...the crazy part of the internet..."Heh. That would be a moving target most of the time, as it grows and shrinks on a daily, if not hourly, basis. Apropos o' not much, I spent a couple o' wonderful months working in The City on a consulting gig with a multinational re-insurer back in the mid-'90s. That was one of the best, if not THE best, bid'niz trips I ever had.
I have always loved London. I haven't been back though since 1998. I don't think I'd recognize the place. The last time I was there I stayed with cousins in Hammersmith and had a really great time on my way home from Kuwait. When people ask me how long I spent in England, it was a longish time but when they ask about the Cotswolds, or Oxford or .... I never saw the point in leaving London. History is miles deep there.
I haven't been back to London since the mid-'90s, either. You're oh-so-right about the history; I believe that was the thing I loved most about London. I was supremely fortunate in my USAF career, as they gave me the BEST assignment ever: three years at RAF Uxbridge, located in the London borough of Hillingdon. The AF drug me kicking and screaming to Heathrow at the end of that tour.
I joined up with a true cockney, so identified as being 'born within the sound of the ringing bells of Bow.' His journey across from London to the South West of England was a true culture shock "everyfing's sow f*****g green darn ere." Every sentence from his 'pie and chips' (lips) was true cockney rhyming slang, which had me in stitches. The day he encountered a cow for the first time is a memory etched in my mind forever!My business partner is a true 'East Ender' who for many years worked for 'HM Govt Foreign.' It is only when you socialise with a true Londoner you realise what the place is all about, especially when they were born within the square mile, and know every old pub as well as every shortcut that takes you there.http://www.google.co.uk/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=pubs%20in%20the%20sqaure%20mile%20of%20london&source=web&cd=3&cad=rja&uact=8&ved=0CD0QFjAC&url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.londonlovesbusiness.com%2Fsquare-mile-ophile-five-oldest-pubs-in-the-square-mile%2F1675.article&ei=OySKU92INYTDPNrPgdAD&usg=AFQjCNH6-XyApbeYM4BkYCZ4RCAE8ee-Qw&bvm=bv.67720277,d.ZWUI was going to post a piece on 'True Cockneys' and would love to include the clip above, obviously with the appropriate acknowledgement.
I enjoyed the link. It's amusing to think that the oldest European built structures in North America date from around the time of the Great Fire in London. America is only slightly larger than the UK but we can understand each other pretty well wherever we are in it unlike the UK where ya'll might as well be speaking a foreign language half the time. :)