Why I Like Brighton

Posted on November 20, 2022

When I was down in Brighton for my birthday, I was wondering why I love it so much. The seafront isn’t exactly a place of natural beauty and parts of the town are a bit rundown.

The Laines and Loakes

However, once you get around ‘The Laines’ area, everything comes to life. I wasn’t expecting that in November. The sheer vibrance of the colours and the eclectic array of independent shops is an antidote to the dreary retail areas in multitudes of bleak looking British towns. 

To go in a shop and listen to people selling their goods with enthusiasm, knowledge and experience, is a pleasure. Well, at least until the wallet opens. In one shop called ‘Jump the Gun’, the moment the impeccably dressed salesman in his early 60’s caught me eyeing up a pair of Loake boots, I knew my resistance would be futile.

A heady sound of Northern Soul music, along with a detailed description the boots, how to treat them and what to wear them with, left me as putty in the hands of this dashing, albeit ageing, mod. To say no at that point, would be an admission that I could never be as cool as him. And I never would be of course, but I had to try. So, I bought them.

Harmony in the Pubs

Then there are the pubs. They are just the best pubs you could imagine. Full of life, colour, young, old, black, white, straight, gay and a mixture of all that merged into one. There isn’t a demographic. These are places where people aren’t hindered by prejudice and intolerance and the result of that is harmony. Even the dog was treated like a long-lost friend everywhere we went.

Clumsy segway coming but here we go anyway…there was woman on the Graham Norton show on Radio 2 yesterday morning who caught my ear. I couldn’t work out who she was, but I think she might have been from Coronation Street or something. Anyway, she was talking about constantly evolving and shedding ridiculous prejudices she may have once harboured. Norton said that he does exactly that in a bid to not get old (or at least, feel old).

Shredding Prejudice

That’s kind of how I feel about Brighton. It attracts people that have shredded the inherited prejudices they may have picked up from their parents, the media, or early life peer groups. I have actively been trying to do that for years. Whilst the road to righteousness is never ending, losing silly prejudices is a liberating experience, I promise you.

I have learnt to understand the benefit of not judging people by what they look like, what they wear, or who they choose as a partner. It almost seems ridiculous that humans even have that in them. Everyone I know who hasn’t evolved, seems really angry, so what’s the point in living in a permanent state of arrested development?

Of course, it would be naive in the extreme to say that Brighton is where the potholed road to righteousness ends. However, in my opinion, when people are free from their prejudices and feel able to be whoever they want to be, the explosion of colour, creativity and personality is there for all to see.

That’s why I like Brighton so much.

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