So the local football team failed to clamber up the rope ladder to the departing helicopter of the Premier League, and in truth it's nothing more than an ancient dump where the council will spy on you without reason. Yet Croydon's future looks rosy: Mayor Boris has lavished praise on plans for an exhaustive regeneration of the borough.
Croydon Gateway, as this swanky, Flash-heavy website ably demonstrates, is a scheme that aims to "shape a renewed sense of place" in central Croydon, with new residential & office space combining with the area's transport links to offer a new landmark for the borough. Boris has described this, among other new developments, as positive "adornments". In something of a Tory love-in, the London Assembly member for Croydon, Steve O'Connell, described the "support and encouragement" from his Conservative chum at City Hall, a man not previously known for his love of large-scale high rise projects and whose commitment to green spaces is perhaps at odds with his redevelopment jonesing. As one commenter on the Croydon Guardian site notes: "[Boris] thought Croydon had no views to protect. That sounds a little too much like a developers charter to me."
We were somewhat unimpressed back in 2005 when a hack at the local paper decided that Croydon was a mere ten years away from being the new New York. But perhaps our mirth was premature? Flash forward a few years, we could be forgoing a Covent Garden cappuccino and catching the tram Croydon way for a mocha, mini Manhattan style.
Image of Croydon-bound tram courtesy of Kake Pugh's Flickrstream