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Thursday, March 22, 2007

New York v London

New York or London? Which do you prefer?
It's the question the Daily Telegraph is asking its regular contributors and bloggers this week.
I agree with Sam Leith: The Big Apple wins hands down. If you like hideously expensive and unreliable public transport, hideously expensive restaurant-chains selling mediocre food, and surly and unhelpful service, then London's the place for you. If, like me, you prefer affordable and efficent public transport, value for money eateries and cheerful and friendly service, then you're better off in The Apple. New York is a vibrant, living city, which has maintained its unique character. London used to be a great city, but its streets are far too globalised (more than New York's) and it is now a bland, unappealing metroplis, with little sense of identity.


Ken said...

And communicating is next to impossible! I'm in London at the moment, needed directions and asked a road sweeper. The bugger turned out to be a French speaker and we ended up speaking in the only language that we had in common, which was Spanish.

Yes, funny, but also nasty underneath. The north is still full on unemployed people who would gladly sweep London's streets if the money was right. Allowing the world and his brother in keeps wages down, end of story.

Peter said...

"London used to be a great city, but its streets are far too globalised..."

"Globalised"? What exactly is that supposed to mean?

Neil Clark said...

It means that there are far too many global chains in London, and not enough locally owned cafes, shops and restaurants. Go to the centre of Brussels (probably the least globalised capital city in Europe) and see the difference. If you like a city where every other outlet is a Starbucks/Coffee Republic/Pizza Hut or Macdonalds, then London's a great place. If, like me, you like a little bit more variety, then it's way down the list.

Tupharsin said...

You need to get off the High Street, Neil. What you're lamenting is still there, but it's in the nooks and crannies. Nooks and crannies which the Big Yawn doesn't have - thanks to its grill-pattern.