Author Topic: Moving to London  (Read 2719 times)

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rudigarsucks

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Moving to London
« on: September 12, 2011, 04:48:16 PM »
So I'm moving from Vancouver to London in October on a 2 year visa and I was just wanting to see if I could get any insight into the scene there from some London pals.

I know of South Bank, and the Playstation park, and seen pictures of a couple 70's snake run looking parks, but are there any other spots people meet up at in London. I'm not expecting directions to anyone's secret marble ledge, but some decent flatground with the potential to meet some locals would be nice.

How about shops, I know of Slam City, any others I should check out? What about websites or blogs to check for contests, shows, video premieres, and whatever else to do with skating in London.

I've read hours and hours about general life over there, enough to think I have an idea what to expect and probably be completely out of touch. Any advice on places to check out, areas to look for a flat, areas to avoid, favorite pubs, which football team to start cheering for, etc. would be greatly appreciated.

Can anyone explain job finding agencies to me, we don't use those in Canada at all, so it's kinda strange to me. I'm an electrician, do I just search out agencies that deal with electricians, give them my cv and pay them to hopefully find me a job?

I'm pretty excited getting there, London has always fascinated me, and the proximity to Europe and potential for travel is awesome,  I think good or bad it will be an experience worth having.

Thanks for any responses, don't know anyone there to bother with my questions so it's up to you, the internet.

Cuong Ngo

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Re: Moving to London
« Reply #1 on: September 12, 2011, 07:09:53 PM »
Slam will be definately helpful for meeting folks, same with shortditch blocks and south bank and skate parks. you'll do fine, skaters are really nice out there, no vibeness or nothing. have fun out there man, might be there this winter again so if i see you, say what up!
« Last Edit: September 12, 2011, 07:11:35 PM by Cuong Ngo »

chockfullofthat

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Re: Moving to London
« Reply #2 on: September 14, 2011, 02:14:31 PM »
So I'm moving from Vancouver to London in October on a 2 year visa and I was just wanting to see if I could get any insight into the scene there from some London pals.

I know of South Bank, and the Playstation park, and seen pictures of a couple 70's snake run looking parks, but are there any other spots people meet up at in London. I'm not expecting directions to anyone's secret marble ledge, but some decent flatground with the potential to meet some locals would be nice.

How about shops, I know of Slam City, any others I should check out? What about websites or blogs to check for contests, shows, video premieres, and whatever else to do with skating in London.

I've read hours and hours about general life over there, enough to think I have an idea what to expect and probably be completely out of touch. Any advice on places to check out, areas to look for a flat, areas to avoid, favorite pubs, which football team to start cheering for, etc. would be greatly appreciated.

Can anyone explain job finding agencies to me, we don't use those in Canada at all, so it's kinda strange to me. I'm an electrician, do I just search out agencies that deal with electricians, give them my cv and pay them to hopefully find me a job?

I'm pretty excited getting there, London has always fascinated me, and the proximity to Europe and potential for travel is awesome,?  I think good or bad it will be an experience worth having.

Thanks for any responses, don't know anyone there to bother with my questions so it's up to you, the internet.

There are many, many clubs to choose from.  If you wanna sit in a large, luxurious modern stadium with fans who aren't gonna get too excited (most of the time) but will generally win and win looking good, choose Arsenal.  If the only thing you crave is winnning then choose Chelsea.  If you wanna experience some highs and lows and enjoy blowing bubbles perhaps cheer for West Ham.  If you like Michael Jackason support Fulham.  If you wanna just yell "fucking wanker" all game and potentially see a fight support Millwall.  If you have an affinity for the Jewish people and funny nicknames support Tottenham.  If you want to support a team with a great atmosphere and a suddenly bright looking future root for QPR.  That's all.

Smurph

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Re: Moving to London
« Reply #3 on: September 15, 2011, 06:57:10 AM »
So I'm moving from Vancouver to London in October on a 2 year visa and I was just wanting to see if I could get any insight into the scene there from some London pals.

