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Why Go to London

The English writer Samuel Johnson famously said, "You find no man, at all intellectual, who is willing to leave London. No, Sir, when a man is tired of London, he is tired of life; for there is in London all that life can afford." More than two centuries have passed since Johnson's era, but his words still ring true. Life in London is nothing short of invigorating, and travelers find that one visit isn't enough to experience everything this two-millennia-old city has to offer.
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Here, the antiquated clasps hands with the contemporary. You'll find the historic Tower of London and the avant-garde Tate Modern both considered big must-sees. Shakespeare's sonnets are still being uttered by actors who don modern garb. Londoners most certainly still respect the royals, but they also jam to the likes of Arctic Monkeys and Adele. And while they still praise the power of tea, they now make room for some Starbucks here and there, and pressed juice too. A current leader in everything from politics and banking to fashion and music, London's culture compass is always attuned to what's next.

Samuel Johnson might well have been a lovely lexicographer, but he was wrong in his observations of the time, and would have been less than likely to have been quoted with that little collection of words from our post Norman tongue had he seen this age's collection of violent drunks, assorted drug addicts and knife wielding muggers so common today.
The history remains, as does the pomp, but it has little outside of that save excellent Indian restaurants in Brick Lane.

PS.
As lexicographers go, I prefer Grose and his little collection of English oddities.

London is indeed one of the great cities of the world. But in my opinion, no more so than Paris, Rome, New York, San Francisco, Hong Kong or Tokyo and any number of other great and historic cities.

As they say, "the grass is always greener on the other side".....

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