Elizabeth Silva, Professor of Sociology at The Open University, has lived in Kentish Town for almost four years.
“My favourite thing about Kentish Town is its closeness to Hampstead Heath. I am just a five minute walk from it, which is great as I have two dogs. When I moved to the area I knew I wanted to be near the Heath. The other reason I moved to Kentish Town was for its transport. I work at The Open University so access to the M1 was very important to me, as well as to Euston station. I am very well positioned in relation to my main daily life. Kentish Town is a place that is very well connected in terms of transport. I have access to a major overground station, Gospel Oak, and the two branches of the Northern Line. I can get off, or to, either Chalk Farm or Kentish Town. I also have excellent bus lines, such as the 24 and 46 buses. I think that the 24 bus is kind of a sightseeing bus in London. It goes from Hampstead to Pimlico – along the whole of Charing Cross, Embankment, and so on - which is absolutely fantastic. I love going to Tate Britain, which is in Pimlico. I love taking the 24 bus and just looking around Camden market. It’s great. Now it’s a Routemaster, which is very pretty. The 46 takes me to Kings Cross in ten minutes.
I use the British Library quite a bit as it’s quite easy to cycle there from Kentish Town; Kentish Town is a very nice area to cycle around and use all sorts of services. I can go to my GP clinic by bike; I can get to Camden Town by bike. I think Kentish Town Road has a very nice selection of shops, particularly the organic shops which are really fantastic. In terms of restaurants it has this wonderful Italian place called Pane Vino and a café I like a lot called Renoir. I am also very well positioned to get to Primrose Hill and the nice shops and cafés which are around there. There are wonderful markets in the area.There’s the Queen’s Crescent Market which went down for a while but now there’s been a big concerted effort to make it better, and I think its working. They sell food and antique things. I absolutely love the Farmers’ Market on Hampstead Heath every Saturday morning. It’s expensive but you can find amazing produce and very selective, unusual vegetables. It’s wonderful. And so I combine both; I combine the cheaper Queen‘s Crescent with the more upmarket Farmers’ Market in Hampstead.
I very much like the mixture of Kentish Town. I think it is a place where housing prices have been going up a lot, but, because of the mixture of council houses and privately owned ones, properties can still be affordable. It makes the selective social clustering of the town a bit more diverse, which is something I quite like. I really like the quirkiness of the area and the sort of combination of multicultural diversity and also diversity of social class. I love the variety of languages that one can hear around; people speak all sorts of languages.”
We would like to apologise to Elizabeth for printing the wrong job title in the print version of Access London Magazine. Elizabeth is Professor of Sociology at The Open University.