Wednesday 14 September 2005 12.37pm
I think it's always difficult to generalise with these kinds of questions. As someone who lives just around the corner from Tate Modern
I hear others who decry the rise in teenage disrespect and call for CCTV on every street corner and wonder where peoples heads are sometimes. I lived in deepest Peckham many moons past and whilst it was/is always good to be 'street aware' I never felt ill at least once I'd tuned into the 'vibe' (yeah, I know that sounds awful but street awareness is about reading the local culture and how it moves). As a woman, I can understand your concerns coming to a new city but the area you are thinking of moving to is a fairly wide cross grain of London life.
You are lucky to be near the oddball, but always delightful Lower Marsh
and its curious mix of cafes, geek book/record stores, vegetable market and the curiously innocent looking latex/rubber fetish shop. A stroll further east brings you to The Cut
, which is where The Old Vic
Theatre resides with the resultant pleathora of resturants to regal your guests with the latest tales of intrigue within the housing market (big topic in London) whilst dissecting Kevin's latest production. Heading North things get a little vague as it is mostly dominated by Waterloo Station
and I guess you would have to be a little wary of spending too much time in its underbelly of dark, dank archways and poorly lit passageways, but hey it makes for an authentic atmosphere of london past, if you can ignore the constant roar of traffic. Such places are not inherently scary, just the people that choose to drift through them from time to time and of course your own imagination. Again, it is important to be conscious of where you are and act accordingly. South of Frazier St is a jumble of period housing stock (but that could be any part of the captial really) for which I could not offer much advice. It strikes me as being the places where people actually live than go to work, but I appreciate that is a big statement to make. It's the home of the London Ambulance service, which has a couple of sleepy georgian streets draped about it's considerable girth (that's from memory so don't jump down my throat if it serves me ill people). Don't really know the area west, but there is a Buddhist centre very close to you and of course Lambeth Palace
What I have not dwelled upon is the vagrancy that tends to collect about all travel terminals, but for which I guess you'd care to have information alongside its oft related crimes. Yes, it's there, mostly focused about the corner of The Cut
and certainly I have come across needle alleys in the area, but sadly this is a part of Londfon life (is it not so in many towns and villages throughout the land?). It is, I guess, more visible in the capital but I would hesitate to suggest that where you are looking to rent is any worse than other areas about town and I certainly know of a lot worse. Is it safe? That really depends on you and your own prejudices and fears, but this area to my mind has much to commend it. The park is a bit dull mind, but in general this part of town has a quirky sense of community that marks it out as something a bit special. Sorry this is so long, got carried away. Now someone will write and tell you what a dive it is, but it really is what you see over and above the voice of others.