How does London compare to other European Cities?“Maybe it’s because I’m a Londoner, that I love London Town,” sang Hubert Gregg in 1947. His euphoric anthem may have been released 70 years ago, but it still rings true today.London is a magical city. There’s something...
“Maybe it’s because I’m a Londoner, that I love London Town,” sang Hubert Gregg in 1947.
His euphoric anthem may have been released 70 years ago, but it still rings true today.
London is a magical city. There’s something about the UK’s capital that enchants and enthrals in equal measure.
Maybe it’s the multiculturalism. Maybe it’s the vast array of events happening every day. Maybe it’s the eclectic mix of old
and new that you can’t find anywhere else.
Whatever the reason, there’s no place quite like London.
But is that a good thing?
London used to be the ultimate city. It used to be the place to be. Whether you were a young creative or high-rolling business executive, the capital was ready to welcome you.
But, things are changing.
London’s international reputation may remain intact, but, on a more local level, it’s powers are waning.
The city was the third-most visited city in the world in 2018 (behind Paris and Bangkok) which demonstrates its pulling power. However, behind closed doors, London is losing its appeal to those who live there.
A record amount of Londoners left the capital last year, according to figures from the Office of National Statistics. Those figures revealed that 340,498 residents quit London in 2018 to live in other parts of the UK.
It’s the highest number of people fleeing the city since ONS began gathering data in 2012. For comparison, 237,270 people migrated into the city from elsewhere in the UK, meaning London lost 103,228 residents.
But, away from other cities in the UK, such as Manchester and Bristol, where else can match London? Are there any cities in Europe that can compete with Big Smoke?
The simple answer is: yes. But nothing is ever that simple, is it?
Europe is a continent that is full of incredible cities and towns. From the hustle and bustle of London, through to the calm, collected and stylish nature of Copenhagen. There is a city for everyone on the continent, and they all have their own trademark characteristics.
London compared to other European Cities
If you’re after a city that has a population to match London’s, then there’s only one place to start: Paris.
We’ve spoken about the charm of London, but no one does charm quite like the French.
Paris is the city of love, and it’s easy to why. One stroll of the Parisian streets will leave you enamoured and wanting more.
When you enter Paris, you instantly want to become Parisian. You want striped t-shirts and red lipstick. The coffee, wine and all that delicious bread. You want to sit out on those cobbled streets, sipping an espresso and watching the world go by while talking about art.
The Greater Paris region is home to 12.4 million people, making it the third-largest in Europe behind Istanbul and Moscow.
For context, Greater London has a population of 8 million. Paris is the only other city that eclipses London when it comes to size. Other heavy-hitters fall behind on population, see below:
Barcelona: 1.6 million
Berlin: 6 million
That said, the Parisian population figure is inflated. The 12.4 million figure referred to is representative of the Île-de-France region that Paris sits in. The population figure for the city itself sits at 2.1 million, making the French city actually seem like a village compared to its British counterpart.
It’s not just population where London wins. The city is also the largest when it comes to size. Greater London is 607 square miles, while Paris is 40.7, Barcelona 39.3 and Copenhagen 34. Berlin, the German capital, is the only city that comes remotely close to London, at 344 miles.
The sheer size of London means that it’s population is more spread out than it’s European rivals. While it’s common for European city-dwellers to live in high-rise apartment blocks, Greater London is full of two-floor terraced and semi-detached housing.
This difference in living space can be seen in the population density of the cities. London’s density exceeds 13,600 people per square mile, making it the most populated city in Great Britain. However, while the capital may feel cramped, it’s population thinly spread when compared to its rivals, as seen below:
Paris: 53,000/sq mi
Barcelona: 41,000/sq mi
Berlin: 3,944/sq km.
Copenhagen: 18,000/sq mi
Now you know about the demographics and geography of these cities, why should you choose to live in them? Well, each city has it’s own personality and charm.
Berlin: What does it have to offer?
Take Berlin, for example. The German capital has experienced a boom in foreign residents over recent years, and it’s hardly surprising.
The city enjoys a multicultural population and offers world-class nightlife and restaurants.
Berlin is known for its behemoth of nightclubs and bars, with Berghain the most famous of the lot.
The nightclub is situated in a warehouse and offers 48 hours of non-stop partying on the weekends. Its unpredictable door policy is arguably more famous than the club itself, with hundreds of tourists arriving at the club just to get turned away by its notorious security.
There are plenty of tips and guides online regarding how to get in, but there doesn’t seem to be any rhyme or reason to the selection. However, according to those who have passed through its doors, Berghain is worth the wait.
Away from the nightlife, Berlin residents have 250 parks to explore and escape the city in. Wherever you are in the city, you’ll be near a park or a community garden.
