
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