As part of our series on living in Liverpool, we hear from a city centre resident who loves living in the city, in spite of the down sides.

There was never one overwhelming reason as to why the city became our home; we just considered giving it a go and it evolved from there really. I wouldn’t pretend or suggest that the idea of being some hip ‘n’ hap’nin’ city dweller had anything to do with it. However, there is undoubtedly a huge buzz attached to living in town when you first make the move.

I often used to go and walk around the city at night, and particularly walk along our incredible waterfront, and be struck at how awe-inspiring Liverpool and its architecture is. For some reason, it was like I was seeing the city again for the first time. Observing a city centre as half of it falls asleep and the other half finally awakes is a seriously underrated pastime.

The best thing about living in the city is the accessibility to everything and the transport links to those places not immediately nearby. Plus you save a fortune on cabs. When doing the budgeting for the move, I seriously factored in the savings I would make on taxis to and from the city for nights out.

I live in City Quay, about a mile from the city centre, but I have also lived in Chandlers Wharf which is in shadow of Liverpool One.

I used to save about one week’s rent per month, simply because I could stagger home rather than jump in a black cab. And, also, what is not to like about having everything that is best about Liverpool on your doorstep? Pubs, museums, galleries, theatres, comedy nights and the like make up your backyard – that is surely an excellent thing isn’t it?

A lot of people often cite the instance of “there not being anywhere to buy a paper or a loaf” as an ample reason for swerving the city but, seriously, who cares? If you give so much thought to the accessibility of wheat products when picking a spot to live then I would humbly suggest the Atkins diet. There is a time and a place for worrying about those minor and boring things. They’re called “middle-age” and “Wirral.”

If I was to suggest one slight downside to the experience then it would be the fact that temptation is, literally and permanently, a matter of metres away. The urge to nip out for a quick drink very often leads down the slippery slope of banging on a Chinatown restaurant door at 3am asking if there’s any Salt and Pepper squid left. On a Monday.

Living in the city takes strength. You sometimes need to put the blinkers back on, rein yourself in and opt for a box-set instead, otherwise you can easily spend every night of the week in town and before you know it you’re a karaoke regular in Coopers.

Everyone will have strange experiences of living in the city. Get an entirely disparate group of people thrown together and you will always have odd moments crop up. I’ve been offered drugs on my own doorstep, experienced a crane almost destroying my home and helped stop a bloke from being seriously beaten up. Few – if any – of these things occur in Childwall.

One thing that is quite depressing is the entire lack of community. Shamefully, I do not know the names of my neighbours and they do not have a clue about me. I know this phenomenon is not exactly unique and that the suburbs also suffer from this issue but in the city it seems to be much, much worse.

What’s more, city centre homes are relatively generic and boring. Those places slap-bang in the centre are staid, two-bedroom jobs which must have sent the architect responsible to sleep during the design phase. Generally though, they are well built and considerately placed but nothing really gets your mouth watering.

However, people do not move to the city for the quality of their homes but more for what comes with it. Think of a place in the city centre as being a place to primarily eat and sleep. When you are 17 and go on holidays with your mates you aren’t too fussed where you stay because you’re out all the time anyhow. Fast forward a decade and the principle still remains.

Nobody bought a place in the middle of a city centre so they could sit back and watch their plants grow.

Image by *Psycho Delia*, Flickr

  • Rob

    “…before you know it you’re a karaoke regular in Coopers.”

  • James

    “Nobody bought a place in the middle of a city centre so they could sit back and watch their plants grow” – I wouldn’t be so sure on that!

    One thing that has taught me living in the city is that there are a surprising range of people here, and as the city offers most things, everyone gets something different out of it. I’m not old, but I’m not young either, I don’t go out drinking so saving on cabs doesn’t come into it for me, but I can relate to a lot of the other ‘on your doorstep’ stuff. I have an immediate neighbour who is in his 60s, whose been my neighbour for years, and I don’t think that he lives here for the nightlife!

    I think it depends on where you live in the city as to ‘community’, I know most of my neighbours (including some from neighbouring blocks), but I know there are other places where the population is more transient perhaps? It takes time to get to know people. As well, I definitely wouldn’t have bought my home if the quality wasn’t up to scratch – it’s top notch and anyone who visits loves it.

  • MrD

    All in good time. I would have agreed with the author at 27 and used to spend 600 quid per month on a new outfit for Gatecrasher.

    Now I’m 32 and am currently in a sulk because I have had to fork out 300 quid for a stag-do in Edinburgh when I really wanted to spend it on re-carpeting the hall.

    How things change.

  • Phil

    Cranes nearly destroying your house, drugs and fights on your doorstep… thank God for the middle-aged Wirral.

  • http://www.sevenstreets.com David

    er, you don’t live in Birkenhead then, Phil? (like I do…!)

  • Phil

    Atleast there’s no cranes 😉 well until the 2067 when the Wirral Waters thing starts.

  • Gerry

    Come and join the City Quay community BBQ at The Big Lunch event on Sunday 5th June. Drop round to my place anytime you’re not out in town! Can we publish your article in our next Herculaneum Newsletter please?