London VS New York: An Outsider's Perspective

By: Valeria Ramos

Fashion designer Peter Pilotto has lived in London for 10 years now, and describes the city as "an exciting, different melting pot of people." After spending some time there this summer, it is not hard to see the parallels between a city like London and a city like New York, where there is no shortage of diversity throughout each sprawling city.

photo via BOF

While London felt much calmer than New York (I didn't feel that same buzzing energetic atmosphere that I associate with the Big Apple) it still remained full of exciting and intriguing spots around the city, especially being that I was a tourist seeing everything for the first time. 

The Underground, like the NY subway system, is arguably the best way to get around the enormous city of London. Not surprisingly, the Underground was far cleaner and felt much safer compared to the infamous subways of New York. However, subway rides in NY are cheaper, and open 24 hours. 

Both cities are extremely pricey, especially London, but being that price is a reflection of one's surroundings, both cities are home to beautiful skylines, historic locations, modern attractions, as well as great food and shopping. There's a reason each city has a population of nearly 9 million people, respectively.

Elizabeth Tower & the London Eye

For some reason, the population in London didn't feel as dense as it did in New York. At least in my experience, walking around in New York is a far more claustrophobic experience when compared to London. 

Crossing the street in New York is like walking in the midst of a human stampede. One full of people calling, texting, rushing and just going, going, going. London's vibe is much less fast-paced. There's time for tea and shops closing in the afternoon and people leaving work early for a drink at the pub. 
In New York, well, we all know the city never sleeps and the people never stop working.

Another thing both cities have in common is that they are both hubs for finance and fashion - two industries that bring in people from all over the world. In terms of fashion, New York's style remains mostly rooted in classic, modern aesthetics as the city's fashion week represents American designers with ready-to-wear and commercial collections. In contrast, British designers are known for being rebels in the industry and producing edgy, thought-provoking designs (think Alexander McQueen and Vivienne Westwood).

St. Paul's Cathedral, London

While both cities have their pros and cons, New York will always have a very special place in my heart. Maybe it's because I'm American or maybe it's another factor altogether, but if I had to choose  to live between these two cities, I would definitely pick NYC.

Due to the fact that I am biased, and have never lived in either city, I would be curious to know the perspective of someone who has actually spent long periods of time in both cities.  However, whether you're team Lady Liberty or team Big Ben, you can't deny the amount of energy, opportunity and diversity that roams throughout the streets of both of these very special cities.