Berlin used to be very poor, and the community injected a huge amount of time into developing parks to brighten up their city. Tempelhof is a shining example of this.
The park used to be one of the largest airports in Europe, but you can now lay on the grass, flanked by deserted planes, or ride your bike on the runway.
Berlin, and Germany, in general, is a great place to live and work. There are rent caps in the city (are you listening, London?) to keep it affordable, and workers are afforded generous parental leave.
Mothers are given 14 weeks of maternity leave at 100% pay. There is also the option for the mother or father to take extended parental leave. This can be for a total of 24 months, with a parental allowance of 300 to 1200 Euros paid by the government for the initial 14 months
Moving further North, we arrive in Denmark.
Copenhagen: What does it have to offer?
Copenhagen is often seen as the perfect city. The Danish capital has topped the UN’s World Happiness Report three times. It even has think-tank called the Happiness Research Institute. The institute is dedicated to helping cities, governments and organisations to improve quality of life.
You can see why Copenhagen residents are so happy. They enjoy the eighth-highest salaries in the world and one of the best work-life balances as well.
They have a 37 hours working week, a flexible working culture, ample vacation allowance and up to a year’s paternity leave.
New parents can also take advantage of heavily subsidised daycare to ease the financial burden of a child. One month of daycare in Denmark costs around the same as one week in the UK, or even less.
Food and Drink
Outside of work, Copenhagen residents are spoilt for choice when it comes to places to eat, drink and socialise. The city has a fantastic coffee scene, and you can eat all the Danish pastries that your heart – and stomach – desires.
The old meatpacking district is now a trendy hub of bars and eateries. In the evening, the area is full of workers stopping off for a drink on their way home.
The greatest thing about Copenhagen, however, is the travel. The city is built around the bike, with cars being nothing more than an afterthought.
Everyone in Copenhagen cycles, and if it’s too cold, they can fetch a ride on the 24-hour metro and bus links. Copenhagen is one of the easiest and most pleasant cities to travel around. It’s also one of the safest cities in the world.
Lastly, living in Copenhagen will make you cool.
Scandinavian people are heralded for their style, and no one does it better than the Danes. Whether it’s fashion or interior, living in Copenhagen will give you an eye for design and you’ll instantly become trendy.
If Northern Europe is too cold for you, what about some Spanish – or Catalonian – heat?
Barcelona: What does it have to offer?
Barcelona may be a bustling metropolis, but much of the city was designed for pedestrian pleasure.
The city is full of wide sidewalks and tree-lined plazas, perfect for people watching. It may not be as cycling-renowned as Copenhagen, but Barcelona still boasts 186km of bike lanes.
Living in Barcelona is a welcome change to living in the UK. The climate is pleasant all year round, and the city will never fail to charm you.
The architecture of Barcelona is world-famous, with the legendary Antoni Gaudí calling the city his home.
Gaudi’s influence is seen across the city, especially through Park Güel and the Sagrada Familia. While the cathedral is yet to be finished, it will still leave your jaw on the floor through its size and beauty.
There are also lesser-known gems dotted across the city that you will stumble upon during your travels. These magical Gaudi buildings in Barcelona add to the city’s surreal and relaxed vibe.
Food and Drink
Away from its architecture, Barcelona’s food will keep your belly and heart full. There’s a multitude of excellent restaurants across the city, and the food markets are world-famous.
It’s not just the tourists who like to eat. Barcelona residents love their food so much that offices close for two hours a day for lunch. Whether you’re after the freshest pastries or delicious seafood, the city has options for everyone.
The charm and allure of the city may be well-known, but now is the time to buy in Barcelona. The city’s property market is currently recovering from the Catalan independence referendum. The vote, and the political discourse that came with it, affected the city’s property market and led to house prices falling. However, after a period of stability, property rises are on the up, making it the perfect time to buy property in the city.
Paris: What does it have to offer?
Our last stop on our tour of Europe is Paris.
We’ve already spoken about the charm Paris, but there’s more to this city than beautiful people and a sexy accent.
Residents of Paris get to enjoy France’s official working week cap. The working week in France is capped at 35 hours. If you work any more than that, you’re entitled to be paid double.
In light of this cap, Parisians get to enjoy their city.
Unlike the UK counterparts, French workers don’t eat at their desks or arrive home late from work. Lunchtime in Paris sees the city become full with workers making the most of their lunch and taking a break in the park. Evenings are spent strolling the streets with friends and family after work.
On top of a short working week, Parisians are entitled to five weeks paid holiday and 13 public holidays each year. But, while they may work less on average, they’re still more productive than most employees in Europe.
It’s no surprise, then, that the French retire four years earlier than the British on average.
