[W]hy was London the only capital in the world that lost its personality at night? Smiley, as he pulled his coat more closely about him, could think of nowhere, from Los Angeles to Berne, which so readily gave up its daily struggle for identity. – John le Carré, Call for the dead (1961)
Does Le Carré mean that London was blander at night than in the day?
I want to reject this claim.
It’s true, I must admit, that people live in the centre of Brussels, of Amsterdam, nowadays of Manchester even, in a way that they didn’t in the centre of London, at least in the 80s, when I lived there. In the 50s, early 60s, perhaps it was even more so.
But today. I think of London as the city that has more personality than any other.