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Old Crystal Palace Vs New Crystal Palace


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#16 nikdevlin

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Posted 05 September 2012 - 10:48 AM

There may be no pubs along Church rd, but my God there's plenty of other stuff to see, stuff that proves that CP is still a superb part of town with, well, all sorts of stuff to see and do and buy and eat and drink. And maybe there are no 'traditional' pubs on the Triangle any more because the last of them, the Hollybush, died a peaceful death because no one wanted to drink there any more. Life, indeed, moves on.

Thing is Rikaitch, I suspect that this is as much about you as it is about CP. I could go back to the town I grew up in (Dalkey, South County Dublin), and moan about the fact that, of the four pubs I drank in in my teens and 20s, one is a very posh restaurant, two are gastro pubs and the other, while still ostensibly a brown community pub, is 3 times the size it originally was, and is decked out like O’Neills, or any other ‘Oirish’ pub anywhere you’d care to mention. The Queens, which was my main watering hole, was a brown pub, serving one lager, one bitter and two stouts, had a juke box, stinking toilets and a cigarette machine. I loved it, not because of its décor and what was on offer, but because it was where all my mates drank, bought weed and speed, found out what was happening each weekend and, to be honest, quite often got off with each other (mate of mine lost his virginity in the ladies toilets, but that’s neither here nor there!). There’s no point in my going back to Dalkey and whingeing that the old Queens has gone, replaced by a rather flash gastro place, because I left the town 25 years ago, and times move on. It wouldn’t be the pub I’d be mourning, it’d be my lost youth, when I was skinny, had all my hair, and not one strand of it was grey. Half a lifetime later, I go back to visit my folks, who still live in the house I grew up in, and I drink - and indeed eat - in the new version of the Queens, and it’s not better or worse, it’s different; the whole town has moved on, and what I have to say about the Dalkey of 1987, when I emigrated, is, as far as Dalkey of the present day is concerned, almost entirely irrelevant.

So, there’s no more point in you slagging off the Triangle, or the two thirds of it you saw, than there is me slagging off my birth town (I’m not going to call it my home town, London became that a good 15 years ago). Moaning about posh lagers and unknown real ales, young professionals sharing a bottle of muscadet and comparing poems (Really? Were they really comparing poems? Even so, what of it?), grilled octopus, new potato aioli, tomato coulis and carrot julienne (Mmmmm, sounds lovely to me!), “ham hock", "pheasant" or "wild mushroom" based menus, Confit Duck (why the guffaw? It’s just baked bird), is pointless, it just makes you look like you’ve got an age and class related chip on your shoulder. Saying you’re missing a traditional pub is fine, I do too, but slagging off the rather fine collection of pubs we do have here now is not the way to do it.

Crystal Place has moved on, it’s not the same place you knew 23 years ago, thank God, it is a sexy, vibrant, handsome, cosmopolitan area, with a wide demographic of cool people who, whatever their class, age, colour or creed, love it. Click on my picture Rik, and you'll see that it says 'Nik Devlin... can't think of anywhere else in London he'd rather live'. I really do mean that.

Also, the Sparra does ham and cheese toasties.
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#17 Rikaitch

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Posted 05 September 2012 - 10:59 AM

It wasn't a rude comment, it was just his manner. The whole meeting was unpleasant, sneery and unnecessary. He seemed disinterested and more concerned with chatting to his mate sat at the bar. It wasn't in any way welcoming.

I think my view of the the whole experience is best compared to a frog in hot water... Put it straight in and it'll jump out, and yet if you change the temperature gently, it'll not twig and slowly boil. Much like what I can see. I agree there were unpleasant places, and you just didn't go to them. But there were good pubs that were friendly and normal. I agree maybe as times got tighter, the publicans didn't pay such attention to detail, but that would then mean that people would stop going. A new look and cleaner place has to be better than an old and moth-eaten place, but those that miss the old pubs might not like the new style. That's where I am.

Also, the Sparra does ham and cheese toasties.


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#18 Palacegirl

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Posted 05 September 2012 - 11:05 AM

Hello Rik,

well, I told you the area had changed....... :) However, re the pubs - as I said to you, I would have never stepped into i.e. the Hollybush in the past, it wasn't a pleasant experience as a woman even walking past it...so therefore I personally did welcome the changes i..e places to go to in the triangle (I don't like all places, however, that's down
I do tend to go for a drink locally now where as 15 years ago I would go into town.

I do hope that you still had a pleasant stay :)
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#19 Rikaitch

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Posted 05 September 2012 - 11:07 AM

I do hope that you still had a pleasant stay :)


You were the perfect host :D
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#20 Palacegirl

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Posted 05 September 2012 - 12:08 PM

Glad to hear that :)
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#21 misspoddy

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Posted 05 September 2012 - 02:19 PM

Not going into the "sticky carpet vs stripped wooden floor pub" palaver here as useless, but the cinema comment was a weird one.... Have you ever been to a Picturehouse? Obviously not, as you wouldn't suggest for a moment that they'd sniff their noses at Total Recall. What a very strange thought! A cinema is a business, not a state funded art centre. Just to prove my point, check out the What's On at the Picture House in Brixton here.

