Monday, November 13, 2006

London Impressions

Some more impressions from my trip to London where I visited the Nestoria guys.

I went to see the Gherkin aka Swiss Re Tower aka 30 St Mary Axe, Norman Foster's well-known skyscraper on the former site of a building destroyed by an IRA bombing. While the shape may be evoke some interesting associations, it's a gorgeous building, and it has become a new symbol for London. But success comes at a price: On ground level, the building is surrounded by car blocks to protect from bombs and the vacancy rate is high: Few want to work in a building with such high visibility.

Shopping is great in London, even if you don't actually want to buy stuff. From the yummy food at Borough Market, the Tate Modern's museum shop, to Soho's specialty bookstores, you'll find great stuff and huge selections. London is expensive, though: Ed and I went to see The Departed and paid the equivalent of 30 CHF ($24) for uncomfortable seats. And I thought Zurich was expensive.

Everything in London seems to be clustered: All the antique bookshops are on the same street. All companies that make CG effects for movies are within few blocks of each other. The big web companies (except for Google, who have moved into a 'palace' near Victoria station) and web ad agencies are also within a small radius of each other. This behavior is far less pronounced in Zurich and elsewhere and I wonder how it started in the first place.

Lastly, all the pretty girls in England are not actually from England. In certain parts of London, it's hard to run into anyone with a British passport.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Worse. In central London chances are 50:50 that the pretty girl is actually a tourist with a flight back home in a couple of hours...