It’s not just the workplace where Paris excels, either. 30% of taxes go towards welfare and social funds.
The country has generous childcare and family allowances. And if you’re not earning a lot of money, you are entitled to extra funds to help with rent.
It may be hard to believe, but there is life outside of London and the UK. Away from our murky shores lies a wealth of cities waiting to be explored, enjoyed and lived in.
There may be nowhere quite like London, but maybe that’s a good thing? Variety is the spice of life, so why not enjoy something different? Besides, these cities eclipse London on several fronts.
If you are thinking about moving to another country or city, make sure you go and visit to get a feel of it. Do your research, look at jobs and think about setting up costs.
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Figuring out how to decorate a new home is a lot more difficult than many people think. Even those of us who devote plenty of time to HGTV can get easily flustered when faced with blank white walls and empty rooms, especially when we’re still reeling from the financial hit of buying a home. But those rooms and walls aren’t going to fill themselves, which is why it helps to get creative when it comes to stretching your decorating budget as far as it can possibly go.
If you’re wondering then how to decorate a new home on a budget, you have definitely come to the right place. Below, we’ll share ten of the best tips we have for making your space all yours without spending a ton of dough in the process.
Plan and Prioritize
With a task as overwhelming as decorating a new home, it helps to go in with a plan. And when you add budgetary constraints to the mix, that plan should clearly prioritize which decorating projects are on the top and which can wait.
It’s helpful to know that you don’t need to do everything at once. Many new homeowners tackle the process of decorating their new home piece by piece, starting with the items and rooms that they know they’ll use the most.
In addition to prioritizing based on need, your plan should also consider cost. A new couch or window treatments, for example, costs a lot more than things like new pendant lights in the kitchen or a print for the powder room wall. Spread out the high priced items so that you’re not going all in at once, and settle for cheaper alternatives in the meantime (more on that in tip #3). It will all get done eventually.
Repurpose What You Already Have
You don’t need to completely overhaul your existing décor stash in order to decorate a new home. It’s likely that many items you already own will work in the new space, even if they need a bit of sprucing up to get to that point. Don’t be afraid to work your DIY muscles and turn old items into new treasures. Something as simple as painting an old hand-me-down dresser can make it a perfect fit for your style without requiring that you spend a lot of money.
Start Cheap, Then Replace Later
There’s no reason that you have to have the best of the best right away. If you need to decorate a new home on a budget, consider buying the big ticket items on the cheap through secondhand stores and budget-friendly retailers like IKEA, and then update as you can. This is ideal for super expensive items like couches and dining room tables, and gives you the freedom and flexibility to really save and do your research. Use the same principle for items that aren’t furniture too, such as installing flimsy but functional paper blinds until you can get around to nicer blinds or curtains.
Shop Antiques and Estate Sales
Antique stores and estate sales are both excellent ways to snag a stellar deal on décor for your home, especially when it comes to things like art, vases, frames, and kitchenware. You can even find larger items like furniture and mirrors. To simplify the process and increase your chances of going home with a good haul, head in with a list of things you need and want—it can be overwhelming to be faced with so many options if you’re not exactly sure what you’re looking for.
Pretty Up Rooms with Paint
A coat or two of paint can completely transform a room with very little expense. Whether you’re drawn to pleasant neutrals or bright and bold statement hues, painting is an opportunity for you to infuse your style into your new home and form a backdrop that you can then focus the rest of your decorating around. If you want to get extra creative, you can try out some more innovative interior painting ideas, like color blocking, stenciling, and sponging.
Plants are one of the most cost effective ways there is to decorate a new home. A little (or a lot!) of green instantly brightens up a space and makes it seem more put together, and as an added bonus, having plants around is also good for your health and happiness. Today, you can often find plants already plotted in stylish containers at places like Trader Joe’s and Target—which saves you the expense of having to buy a pot in addition to the plant. And faux plants are in style too, so even those who are lacking a green thumb can embrace a plant-friendly decorating scheme.
Get Creative with Wall Art
One of the trickiest parts of figuring out how to decorate a new home is deciding what to do with all of those walls, and it doesn’t help that art is often quite expensive. A good work around: buy cheap art at places like thrift stores and student gallery shows, and redefine your definition of what constitutes wall art. Stick a frame around a pretty postcard, greeting card, polaroid, or map and voila—you’ve got a nice piece of art ready to go wherever you want to hang it.
The secret to making cheap art work for your new home: only hang things that you love. Whether you’re spending a lot or a little on your artwork, it’s always important that it speaks to you in some way—even if it’s just that it makes you smile to look at.
