Nice as New Yorkers are, they have a well-deserved rep for defending their city's honour against the slings and arrows of outrageous slurs. We can only imagine that any visiting Manhattanites will be ready to rip London a new bagel-hole when they clap eyes on a new advert for Radisson hotels currently running on the Tube. It reads "Heavenly Peace in the City That Never Sleeps" but, in a moment of sacrilege to rival the burning of Washington by the Brits in 1814, the ad features a silhouette of Big Ben. Friends, they've stolen Gotham's nickname to represent London!
Much as we love our dear city, it's fair comment to say that she's something of a narcoleptic and not one for hedonistic all-nighters. Far from being a city that never sleeps, London's a city that values its shuteye, thank you very much. North American visitors who marvel at our 11pm last orders and tube that shuts up shop shortly after midnight may rightfully quibble with such a description.
Indeed, the outraged grey lady, the New York Times, racks up numerous ways in which Manhattan's insomnia far outplagues London's - our lack of late-night movies, NYC's 24-hour Apple Store for that midnight Mac fix, plus the aforementioned travel woes are just some of the ways that the early hours Londonside are none too fun. They also poke fun at our supposed round-the-clock drinking.
To be honest, we think Radisson's missed a trick here. Since Sinatra memorably intoned that famous song, New York's been the one and only city with no need of silk pyjamas and a nightcap. London's happier being the snoring uncle with a moth-eaten sleeping bag, a thermos full of gin and an untidy bedsit with a cupboard full of secrets.