The Neophiliacs

By Kaufman Last edited 140 months ago
The Neophiliacs

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.

Go team!

*As in, between two rivers. Not as in the Arc of Evil, or whatever it's called.

Image from DanMelinger's photostream

Last Updated 07 September 2006

Barry P.

Them's fighting words, London.

Oh, no surprise, The Sun labeled Tower Bridge as London Bridge. You might as well change the name to avoid confusion, you know.


are you guys proud that you haven't studied enough geography to know the names of the five boroughs?

sounds kinda....american to me.


FINE, fine, let's see now ... Brooklyn, Manhattan, Queens, the Bronx and Staten Island.

Do we win a prize? No.


The article was not brilliant I agree, but it is valid to say that "International cities" like London and New York are beginning to see more in common with eachother than what surrounds them.


I took it as a personal affront. I was incensed. The article seems to have stemmed from that Bloomberg admin goon as a piece of PR-puff designed to cash in on the 'special relationship' business ... to what end?? To annoy ME. I believe.

Don't get me wrong, I adore New York, but I detest shoddy, pointless journalism (ha, ha) and you have to admit that this is is just plain ridiculous.

What about Tokyo? They have a subway too. Which was attacked before New York or London. Don't they count? Ah, no, see - English ain't their first language.


please, calm down!

i agree, the comparisons given for new york and london being similar are shite, but the two cities are quite similar (no matter how much it pisses you off).

new york and london are arguably the two most important financial centres in the world. both are the cultural capitals of their countries (and at one point new york WAS the capital of the U.S., before D.C. was built). both cities attract millions of people to move there, from within their respective countries and from around the world. as a result, both cities have vibrant immigrant populations and a distinct international feel. world-class museums, theatre, music, etc. not to mention that both new york and london are immortalized in countless works of literature, art and film, thus placing the cities in the cultural subconscious of most of the world's population. you can't say that about milton keynes.

in fact, i'd argue that london and new york (along with a small class of other international cities) have more in common with each other than they do with the rest of their respective countries.

i've lived in both london and new york. personally, i prefer london because of its history and quirky street pattern. but stop being so insulted!

Edwin Lyons

Well aren't cities always more like cities than like country side? Seems kind of obvious that you're going to find common things in different cities. Sure, New York is more like London than say, Bangalore, but as the article says its really just a matter of drawing arbitrary parallels...


London should be flattered by the comparison.


Well while I agree London is not a bad place, what with your funny accents and all, New York definately has the edge.

Did you know New York was slated to be the capital of the US? We gave it to the south because we didn't want to kick their ass too early. London is really two cities? Gee that's great, but NYC still has a bigger population and economy. Ohhh, the ROMANS put a rock in your city? That's great - but wait, what ever happened to those generous ancient Romans?

Face it Londonists, we're younger and better. And in some ways, older and wiser (we don't deep fry everything)! And how many GAPs and Old Navies are there in your town?



We admire your spunk and naïvety.
But, no.



kaufman you DO win a prize. its the "outstanding acheivement in wiki'ing or googling to not come off as ignorant in blog comments" 2006.


Livingstone is clearly the better of the two mayors!


I'm not doing myself any favours by replying to these things, am I?
All you need in this life is ignorance and confidence; then success is sure.


And anyway, Nick (if that IS your real name), that's what the Internet is here for, surely? This is like my double science GCSE all over again. "In your own words, Matthew, don't just copy and paste..."

Ctrl+V, maaaan, that's the name of the game. The information is already there, I'm simply helping it reach another audience using it for my own ends without a thought in the world about copyright issues.

"Adding value," as one of my employers would put it.


no Old Navy's in London, that I know of


No, but Gap own Old Navy / vice versa, don't they? I dunno - girl I know, her dad owns whichever's the parent company, or something like that.


Ah, forget that, I just Googled him - he's not in Gap anymore


Both cities have Foxton's too, but that's not neccesarily a good thing.