By George Arkley
Hyde Park is home to bomb-makers, burglars, drug dealers and a whole bunch of students. To the outside eye, Hyde Park looks exactly like my dream man: rugged with overpriced clothing and a pretentious attitude. But when you a little closer, as with any man, you might just find a few surprises.
First up, everything is filthy. The roads are covered in litter, the bins are infested with rats and even the late-Victorian terraced houses are crawling with graffiti. As a result, there’s a constant smell of rubbish. Imagine, off milk with a splash of cheap vodka. Throw in some illegal substances for good measure and you have the scent of Hyde Park.
Speaking of illegal substances, Hyde Park also hosts the UK’s most successful drug dealers. Fancy a Friday night takeaway? Expect a 75 minute wait. Fancy a cocktail with a side of cocaine? 10 minutes – or so I hear.
There is one distinguishing factor about Hyde Park’s dealers: they have no shame. They drive around in their blacked-out Audis and stop to hand out business cards to anyone passing by. Yes, business cards. Embossed cards with their name, number and selected stocks. They are the elite of drug dealers.
Hyde Park also plays a part in the infamous pub crawl, the Otley Run. Every weekend thousands of locals and visitors dress up in novelty costumes for a pint at thirty different pubs. With its Victorian architecture and signature sign, Hyde Park Pub is one of the Otley Run’s landmark stops.
It is also just next door to the park, oddly named Woodhouse Moor. Unfortunately, the park is one of the more dangerous places in Leeds at night. A staggering 141 crimes, ranging from sexual assault to robbery, were found around Woodhouse Moor in just February 2020 alone.
Apparently, at the heart of our quaint little town, is the UK’s most burgled street: Chestnut Avenue. Otherwise known as, a landlord’s nightmare. The houses are the very worst of Leeds and the student parties are by far the longest and the loudest.
Next up – bomb makers. In 2005, the bombs that fuelled the 7/7 London attacks were made in Hyde Park, Leeds. This is by far Hyde Park’s worst moment in history. Let’s move on.
With high crime ratings and a student population, it comes as no surprise that the drinks are cheap and the food is even cheaper. If you are looking for an intimate gig followed by pie and pints, Brudenell Social Club is the place for you. It’s grimy interior and spotlighted pool room all adds to the charm of Brudenell. That is, if you can put up with the boozy students and lone locals nursing their beers.
Hyde Park is a student town built on a monarchy of elite criminals. The locals are peasants running home before dark to lock themselves inside their barred homes. The drug dealers are the town’s business men and the burglars consider themselves as interior designers.
It’s a real life version of The Purge – but you have to admit, you’re just a little bit intrigued.