Post cards from Brighton Beach.
Brighton Travel Blog› entry 5 of 7 › view all entries
July 23rd, 2008 – by: Stevie_Wes
I love Brighton. I often refer to it as my 'soul city' when waxing lyrical, and while my connection with the place is strong I know I have not made the most of living near such a cosmopolitan, vibrant place during my time on the south coast of England. I have been land-locked in Birmingham now for exactly a decade, but always, always return to Brighton's pebbled shores whenever possible.
Especially since living in Birimgham right in the geographical heart of England, Brighton has come more and more to be a necessary emotional, psychological point of return for me. If, as I have, you grew up only a few minutes drive from the sea-front I truly feel you carry the need to be, every now and then, by the sea whenever possible throughout your life. The sound of the lapping water. Chucking pebbles back into the waters in an indolent way. The world has many beautiful things to offer, and to see wherever you find yourself topographically speaking, but I have a physical need every now and then just to sit on a beach - any I guess, it don't have to be Brighton - and to just stare out at the horizon line as the wavelets brush back and forth onto the sand or shingle.
...oh, and pebbles to throw too!
From the earliest possible age my parents would permit I would take the 30-40 mins train journey along the trainline to Brighton and walk the little winding streets (The North & South Laines) where all the coolest shops were to be found for clothes, records etc... things that made a young teenager's eyes bug out compared to what was available closer to home. Brighton is responsible for my only confessed act of bunking off school; I dashed off there to buy a rare record I felt I couldn't be without rather than attend my nightmarishly intense french A-level class once. Naughty, naughty. Sorry Mr Lury. No hard feelings I hope! Brighton is also where after A-Levels I studied Foundation Arts for a year before going to University and Birmingham, spent many a sweaty night moshing along to bands at gigs throughout the mid-late nineties during the 'Britpop' musical boom and where my sister now lives and runs a groovy, designer toyshop in the North Laines.
Brighton Town (upgraded to city-status about 8 years ago) has lots to offer for everyone, and of course as with all seaside spots is always at its best in the summer sunshine. There are many, many bars (some with live music) strung along the seafront. It has two piers (sort of), plenty to cater for the clubbers and food lovers, and one of the largest most spacious beach promenade areas I have come across to date making a long, serene sunset walk along the beach a must if you ever get the opportunity. It occasionally struggles as a 'city' to offer loads of activities outside of the eating-shopping-beaching-clubbing considerations as outside of a couple of theatres, the usual cineplexes and small museums it's not a stand out cultural hotbed on the surface.
There are a couple of obvious tourist draws such as the Brighton Royal Pavillion and Brighton Pier (formerly named Palace Pier) and a very vibrant and long-established gay community focused in the Kemptown district to the east.
Anyway, less waffle more images I say! So I'll leave you to gaze, and shall return with more comments another day :)
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