London: The Standalone City

IMG_3872After spending just under a week in London, I’ve realized that it’s got anything and everything a person may need. Yesterday, in our meeting with Kirk at Blackstone, he mentioned that London and New York were both “standalone cities.” I’ve never spent much time in New York, but after a week in London I understand what he’s saying. Having grown up in a town of 10,000 people, with the closest city (Memphis) one hundred miles away, London is quite impressive. The city has everything. While I think New York is still the financial capital of the world, we’ve visited two large financial districts in London. London also has the biggest global insurance market at Lloyd’s. However, at the same time, the city is full of beautiful parks where Londoners can get away from the “city” environment.  The city also has older, low-rise architecture. In New York, you just see high rise after high rise. The wealth of big parks and the beautiful, low-rise architecture here reminds me of Copenhagen, Denmark. However, while Copenhagen has the parks and architecture, the business traffic isn’t even close to that of London. This further supports the idea that London has it all. In addition, during our company visits this week, we’ve come across three thriving food/shopping areas, and we’ve just scratched the surface. I think our bus tour with Ms. Campbell says it all. We drove around for a couple of hours, and I don’t think there was one block where she didn’t have something to say. London has such a rich history and thriving international culture, and I’m excited to see what the next few weeks have in store for us.


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