(Glad to see the apparently misheard quote 'car bombs happen quite regularly in West Norwood, but just ten minutes away, Crystal Palace is quite different' was amended after comments from astounded posters!)
Crystal Palace Triangle: How life in the three London boroughs compares
SPECIAL REPORT: Pete Hughes explores how living on different sides of the Crystal Palace Triangle can affect your wealth, health and bin collections...
THEY sleep a few steps from one another – but these neighbours live a divided life.
Crystal Palace Community Association chairman John Payne on the Upper Norwood Triangle CRDC20120523E
Author Jeremy Hagues, 51, lives on Central Hill in the borough of Croydon but claims to never venture into the town centre.
And he says Lambeth is the best place in the world: "Culturally there is more diversity than anywhere".
Katrianne Lissauer, 21, lives on the Lambeth side, but isn't a fan.
"Crystal Palace is a hub, it's a microcosm. West Norwood is one of the dodgiest areas in London, stabbings and shootings and car crime happens quite regularly, but just ten minutes away Crystal Palace is quite different.
"But I have to say they have good recycling in West Norwood. My boyfriend lives in Harold Road, in Croydon borough, and he gets so confused.
"We just get the orange bags and we can just put it all in there, so we usually do all my boyfriend's recycling as well."
In one small community, there are three different waste collection services, three council tax rates- three of everything.
Marcus Lloyd-Daby, 35, is a contract and facilities regulator. He lives on Fox Hill in the borough of Bromley, and says the difference is all about perception.
"We looked at moving out of Bromley into Lambeth and it took our council tax down from £120 to about £103, but there's a £300 annual difference between Croydon and Lambeth, that's the difference of one street.
"Waste collection in Bromley is a nightmare. We've gone three or four weeks without any collection at all.
"We've ended up keeping rubbish in the house because of foxes and rats.
"It's a case of 'I wouldn't live in that hundred metres but I would live in that hundred metres', and I think boroughs will spend money where they think it is recognised and appreciated, on the people with middle class complaints who phone up and complain."
The problems of joint administration are epitomised in the highly contentious Upper Norwood Library, in Westow Hill, which marks the border between Croydon and Lambeth.
It is the only remaining independent, joint-funded public library in the country, serving the residents of all of the five boroughs which converge in Crystal Palace.
The 112-year-old library is currently funded by both councils, but that might not be the case for much longer.
Croydon Council announced in October 2011 that it would terminate the contract because of what Conservative council leader Mike Fisher called Lambeth's "fundamental breach of the terms of the agreement".
Labour leader of Lambeth Council Steve Reed struck back, accusing Croydon's Conservatives of "seeking a way to kill off the Upper Norwood Joint Library", and called on them to "put down the gun they have pointed at the community in Upper Norwood."
Meanwhile, the Crystal Palace Community Association is awaiting a High Court ruling on their campaign to stop Bromley Council selling off part of the historical Crystal Palace Park to a housing developer.
John Payne has the weighty task of heading the association, and says Crystal Palace is a forgotten borough when it comes to local government.
He said: "Crystal Palace is on the fringes on all the boroughs, and as such it has very little political fallout.
"A difficult decision like the library which only provides limited services to each borough council is going to be less contentious.
"To show how well things don't work you need to look at policing up here.
"We've got all these different police forces and there was great difficulty getting them to work in any meaningful way. What we should have is our own dedicated police force to avoid any duplication of police effort and operational costs."
What Mr Payne is hinting at is not as revolutionary as it might sound.
In the 1860s, following the creation of the eponymous Crystal Palace in 1851, there was discussion of giving the area its own borough status, and that undercurrent of feeling has never gone away.
He said: "There is very much a case for this area being made a parish.
"What that means is giving community much more influence over the local area which would be a great advantage.
"I have had quiet chats with certain officers and they agree but the police chiefs are loath to relinquish power."
John talks about a "turkeys voting for Christmas mindset" among public servants whose jobs would be at risk if administration was restructured.
However, Toby Keynes, from the Croydon Lib Dems, is in favour of the idea.
He said: "We really shouldn't have a problem working across boroughs; it's our bread and butter. If you look at Sutton you will see there have been panels for local involvement on decisions about how money will be spent, and that can make a difference. It depends on the ability of the community to operate effectively, but everything we've seen in Crystal Palace suggests that it does.
"It's got a very strong core through it because of the triangle, and it is clear a lot of people get involved and care a great deal."
How the boroughs compare:
Council tax 2012/ 13 (Band D homes)
Croydon: £ 1,456.83
State secondary education: % leaving school with five GCSE grades A*- C incl maths and English 2011
State primary education: per cent of pupils progressed by two levels in English between Key Stage 1 and Key Stage 2 in 2011
Rubbish and recycling collections
Lambeth: Weekly bin and recycling collection; food waste collection is being trialled in some wards
Croydon: Fortnightly bin collections but with weekly food waste collection
Bromley: Weekly collection of food waste, recycling and bin waste in the borough
Violent crime – violence against the person per 1,000 population in the last 12 months
Car crime – per cent of motor vehicle theft by population