Monday, October 31, 2011

Neighbourhood of knowledge

Lewes Road reminds me of Shakespeare's second best bed in its ranking as second most polluted road in Brighton.
Stuck for how to describe this jammed up, run down source of underage booze and fags, the council's opted for 'neighbourhood of knowledge'.
What student quarter (or increasingly, rich kids' playground)  means is off licences and takeaways, chalk invites on the pavement to Victoria's birthday, parties in conservatories, hammering on doors, public status updates at 4 am, no room on the morning bus, seagull-pecked bin bags.
When the big cars come cruising in September, it's the landlords checking their investments followed by mummy's 4x4. So many homes have been turned over to students round here Brighton and Hove council is starting to panic. Why? The dent in council council takings is showing. 
Instructions for how to make a student house
You buy a 3 bedroom house with living room. You divide the big bedroom and living room. Now you have 6 bedrooms. You convert the attic. Now you have 8 bedrooms. You put a conservatory in the garden - that makes a living room. You charge each student £400 a month and your income is £38,400 a year. You don't have to register as a house in multiple occupation. You don't pay council tax.
Instructions for how to move in
Get so drunk you can't remember your address. Stagger to the neighbour's. Threaten the girl inside, hammer on her door until the police turn up. Speak with a posh accent. You're rich and white - they won't arrest you.

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