October 1, 2012

There are little pockets of old time in London, where things and places stay the same, like bubbles in amber,” she explained. “There’s a lot of time in London, and it has to go somewhere—it doesn’t all get used up at once.”

And so I found myself in London, a wonderful churning, flowing mass singing a siren’s song both sweet and dark, tempting you to delve into its mysteries and its forgotten corners. There is much to be unexpected in London. Take for example the pub that exists as two half-pubs divided by an ancient street or the tunnels that connect the palace of the monarchy to modern government or the sinister looking eels that swim through the Thames and onto plates.

Globalization has a frightening presence in London, but it seems that there are parts of it that are both literally and figuratively cast in stone, like Bazalgette’s grand sewer, that will never change. Knights roam the streets, Parliament carries a mace, and cakes and ale remain a choice reprieve from blustery weather.

I love London. I love it for its tradition, for its readiness to laugh, and its insistence that some things be done “just so.” Aye, it’s a massive place with massive buses and skyscrapers and Eyes watching the entire city, but amid the sprawl there is a glow and an essential humanity and camaraderie that exists beneath the exterior of the great stone and metal city and behind the eyes of its people. There are parts of London that have not changed in thousands of years and not all of them are tangible, lost in time but still so intimately close.

There’s a lot of time in London- to be spent, to be observed, and to be enjoyed.

(Title quote from Neil Gaiman’s Neverwhere)

posted in Peter Berexa


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