I confess I’m rather chauvinistic about New York. The city’s been my home pretty much all my life and I love the hustle and bustle, the theater, the 24/7 vibe, the people-watching, and I don’t even mind the noise and the traffic.
Don’t get me wrong, I love to travel and I always find other cities and countries wonderful to visit, but I never could imagine actually LIVING anywhere else . . . until we spent a year in London. (See Valentine’s Day in Foggytown, Laundry Day in London and Kinky Boots)
London I found had New York beat – lots of the good shows even open on the West End before they get to Broadway, and the bad rap on British food is undeserved. The architecture and the parks and squares are beautiful, and the taxi drivers never get lost. And for this city lover, London is the most wonderfully cosmopolitan town.
But the wet and dreary weather is bloody awful, I carried my brolly and my sweater everywhere, and it got dark so damn early! But thank goodness for British Summer Time, when like DST in the States, we’d fall back and spring ahead, and supposedly grab at least one more hour of sunlight.
So I think I have to edit Samuel Johnson.
“When a man is tired of London – crummy weather aside – he is tired of life.”
Dans Susan Lehrman
This retired librarian loves big city bustle and cozy country weekends, friends and family, good books and theatre, movies and jazz, travel, tennis, Yankee baseball, and writing about life as she sees it on her blog World Thru Brown Eyes!
Wonderful, Dana. As you know, we spend a lot of time in London too (though not as full-fledged residents) and love to wander around, lots to see and do. And though they do have go on their version of DST, it won’t be this weekend, so for a few weeks, our kids will be 6 hours ahead of us, until they “spring ahead” on March 26, which is when they fly to the States for our next visit!
I know you and your London family visit back and forth, glad they’re coming Stateside soon!
Your. story brought back memories of both New York and London, Dana. I know of no two cities — with the possible exception of Berlin — that energize me as much as they do. Very nicely written and concisely stated.
Thanx Jim, and thanx again for the prompt! At first I thought I didn’t have a story, and then it hit me – wonderful London with its not-so- wonderful weather and those dark afternoons!
Your post reminded me of the old Stevenson verse: ” In winter I get up at night and dress by yellow candlelight. In summer, quite the other way–I have to go to bed by day.” There is more, but you get the picture. It is always a shock that Britain is so much further north than most of the US, and the light doesn’t lie.
Thanx Khati for your comment and the very appropriate Stevenson verse!
I guess that extra hour of sunlight is helpful in London’s clime. Still don’t enjoy the change in my neck of the woods.
Sorry about your DST displeasure Laurie.
I can’t say I remember if the summer time change really helped much in London, hope it did, but there is so much more in that town to compensate for the rainy weather and those dark afternoons!
You brought back some very nice memories,, Dana.
When we finally got to Europe in 2020 (a challenging time for sure) we LOVED London! Two NJ Italians had maybe the best Italian dinner of their lives in a small restaurant tucked away in an alley a few blocks from our Air B&B in the Fitzrovia section. We have no idea if English food is really bad, because the Continental and Indian restaurants were so good!
We were there in early September so it was indeed BST.
Our time there was all too short, since our Francophile traveling companion planned the itinerary. Our next trip is likely going to be UK-centric, with a long weekend in Paris (the train between the two is SUCH a civilized way to travel).
Good Dave, and indeed London boasts excellent restaurants serving all cuisines.
But for the best English high tea try Browns Hotel on a rainy afternoon!