I’ve been here so many times and it never bores me. Walking along the Lanes and peeking into shops that have a distinctive note of hippies and Bohemianism about them, a place where you can find the most edgy of unusual clothes, shoes, fabrics, nick nacks. And then there’s the not-so-occasional whiff of weed in the air from students and older individuals giggling as they walk by or the flaming queens who flaunt their buttocks and pout their mouths in pure rebellion of anyone who might frown.
It’s got the highest gay population in Britain, the most students, and it’s the only constituency in the UK with an MP from the Greens Party. It contrasts strongly with its neighbour. The residents of Hove pride themselves on coming from Conservative “Hove, actually!” rather then from Labour-infested Brighton. Here are some comments about Hove:
“cleaner than Brighton”
“crap for entertainment, no pubs…”
“less traffic, more places to park”
“beaches fairly quiet in the summer”
No, ladies and gentlemen, this is not Brighton. It’s noisy, parking costs a fortune, it’s always heaving with people and it’s got the Pavilion, just that is enough to know why it has the reputation of being a party town.
The oriental fantasy causing as much controversy as adulation is the work of John Nash, the architect of The Pavilion, built for the extravagant, frivolous, womaniser and general hedonist George III in the 1800’s. The modest farmhouse was transformed into a lavish party house big enough to house the huge numbers of friends and acquaintances who would attend his banquets and balls and gasp at the dragons and snakes and other exotic embellishments on the walls, floors and ceilings.
But there’s a healing side to this city too. It was Dr. Richard Russell that discovered the properties of the seawater and turned it into remedies that gave Brighton its reputation as a centre for getting rid of aches and pains. Today it boasts lectures, workshops and centres geared towards the ethereal in us for purposes of spiritual balance and mindfulness.
Duck into the nooks and niches of this crazy place and find a smiling face that will be happy to have a chat, make you laugh and sell you something at the end of the day. It’s not only a treat, it’s a bash.