I know of South Bank, and the Playstation park, and seen pictures of a couple 70's snake run looking parks, but are there any other spots people meet up at in London. I'm not expecting directions to anyone's secret marble ledge, but some decent flatground with the potential to meet some locals would be nice.

How about shops, I know of Slam City, any others I should check out? What about websites or blogs to check for contests, shows, video premieres, and whatever else to do with skating in London.

I've read hours and hours about general life over there, enough to think I have an idea what to expect and probably be completely out of touch. Any advice on places to check out, areas to look for a flat, areas to avoid, favorite pubs, which football team to start cheering for, etc. would be greatly appreciated.

Can anyone explain job finding agencies to me, we don't use those in Canada at all, so it's kinda strange to me. I'm an electrician, do I just search out agencies that deal with electricians, give them my cv and pay them to hopefully find me a job?

I'm pretty excited getting there, London has always fascinated me, and the proximity to Europe and potential for travel is awesome,  I think good or bad it will be an experience worth having.

Thanks for any responses, don't know anyone there to bother with my questions so it's up to you, the internet.
Firstly, London is great; good choice. I absolutely love(d) it and intend to move back there sometime.

On the job front, I procured a job fairly quickly but that was pub work so I'm afraid I'd only be bluffing it if I could give you an accurate delineation of the job situation in your respective trade.

Accommodation - Try Gumtree, as far as I know, it's essentially used to the same degree that north americans use Craigslist:
http://www.gumtree.com/london
Area wise: Roughly speaking - east is the cheapest, west is the dearest, south and northside are very mixed. I know this is a colossal generalisation but...

Transport in London is pretty expensive and the price is time dependent. Almost every Londoner has an Oyster card - you can pick these up at any major station. Essentially it's a top-up card system and works out cheaper than single/day tickets for the Tube/bus/rail/DLR.

Sorry if I'm patronising you, as you probably will know this already, but the underground is called the Tube. The DLR - docklands light railway, runs along Canary Wharf - the financial district - the most amazing area to skate at night-time/weekend but don't even bother trying to skate there by day.

One of the stops ("Ferryhouse", I think) on the DLR hosts mile-end skatepark (but alternatively/more easily you can get the central line on the tube to "Mile-end") - probably my favourite park after Stockwell. Mile End is reputed to be one of the worse-off areas, but by and large, you've nothing to worry about. Saying that, I've heard about some really really gnarly shit going on there. And the first time I went there the park was cordoned off by police as some kid was stabbed to death, so...

Stockwell, in the southside, is where you really want to go - it's also reputed to be a bad enough area, but the thing is, the park has been there for so long, the locals (local people, not necessarily skateboarders) are well accustomed to skateboarding and there's actually a really nice, eclectic atmosphere of all ages, races. The stockwell skaters are also really really friendly. Right next to the park you can pick up cheap (by London sandards) beers and food.

Southbank is cool too, sometimes it's nice to just sit by the river and watch all the people passing - there's just a constant stream of people because of its very central location. The ledges are a bit rounded but the banks are still great and at a perfect incline. It can be a bit of a void but it's a good place to meet people and chill out.

Since I left London, I believe a fair few parks have since been built, so hopefully an actual Londoner can give you a more comprehensive description of the skating situation.

Slam is rad - friendly dudes working there and some bargains to be found. Nearby, on Carnaby street is the vans store.

Nightlife - try go to Fabric (tube: Farringdon) if you're into the clubbing thing. The West-end (Piccadilly, Leicester Square) is really shit at night-time - loads of dealers, crackheads, prostitutes and trashy/overpriced pubs/clubs so try and avoid it. At the same time, it is an experience in its own right, so do check it out. Also, and I really stress this, Camden Town is really overrated...except by the quay by day, where there are usually market stands; a great place for buying food.  If you want the equivalent of London's Brooklyn, go to the borough of Hackney - Shoredtich, Hoxton, and *shudder,* particularly Brick-lane (hipster-mania.) Saying that, Brick Lane is great for a legitimate curry (there is a very prominent bangladeshi/indian community in that area) and you can also pay a visit to Rough-Trade records. Also, naturally, there is an abundance of thrift-stores in that area.

