A particularly silly article entitled Is London the New New York? Or Is It the Other Way Around? appeared recently in the New York Sun. The main arguments for the immediate twinning of our two cities put forward by the hackette what wrote said article seem to be:
A) Paul McCartney, Gwyneth Paltrow and Madonna all own homes in both cities;
B) sushi-lovers can choose to eat from at least two Nobu restaurants;
C) both cities have had their terrorism-related atrocities immortalised by silly endian dates ("9/11", "7/7" – Madrid et al fall short here).
From the article: "Both competed to host the 2012 Olympic Games..."
Yeah, but who won? And had Live 8? AND got blown up and all in the same week? Erm, think that was us, actually. Yeah.
Who was it that said of London, "It's seven million people living on top of each other ... something's bound to happen." Not to belittle or demean New York, which is a great little town in itself, but attempting to compare itself to one of the oldest functioning cities in the world (continuously inhabited for more than two millennia, yeah check us out), simply by claiming that both are currently suffering from a fallout of a lot of trendy artists with silly haircuts, and that Rupert Murdoch has a conservative, tabloid newspaper based in both, and oh isn't that another interesting Lord Foster/Richard Rogers/Daniel Libeskind steel glass slice of architecture, and my goodness aren't house prices rocketing ... frankly, it's all a bit embarrassing.
From the article: "The list of parallels between New York and London has always been long, but lately, with booming economies in both cities and trendy restaurants moving into old industrial neighborhoods [sic], the two are looking more like mirror images."
What does this article think it is? "Mirror images"?? Insofar as to say that both London and New York are LARGE and DENSELY POPULATED world-renowned iconic cities WHERE PEOPLE LIVE; perhaps, yes. But …
"It is arguable that there is no city that is more similar to New York than London anywhere," said one of Mayor Bloomberg's administrative goons in the article. Londonist would like to put forward Milton Keynes as an alternative – both it and New York's roads are based on a grid system. That just pisses all over London's meagre industrial estate restaurant offerings, doesn't it?
Well, NYC, here’s some London facts you ain't never gonna know:
1 - UNLIKE MOST CAPITAL CITIES, London's status as the capital of the UK has never been granted or confirmed officially.
New York isn't even a capital, *boo hoo*
2 - THE ENTIRE LONDON URBAN AREA may be classed as a "city" using a geographical definition, but politically it is not so. Officially, London is a region containing two smaller cities within its built-up area: the City of London and the City of Westminster.
Fair do's, New York is made up of the five boroughs (can you name them all? we can't), but it is really only one city. You lose, New York
3 - THE ROMANS marked the centre of Londinium with the London Stone in the City.
Any Romans marking the centre of your Mesopotamian* city with a stone, New York? No? Didn't think so.
Don't even get us started on the proposed smoking ban ("modelled after New York's") due to come in to effect ... sometime soon. Islington is to become a Smoke Free Zone. Have you people never heard of Sir Walter Raleigh? Good grief.
Oh, and, just time for one last comparison, to show how similar our two cities, steeped in fascinating history and culture, really are: both have Virgin Megastores.
*As in, between two rivers. Not as in the Arc of Evil, or whatever it's called.
Image from DanMelinger's photostream