#22 Rikaitch

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Posted 05 September 2012 - 02:31 PM

Sorry, yes, that wasn't clear. I meant a real cinema, not some arty gallery type fayre that showed art related stuff only, instead of things made for your local Odeon... And no, I haven't seen the picture house in Brixton. This is more like my local cinema ;)

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#23 Summit Lover

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Posted 05 September 2012 - 02:42 PM

It wasn't a rude comment, it was just his manner. The whole meeting was unpleasant, sneery and unnecessary. He seemed disinterested and more concerned with chatting to his mate sat at the bar. It wasn't in any way welcoming



Maybe he thought you were dissing the place, as you have dissed a few other places here, who knows.... Anyway, not the place for you any more I guess.

#24 nikdevlin

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Posted 05 September 2012 - 03:19 PM

Sorry, yes, that wasn't clear. I meant a real cinema, not some arty gallery type fayre that showed art related stuff only, instead of things made for your local Odeon...


Actually, you don't really get cinemas that show art related stuff only; most cinemas that do show art films fund themselves by playing the blockbusters too. That's how the Rio, for instance, stays open. I went there many many times when I lived in Hackney, sometimes to see the latest Arnie film, and sometimes to see some micro budget, micro audience thing from a country I'd never heard of, occasionally, as I mentioned in a previous post, both.

And anyway, what's wrong with art cinema? It doesn't have to have a plot, a script, narrative, or even actors, to be a thrilling, compelling, thought provoking cinematic experience.
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#25 Sidney Ruff-Diamond

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Posted 05 September 2012 - 04:55 PM

If I had the cash I'd transport The Albert in South Norwood to CP. The pub's proof that a regular boozer can still be a real local pub, still serve decent food and beer, still have an atmosphere without charging extortionate prices, still have screens showing sport and not have to resort to poncy menus and pretentiousness.
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#26 Retired Member 1

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Posted 05 September 2012 - 05:29 PM

I think you have to consider what is the demographic of the area now and what it was 20 years ago and also where are you no in your life and where you were 20 years ago. I lived in the area for 10 years (on an off) and there for instance I never put my feet in the now called Sparrowhawk cause I found it intimidating, if you look for a tradition ol’ man pub then the Railway Bell is still there and I love that place. I went to the Alma sporadically before the refurbishment but only when they were showing rugby, I have been there 3 times already since I moved back in the area. Not sure what’s wrong with ipads, it’s the 21st century, I do not own one and probably will never do cause it’s “not me” however I do not see why people who use them should be considered better or worse just because I do not like them … they are just different. I think that the triangle is showing much more diversification and attention to the current clientele and frankly a much better quality of venues to hang out so that now I can stay more locally = leaving the cash locally rather than spending in town. The cinema would be a great addition and I’d much prefer something niche with hints of commercial than a blockbuster venue like other big chains, again the customer base looked changed a lot since 10 years ago.
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#27 Summit Lover

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Posted 05 September 2012 - 05:37 PM

If I had the cash I'd transport The Albert in South Norwood to CP. The pub's proof that a regular boozer can still be a real local pub, still serve decent food and beer, still have an atmosphere without charging extortionate prices, still have screens showing sport and not have to resort to poncy menus and pretentiousness.

The pubs like that in CP have largely died out through lack of use - would the Albert fare any better? Who knows..

Anyway, at least S Norwood is only a short hop away for you. Hope the regulars there carry on supporting it or the use it or lose it plague may strike there too!

#28 Sidney Ruff-Diamond

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Posted 05 September 2012 - 05:48 PM

The Albert in SN was done up recently and is doing well. I go there once a week or so with the folks as they live down that way but that's a damn sight more often that I go to CP now (and I used to be there 2-3 nights a week). There were rumours about it going gastro but that would've been the death of it. A bit off the beaten track but it's the sort of pub I was praying my old local (Bridge House) would turn into after it shut down. Unfortunately that turned into another overpriced identikit pub I won't set foot in.

Edited by Sidney Ruff-Diamond, 05 September 2012 - 05:50 PM.

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#29 Summit Lover

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Posted 05 September 2012 - 05:59 PM

The Albert in SN was done up recently and is doing well. I go there once a week or so with the folks as they live down that way but that's a damn sight more often that I go to CP now (and I used to be there 2-3 nights a week). There were rumours about it going gastro but that would've been the death of it. A bit off the beaten track but it's the sort of pub I was praying my old local (Bridge House) would turn into after it shut down. Unfortunately that turned into another overpriced identikit pub I won't set foot in.

Maybe move to S Norwood?

#30 Sidney Ruff-Diamond

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Posted 05 September 2012 - 07:13 PM

Why? Because of one pub?! I spent the first 21 years of my life in SN... I've done my time.
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