Posted by: martinworster | May 8, 2005

33. BARCA IS BRIGHTON: THE DISNEYLAND OF EXTENDED YOUTH

Seaside towns with students, spliff, crusties and people who never grow up…welcome to Brightonalona

I see many parallels between Barcelona and Brighton, the town of my student days. They both begin with the letter B and straddle the coast. They both have big squatter, indie-anarcho, independent, crusty, traveller scenes. They are both big student towns. And they are the both Disneylands of extended youth. I see them here everywhere, 45 year old men with dreadlocks on long skateboards clutching on to the last molecules of youth. Peter Pan types with wrinkles around the eyes, gray hairs and lost wisdom in their eyes, wearing slogan t-shirts and carrying record bags. Maybe I will turn into one of them?

Sometimes this place seems like a toy town where no one ever grows up. Or maybe I projecting my own reluctance to age and subsequent frustration, and by turn, my perception is clouded. It seems like a Disneyland of extended youth because I want it to. But the proof is there. I just go to the beach and see the all the kids – boys and girls – who never want to grow up. Come to Brightonalona and shirk responsibility. Hang out on the beach, smoke spliff and drink cerveza. Man.

In fact, sometimes it reminds me so much of my student days I am often taken back to the early nineties. Now if only they were still playing Take That on the radio and football was still largely the preserve of the working classes I would feel right at home.

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