[from thelondonpaper of 25 July 2007]
This diamond in the rough is ready to show off its charms
by Ravneet Ahluwalia. Wednesday, 25 July 2007
Finsbury PARK is becoming the place to be for anyone after a slice of leafy north London.
In the past, this part of N4 was seen as a bit rough, with the Finsbury Park mosque grabbing bad press.
But locals now praise its green spaces, wide tree-lined roads and relatively convenient location.
Finsbury Park Station has had a makeover and its new silver front watches over the busy junction where Stroud Green, Blackstock Road and Seven Sisters Road meet.
The latter is also the main shopping hub with an array of independent shops and brand-name stores.
“People like it because, although it is central, it’s not a concrete jungle with the open spaces of both Finsbury Park and Clissold Park,” says Malcolm Levy from estate agents Davies and Davies.
“The north side is next door to Crouch End and the south side to Highbury & Islington. The architecture is identical to those areas but homes are considerably cheaper.”
Properties are predominately Victorian of varying sizes with gardens. Large houses on Queens Drive and the surrounding roads are popular as they sit between Clissold and Finsbury park, and are only 10 minutes’ walk from the Tube station. The streets off Stroud Green Road, such as Lancaster Road, offer solid period properties with three-bedroom terrace houses selling for £500,000.
And with one-bedroom flats starting at £155,000, first-time buyers have a reasonable way to get on the property ladder.
What’s good about it?
Only 15 minutes from Oxford Circus with open spaces and a vibrant yet relaxed feel.
What’s bad about it?
Crime rates are high.
First time buyers in their 20s and 30s and a large North African community.
Famous Finsbury Park residents
John Lydon – Johnny Rotten from the Sex Pistols – grew up in Finsbury Park.
You know you’re a local when . . .
You cure your hangover with a giant burrito at Exquito, a Mexican restaurant on Blackstock Road .
Finsbury Park on the Victoria and Piccadilly lines in Zone 2. Finsbury Park mainline to King’s Cross and Moorgate. Excellent bus network to Camden and the West End.
Rates of burglary, theft, drugs offences and assault are all above London averages.
Parkwood and Christ the King primary schools perform well. Local comprehensive Islington Arts and Media School achieved 26 per cent A-C grades at GCSE level last year.