I loved the parks there - as in the more primitive definition of parks - a place where you can chill out on a bench and read a book with a squirrel by your side. There are countless parks - Hyde park being the main one. Fulham, Mayfair, South Kensington, Chelsea and Hammersmith are all fairly nice parts of the city - even to just stroll around and admire the houses, the architecture, the parks...

One of London's best features is the selection of museums/galleries - V&A, British Museum, Tate Modern and National Gallery being the main ones...all free!  :)

If you've any queries, just p.m. me.

Enjoy your stay, London is great.

shoreditch blocks
As far as I know, these are no longer.
« Last Edit: September 15, 2011, 07:37:04 AM by Smurph »

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Re: Moving to London
« Reply #4 on: September 15, 2011, 08:08:27 AM »
Really good info ^ would definitely second everything said.

Other parks to check out would  be meanwhile and meanwhile 2 in the west (very near playstation/bay 66), london bridge plaza (think it's called whitegrounds), harrow obviously, and cantelowes park in camden. Those are the best other notable ones; there's a good few more smaller ones dotted about, but many are not really worth venturing out to.

Street spot wise, there's a load of stuff to be found just by skating around to be honest, especially doable in the area encompassed by the circle line. Places like st. pauls, elephant and castle, city of london and along the actual southbank (not just the famous spot) all have lots of stuff to be discovered.

I'd also advise getting to know the city by foot/board/bike/bus, as it will really help getting a mental map and realising how the different areas and tube stops relate to each other - the centre, at least, is actually pretty concentrated in terms of the famous areas and tourist feautres. Also, related, look out for the 'bendy buses', because if you're sly, its easy to get on in at the back without scanning your oyster card - a free journey's always nice.

www.slamcity.com
and
www.caughtinthecrossfire.com

are pretty good go-to sites for skate info, with slam obviously the more specific to london.

It's a great city for music too, so keep an eye on sites like seetickets, ticketweb, residentadvisor, last.fm, ticketmaster, wegottickets etc etc, as they're good for event listings.

I'm actually moving to central london next week too, so at the moment i'm only speaking from the perspective of living a 30 minute train journey away, but i'm equally looking forward to getting to know the city even better - and also hopefully meeting some new people to skate with...

chockfullofthat

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Re: Moving to London
« Reply #5 on: September 15, 2011, 08:31:56 AM »
Ah tate modern.  The place that has a gigantic crack in the floor as an exhibit. 

I actually didn't go to any skateparks while I was there.  I found a lot of skatespots in the city and that ground is soooo smoothe.   I found a couple of spots that were in the Static videos across the river from Southbank.  Some are down random allies.  I stayed with a friend for a few weeks right by the Holborn stop (Picadilly and Central) so I could get to Southbank in a couple minutes.  Good times.

rudigarsucks

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Re: Moving to London
« Reply #6 on: September 16, 2011, 04:34:31 PM »
chock - thanks for the info, i've been told to choose either arsenal or chelsea. i do like winning, and if i'm gonna arbitralily pick a team, may as well be good, and probably whatever the favourite of the nearest pub is.

smurph - thanks for all the great info, much appreciated. some people are telling me its a bad time to go and not the greatest place, so it's nice to hear from someone who enjoyed it there. i've been before, but only for a week, so i basically have no idea. really appreciate all the great tips!
glad to hear there are more parks than what i could see online, it was looking pretty grim. although coming from vancouver its guaranteed to be a step down no matter what. i'll definitely send you a pm in the coming weeks with more questions, thanks

cringe - thanks as well, both links look good for local info. i'll send you a message when  i arrive if you're interested in going for a skate? where in london are you moving?

noileum

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Re: Moving to London
« Reply #7 on: September 16, 2011, 09:58:49 PM »
if you're into films, then be sure to check out the Prince Charles Cinema.  They often do themed nights and show a shit ton of classics.

Plus most of the skate film premiers are held there.

Oh, plus they sell beer  ;)