All of the UK was abuzz last weekend as they celebrate the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee, the 60th anniversary of Elizabeth II’s ascension to the throne. You’d think they’d be tired of big showy parties, what with the Royal Wedding just a year ago and the Olympics right around the corner, but no. Any excuse for a good time. And that makes London my kind of gal.
The 90s documentary Paris Was a Woman, highlighted the community of female artists, writers, and Bohemians who settled in Paris between the world wars. It was a giddy time and one we still romanticize regularly (Midnight in Paris anyone?). But Paris today? I think she’s a bit more like the beautiful and popular, if somewhat shallow, cheerleader than the moody art student. It’s easy to love her – everyone does – and she knows it. We feel special in declaring our love for her, but really, we know we’re just one of the many. She’ll never love us back the way we love her, but we like to convince ourselves that somehow our relationship with her is different. That we understand her in ways that others don’t. We’re all the same when it comes to Paris.
There are the lean, healthy athletes Stockholm, Copenhagen, Helsinki, and their teammates from around Scandinavia. They are beautiful, pure, and somewhat untouchable. They don’t litter or smoke or linger in their cars. We admire them, but ultimately, they’re a bit cold and aren’t always that much fun.
Then there’s party-girl Amsterdam. All the guys love her and she loves them back. She’s great for when we’re feeling beat up and rejected by Paris, but she never really give her the respect she deserves.
Berlin career-minded and driven; Munich sure can hold her beer; Vienna is cultured and elegant; Barcelona is loud and festive and fun; Rome is full-bodied and passionate.
But London. London is the rebellious kid who dyes her hair pink but has tea with her gran every Sunday. She doesn’t care if you think she’s tacky, she knows you’re going to have fun at her party and she’s throwing it her way. Everyone is welcome and everyone is taken care of. The orchestra will play alongside indie rockers; the entire country is invited to a national picnic; and sunny good cheer is everywhere despite gloomy weather.
Sure, she’s got issues. And lots of people think she’s stuck in the past. But when it comes to making sure everyone has a jolly good time, no one does it better than London!