London survived this week’s 48 hour (really 60 hour) tube strike. I don’t think I have witnessed industrial action where there is such little support from the public (or many of the striking workers !). London as a City has overcoming disruption and strife wired into its DNA. NYC is exactly the same. Others may mock city dwellers but the truth is we may all live very independent, private lives (not knowing the names of our neighbours and not caring !) but when it comes to adversity we are a community like no other.
I declared Wednesday would be my ‘London Meetings Day’ and ended up walking 10 miles, finishing up with pizza and tirimasu as a reward when I was insight of my front door. Thursday I got up a little earlier and walked from Notting Hill Gate to Waterloo Station. That’s when it struck me that far from making my life hellish, the tube strike had enhanced it considerable. The walk was incredible. Along the edge of Hyde Park to Marble Arch and then Bond Street. Down Davis Street and across Berkley Square, onto Green Park and The Mall, passing Clarence House (will be inside their on Tuesday !) and then through St James Park and past the Houses of Parliament.
It was not only physically stimulating but visually stimulating. Living in a city soon results in as becoming incredibly efficient at getting from A to Z and missing out B through Y. I’ve experienced this in Manhattan where you can walk past a street for years and then one day you turn into it and discover the junk shop you’ve always craved, a great cup of coffee and a tapas bar the size of your kitchen.
So this strike has taught me an important lesson. To walk more and experience the City the way it is mean to be !