Swap Out Old Light Fixtures
An outdated light fixture can bring down an entire room. Fortunately, you can find new and modern fixtures on the cheap through places like IKEA and Etsy, making this swap one of the easiest ways to make a dramatic decorative impact in a room. Think of your fixtures as being just as much art pieces as they are providers of light. With a good eye, you should have no trouble finding new fixtures that stand out in all the right ways.
Glam It Up
A touch of glam can make even cheap items look like a million bucks. So how do you do it? Think oversize. For example, hang curtain rods up closer to the ceiling and use larger than necessary matting and framing with your artwork. Simple strategies like these make things look a lot more expensive than they really are, and have the added benefit of optimizing your usage of space in a room.
Don’t Buy Something Just Because You Think You Should
One of the best pieces advice when it comes to figuring out how to decorate a new home on a budget is to listen to your gut. Decorating is an investment, not just in your home but in your personal space. It should be all you, and you should never waste a penny on something that doesn’t have a place in your life. So while your mom might swear by table runners and crystal vases, that doesn’t mean those things are necessary for your own put-together home. Go with the flow of your own taste and style, and remember that you’re the only one who has to love the look of your new home. Not only will it save you money, it will also help ensure you’re happy with the end result of your decorating efforts.
In need of more advice for decorating a home on a budget? Check out our articles on budget-friendly ways to update your kitchen and where to buy cheap furniture online.
If you live in Atlanta and have always wanted to participate in a marathon or want to watch one unfold before your eyes, you’re in luck. There are many marathons held in Atlanta each year: from the annual Atlanta Marathon to half-marathons and other similar races. The following will highlight information on these not-to-be-missed races and tell you how you can get involved to participate in or watch an upcoming Atlanta marathon.
The 2020 Publix Atlanta Marathon
Plans are already in motion for the 2020 Publix Atlanta Marathon set to unfold on Sunday, March 1, 2020, at 7 a.m. Participants train for months, if not longer, to compete in the prestigious Atlanta Marathon. This year’s marathon will start at Centennial Olympic Park and take place throughout Atlanta as participants run past some of Atlanta’s most well-known landmarks and monuments. If you are eager to sign up, registration is now open for those who wish to show off their running expertise at the upcoming Atlanta Marathon.
The starting line is at Centennial Olympic Park and the 26.2-mile course will go past the following neighborhoods/landmarks:
Georgia State University
Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial
Little Five Points
Georgia Institute of Technology
Morris Brown College
Clark Atlanta University
1996 Olympic Rings
Georgia State Stadium
Grant Park/Zoo Atlanta
Georgia State Capitol
The schedule has already been released and you can review the day’s events so you know exactly where you have to be and when on the big day. Here’s the set schedule for the Atlanta Marathon on March 1:
5:30 a.m. – Will-call opens for number pick-up (only if purchased)
6:40 a.m. – Wheelchair start
7 a.m. – Marathon start
7:20 a.m. – Marathon start line closes
1:55 p.m. – Marathon course closes
The cost to register depends on when you complete registration. There is no day-of race registration and the deadline is February 26, 2020, at 11:59 p.m. — so you’ll want to register well in advance of the event. The following is the registration fee and deadline for each price going forward:
$100 through 11/11/19
$105 through 12/10/19
$110 through 1/9/20
$120 through 2/13/20
$130 through 2/25/20
$140 at race number pickup
Registration can be done online and all registrants will receive access to the race, a long-sleeve Mizuno shirt, and a medal. Awards will be presented to marathon winners in a variety of categories. Spectators will be able to view the marathon at any of the race points listed above where they can root on their loved ones and the group of marathon runners as a whole.
Running in a marathon is an exciting adventure to embark upon and Atlanta is an excellent spot to do so.
Half Marathons 2019/2020
If a half marathon is more your speed, rest assured that you’ll find them throughout Atlanta, too. The 2020 Publix Atlanta Marathon will have both a half marathon and 5K for those who would rather run this length of race. The information for these races is as follows:
Atlanta Marathon Half Marathon
The Atlanta Half Marathon will take place at the same time and place as the Publix Atlanta Marathon with the following schedule:
7 a.m. – Half Marathon starts
7:20 a.m. – Half Marathon start line closes
10:50 a.m. – Half Marathon course closes
Atlanta Half Marathon participants must be 14 years of age or older and the participation fees are as follows:
$80 through 11/11/19
$85 through 12/10/19
$90 through 1/9/20
$100 through 2/13/20
$110 through 2/25/20
$120 at race number pickup
All participants will receive a short-sleeve Mizuno shirt and a medal, and winners in select categories will receive awards. Registration is now open online.
