17 November 2007

You're not from Brighton

Spent last weekend in Brighton, visiting some friends. Brighton is an interesting place, a faded and once-jaded British seaside resort now more properly a suburb of London. An hour south of London by train, it has become a choice destination for young, hip and trendy commuters to relocate to, resulting in an eclectic mix of confused locals, young media professionals, dance culture youth, gay folk of all ages, and unrepentant hippies. Given the number of hills I had to climb to get around town, if it weren't for the sub-zero temperatures you could almost mistake it for San Francisco.

Stopping by London on my way to visit my sister, and collect my new Tenori-on (possibly the best thing ever), and see 65 Days of Static play in Camden (amazing gig - two guitarists and a drummer with a few loops on a laptop and no vocals to create a cross between electronica and experimental rock) I spent two days in Brighton, eating well, taking in the sights and catching up with folks that I hadn't seen in too long.

Went for lunch at Terra a Terra, quite possibly the best vegetarian restaurant I have been to, and went for Sunday roast at a veggie/vegan pub. The fact that there seem to be better vegetarian restaurants in almost every city that I go to (even in Poland) than here in Dublin is something that causes me no end of sadness, maybe just enough to get off my backside soon and do something about it. Vegi food should not have to mean a soggy risotto, or a can of copped tomatoes thrown over tepid pasta. I know we have places like Cornucopia and Juice, but they are incredibly bland and uninspiring, and really get by because they (along with the Hare Krishna place Govinda's) are all we have.

Brighton, on the other hand, supports a thriving veggie culture, with a number of cafes, restaurants, pubs and even a Vegetarian shoe shop. It also has pretty great graffiti, as evidenced by the Banksy above (now ironically preserved behind plexiglas to prevent defacing, and crazy bars under the promenade that bang out dubstep and jungle at 11am in the morning.

And it's only an hour from London.

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