Atlanta Marathon 5K
In order to start out slowly with your future marathon running, why not try the Atlanta Marathon 5K as your initial race? This 3.1-mile race will take place on the same day as the Atlanta Marathon and provides a great way to see what races of this type are like or simply be a race that you feel comfortable taking part in. It’s also a great starting point for kids ages 8 and older, if your child is interested in running and eager to experience an organized race.
Schedule details for the 5K are as follows:
7:35 a.m. – 5K start
7:45 a.m. – 5K start line closes
9 a.m. – 5K course closes
The 5K will begin at Centennial Olympic Park and proceed on main routes such as Piedmont Avenue, Courtland Street, and Marietta Street, finishing at the Park.
The cost to participate in the 5K is:
$25 through 11/11/19
$30 through 1/9/20
$35 through 2/25/20
$45 at race number pickup
All participants will enjoy a short-sleeve Mizuno shirt and medal for taking part in the 5K. Awards will be handed out to the top-finishers. Register here to take part in the 2020 Atlanta Marathon 5K.
Atlanta Halloween Half Marathon and 5K
For ghoulishly healthy fun, register for the Atlanta Halloween Half Marathon on Sunday, October 27, at 8 a.m. The fun will unfold at Piedmont Park and consist of the Atlanta Halloween Half Marathon in addition to a 5K (begins at 8:15 a.m.). Individuals 13 years of age and older can take part in the half marathon, so it’s a great training option for kids who are avid runners. Plus, awards will be handed out to the top finishers in different categories.
The cost to participate is $90 for the half marathon and $40 for the 5K. There is a $5 discount per individual if you participate in teams of four or more. Online registration is now open.
And since it’s a festive run, you should pick out your best costume to wear during the event. It’s not mandatory, but costumes are encouraged for this Halloween-themed event.
Atlanta Thanksgiving Day Half Marathon
The 2019 Invesco QQQ Thanksgiving Day Half Marathon, 5K, Mile & Dash event will unfold in Atlanta on November 28, 2019, beginning at 7:30 a.m. Kick off your Thanksgiving morning the right way with an invigorating run through Atlanta. The event begins at Georgia State Stadium and winds through the city with different routes for each race.
The Atlanta Thanksgiving Half Marathon is for individuals 14 years of age and older and the cost ranges from $85-$95, depending on when you register. The 5K involves participants ages 8 and older and the price is $40-$50 to register. For those who take part in the Mile & Dash event, the cost to register is free for those who are 14 and under and $10 for kids 15 and older. The 50m dash is free for all.
Registration is now open and the earlier you register, the more money you save.
Marathons in Surrounding Areas
Although Atlanta has its fair share of marathons, half marathons, and 5Ks, there are also plenty of other Georgia towns that host these health and wellness events. Here’s a list of some other races throughout the state to keep on your running radar:
Atlanta Marathons Draw in Participants and Spectators From Near and Far
Atlanta is famous for its extensive array of running events, including marathons, half marathons, and 5K races. If you are hoping to run in a marathon but have yet to decide on a city where you should participate, Atlanta is a great choice. These well-organized race events allow you to improve your running skills while also seeing the city.
When you’re done running a marathon, check out the great pizza and breweries Atlanta has to offer. If you’re going to make Atlanta your permanent home, move with Move Matcher.
Whether you’re planning a local or a long distance move, packing an essentials box is something you should consider doing. With some essentials you can reach at any time, your moving process can be way less stressful. Take a look at some of the items you should pack in your necessity box and how to do it the right way.
What is an essentials moving box?
Most people have some valuable possessions they like to keep in a separate box. However, bringing an essentials moving box with you on a moving day is not the same type of box. This one should make your relocation easier in terms of unpacking. Also, packing an essentials box will help you handle emergency situations on a moving day. In conclusion, this box should represent your safety net during the moving process.
If you are planning a moving process, there will be some items you will need to keep with yourself at all times. That is why packing an essentials box is always recommendable. For example, there might be many different things that can delay the moving process, so you should get ready to prepare for these inconveniences. When getting ready for the move, this essentials box can make a big change in how you handle the move. Important documents, money, passports, and contracts are just some items you should keep with you at all times.
Packing an essentials box – what should it contain?
Loss of some important documents or lack of cash can be distractions during the moving process and cause delays.
Speaking of the content of this box, there’s no rule for what you should pack in it. However, depending on the distance and the size of your move – “it’s better to be safe than sorry”. For example. Here are some examples of packing an essentials box.
Moving as a single. Since you won’t be able to rely on someone when moving by yourself, make sure to pack some extra cash just in case. Also, all of your personal documents should be close by, as well as some extra clothes, snacks, and an emergency kit.
Moving with a partner. When relocating with a partner, you should divide the tasks and chores. Make sure to know which items everyone packed in their essentials box.
Family relocation. If moving with small kids, you can never pack too many items for the moving day. Extra food, clothes, band-aids, wipes, and diapers are a must.
How to organize a moving day without delays?
Packing for the move can be time-consuming, but there are many other things that could delay your move. Loss of some important documents or lack of cash can be distractions during the moving process and cause delays. If you are moving to Brooklyn long distance, you might consider packing an essentials box a few days prior to your move. By packing everything that you might need to handle emergency situations, you will avoid the most common complications on a moving day.
How to prepare your home for the packing process
The content of your essentials box is not the only issue in this topic. Moreover, the time when you decide to pack it is very important, too. For example, if you are packing the last minute, you might forget to pack the most important items. On the other hand, packing the essential box a week before the move might not be efficient enough. The reason is simple – packing an essentials box will include some items you’ll be using right before the move.
By packing everything that you might need to handle emergency situations, you will avoid the most common complications on a moving day.
One of the best ways of packing an essentials box is organizing the packing process in advance. For example, if you need professional help with wrapping and packing oversized items, you can always call professional Hoboken movers to help. While movers handle the hard part of getting ready for the move, you’ll have more time to focus on packing important items for the moving day.
Personal items and necessities you’ll need during a move
One of the best ways of packing an essentials box is organizing the packing process in advance.
While there are things you can buy or borrow on a moving day (like food or clothes), there are some essentials you must pack by yourself. Some of the important things to take with you when moving are:
Money, preferably in cash. You don’t have to bring much, but just some cash you’ll need in case of emergencies. Also, don’t forget to agree on the payment method with your movers before the moving day comes.
ID, passports and a driver’s license. Depending on how you organize your move, you will need to keep your personal documents close by.
Contracts and other paperwork related to your move. If you hired a moving company to handle your relocation, these are the documents you should pack for a moving day. Before you unpack all of your moving boxes, it will be handy to have important paperwork at all times.
Snacks, soft drinks, and water. When it comes to packing an essentials box, this is what everyone needs on a moving day.
Extra clothes. You never know when the weather may turn for worse, and you’ll have a long day ahead of you.
If you are moving locally and don’t have many items for packing an essentials box, you can pack a traveling bag instead. Whichever bag is more convenient for you will do the work. The point of packing an essentials box is universal – and that is having all the necessities close by on a moving day. Even after you move into your new home, you will need to use some items right away. Before you start unpacking, it will be more than convenient to have them all in one place.
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Director Todd Phillips “Joker” centers around the iconic arch nemesis and is an original, standalone fictional story not seen before on the big screen. Phillips’ exploration of Arthur Fleck, who is indelibly portrayed by Joaquin Phoenix, is of a man struggling to find his way in Gotham’s fractured society. A clown-for-hire by day, he aspires to be a stand-up comic at night…but finds the joke always seems to be on him. Caught in a cyclical existence between apathy and cruelty, Arthur makes one bad decision that brings about a chain reaction of escalating events in this gritty character study.
Three-time Oscar nominee Phoenix (“The Master,” “Walk the Line,” “Gladiator”) stars in the titular role alongside Oscar winner Robert De Niro (“Raging Bull,” “The Godfather: Part II”) as Franklin. The film also stars Zazie Beetz (“Deadpool 2”), Frances Conroy (TV’s “American Horror Story,” Hulu’s “Castle Rock”), Marc Maron (TV’s “Maron,” “GLOW”), Bill Camp (“Red Sparrow,” “Molly’s Game”), Glenn Fleshler (TV’s “Billions,” “Barry”), Shea Whigham (“First Man,” “Kong: Skull Island”), Brett Cullen (“42,” Netflix’s “Narcos”), Douglas Hodge (“Red Sparrow,” TV’s “Penny Dreadful”) and Josh Pais (upcoming “Motherless Brooklyn,” “Going in Style”).
Oscar nominee Phillips (“Borat,” “The Hangover” trilogy) directs from a screenplay he co-wrote with Oscar-nominated writer Scott Silver (“The Fighter”), based on characters from DC. The film is produced by Phillips and Oscar nominee Bradley Cooper (“A Star Is Born,” “American Sniper”) under their Joint Effort banner, and Oscar nominee Emma Tillinger Koskoff (“The Wolf of Wall Street”). It is executive produced by Michael E. Uslan, Walter Hamada, Aaron L. Gilbert, Joseph Garner, Richard Baratta, and Bruce Berman.
Behind the scenes, Phillips is joined by director of photography Lawrence Sher (“Godzilla: King of the Monsters,” “The Hangover” trilogy), production designer Mark Friedberg (“Selma,” “The Amazing Spider-Man 2”), editor Jeff Groth (“War Dogs,” “The Hangover Part III”), and Oscar-winning costume designer Mark Bridges (“Phantom Thread,” “The Artist”). The music is by Hildur Guðnadóttir (“Sicario: Day of the Soldado”).
Warner Bros. Pictures Presents, in Association with Village Roadshow Pictures, in Association with BRON Creative, a Joint Effort Production, a Film by Todd Phillips, “Joker.” It will be in theaters nationwide October 4, 2019 and will be distributed worldwide by Warner Bros. Pictures.
Best Places to Live in the UK > London > Balham Area Guide
For people living outside of London, the capital is a complex beast that is impossible to navigate. However, for die-hard Londoners, the city can be easily divided into two simple regions: North and South.
The North-South divide in London is deeply ingrained into the cities personality; it is often the subject of debate at after-work drinks, and each side of the argument will have their reasons for repping their side of the river (and mocking the other side as well!).
The North-South divide in London used to fall favourably on the side of the North, but the tide is changing. South London used to be mocked for its poor travel connections, as well as a lack of nightlife locations and restaurants. However, the South is fighting back, with there (arguably) being more trendy locations currently in the South than the North.
The Rise of the South
Shoreditch is known as the capital’s hipster hot spot, but the area has arguably become so gentrified that it is no longer cool. For every Brick Lane Beigel Bake and Lahore Kebab House, there is a cafe selling over-priced cereal and a 1920’s themed cocktail bar, flogging your over-priced drinks on the basis that it’s still the prohibition. Essentially, Shoreditch has lost its way, meaning there is a vacant space for London’s lesser-known areas to step into the limelight; South London has taken this chance.
Areas such as Clapham, Peckham and Brixton are now prospering and thriving, with South London now being the city’s ‘go-to’ destination for people moving to the capital. Unsurprisingly, however, this has led to huge rent hikes, and tenants looking at surrounding areas as a more viable solution. One of those areas is Balham.
What makes Balham stand out from other areas?
“We are now entering Old Balham. Time has passed by this remote corner; so shall we” said legendary comedian Peter Sellers, in his 1950’s travel guide to the area, entitled ‘Balham, Gateway to the South.’
However, while Balham in the 1950’s may not have been anything to shout about, the Balham of today couldn’t be further from its past.
Balham has spent much of its life being overshadowed by the neighbouring areas of Brixton, Clapham and Tooting. Although this leafy suburb may not offer the excitement and diversity of its neighbours, Balham has quickly become a highly sought after area for Londoners looking for a slower pace of life while still being able to dip their toe into the capital’s cultural waters.
Such is the allure and attraction of Balham, the area has twice been voted as one of Britain’s best places to live by the Sunday Times, in 2013 and 2014 respectively. The lifelong residents of Balham will tell you that these awards are overdue, with the area having a long history of community spirit and togetherness.
This suburb and its unique character used to be a hidden gem in the capital’s crown, but the stature of the SW12 postcode is growing, as independent coffee stores, restaurants and boutiques continue to arrive on Balham’s doorstep and attract London’s gaze.
Balham’s geography forms a large part of its appeal. The suburb attracts a more mature crowd than the likes of Clapham and Brixton, with it being the perfect place for young families to set up a life in the capital. However, Balham is not just an area for families, it also attracts a younger crowd of Londoners who want to be near the capital’s nightlife without having to be constantly consumed by it.
But, for all this talk of community spirit and a laid-back atmosphere, what is it really like to live in Balham? Everyone who is moving to London, and everyone that already lives in it, is obsessed with one thing and one thing only: the commute.
Transport in and out of Balham
As previously mentioned, South London is notorious for its poor transport links. The lack of tube stations in the South, particularly in the South East, means that rents in South London tend to be lower than its Northern rival. In Balham, however, residents are spoilt for choice and this is reflected in property prices (more on that later).
Despite the fact Balham resides in ‘Zone 3’, the neighbourhood sits on the Northern Line, and benefits from having National Rail trains and plenty of buses to ferry its residents around town.
The variety of travel options in Balham make it the perfect place for young professionals who regularly commute into the capital. The Northern Line takes 20 minutes to reach the corporate offices of Bank, while a train will get you to Victoria station in just 18 minutes. The station is also two stops away from Clapham Junction, which offers access to many other parts of the country. Balham’s transport links are only going to get stronger, with Transport for London currently investing millions into the Northern Line, which is set to increase capacity by 20% and speed by 18%.
London is trying to change its ‘Big Smoke’ image, with the capital committing to several environmental schemes to clean up its air pollution issues. Making the city more cycle-friendly has formed a larger part of this mission, with the city constantly building and developing new cycle lanes and cycle superhighways.
Clapham, and much of South West London, benefits from Cycle Super Highway 7 (CS7), that takes residents from the suburbs into the city. Cycling in London can be tough, but CS7 makes cycling through the city easier and less scary. Not only that, but a cycling commute is a lot cheaper than getting the train or tube, and gives your body a workout along the way.
There’s no doubting that an easy commute makes a huge difference when living in London, but there is more to life than getting to and from work in less than an hour. You need to feel comfortable, safe and happy in your area in order to get the best out of living in the capital – and this is where Balham really excels.
Schools in Balham
For parents with young children, Balham is the perfect place to send their kids to school. The suburb has four primary schools and two comprehensive secondary schools that have been awarded ‘Outstanding’ by Ofsted, and also boasts multiple private schools as well.
Things to see and do in Balham
As mentioned, another part of Balham’s appeal is the community spirit that you unlikely to find in other parts of the city. Residents in the area like to stay in Balham on the weekends and regularly invest in community projects and events.
Balham high street is overflowing with pavement cafes filled to the brim with families and young professionals, who exist in perfect harmony with one another. Whether you are after a park for picnicking or relaxing, interesting bars or new and exciting restaurants, Balham welcomes everyone.
London is one of the greatest cities in the world when it comes to food, and Balham does its best to contribute to this reputation. Milk, on Bedford Hill, is a hip brunch spot that is the perfect place for a lazy weekend meal, while Balham Farmers’ Market offers delicious fresh pasta, bread and food vendors to hungry customers. Not only is the market the perfect place to fill up hungry tummies, but you can also pick up some groceries while tucking into your treats.
Balham has plenty of chain restaurants for those wanting to play it safe, but the best food lies in independent restaurants and cafes. Heart of Balham is a much-loved local business that serves up delicious food in a laid-back setting. The middle-eastern inspired menu is packed with flavour, while also being perfect for vegetarians and vegans.
It’s no secret that Londoners like a drink and the residents of Balham are no different. The area boasts several traditional pubs and exciting bars to keep punters entertained, with The Exhibit being the pick of the bunch. The venue describes itself as a ‘Youth club for adults’, which may not sound like much, but with a lively bar, a cracking menu and an independent cinema, it’s a fantastic hub of activity that serves the area well.
Outside of The Exhibit, Balham Bowls Club (affectionally known as the BBC) is a giant pub that caters to the community in more ways than your average boozer. Children are allowed until 9pm, dogs are welcome and there’s a programme of events ranging from pub quizzes and live music to mindfulness sessions and yoga.
Another pub of note is The Bedford, which is an iconic venue in a Grade II listed building. Not only does the pub offer a weekly roaster of comedy and live music, but it also hosts Balham Comedy Festival each year and offers a full week of comedy events.
Property in Balham
Given that it’s a London borough with good transport connections and great schools, living in Balham is not cheap. Despite the fact that living in the borough of Wandsworth means that residents of Balham enjoy one of the lowest council tax rates in London, house prices are extremely expensive.
Balham has become so attractive to buyers with plenty of money, that the young professionals who currently reside in the suburb are unlikely to be able to afford a property there.
According to the latest figures from Rightmove, the average price of a flat in Balham was £549,995. Terraced properties sold for an average of £1,172,018, with semi-detached properties fetching a cool £1,446,593.
Balham, with an overall average price of £810,771, is significantly more expensive than other areas of London. The average house price in the capital in 2018 stood at £478,853, meaning Balham is over £300,000 more expensive than the London average.
Development Projects and New Builds
It’s easy to see why property in Balham fetches the prices that it does. Before the arrival of the railway in 1856, and the Northern Line in the 1920s, Balham was an area of old farmhouses and cottages. However, things swiftly changed, and Balham enjoyed two rounds of property building that continue to shape the area today.
The road layout created during the property boom remains, with Balham being packed full of beautiful Victorian and Edwardian period properties that have plenty of space and large (for London at least) gardens. However, with Balham’s population continuing to grow, several eye-catching developments have broken ground in recent years.
The Ipsus10 development at Bedford House is a modern apartment complex on Balham High Road which was awarded the ‘Best Residential Development in London’ at the 2018 international Property Awards.
Despite the increasing popularity of Balham, the suburb remains a something of a hidden gem in London. Its location forms of a large part of the area’s appeal, with Balham being perfectly situated for those who want to enjoy London and all its delights, without the hectic and busy lifestyle.
With great transport links, a growing food and drink scene, and plenty of community projects, Balham is the perfect place for young professionals and young families to co-exist together. It’s this mixture of city living and a village-like atmosphere that marks Balham out as one of the best places to live in London.
If you’re interested in other London Areas, check out our list of area guides for more information on great spots within the capital.
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