Okay, so London likes to portray itself as a 24 hour city, but I’m not sure there are many of its inhabitants who would agree.
Yes, some of the clubs open quite late, and there are some eateries which are open through the night (including two 24 hour bagel shops virtually next door to each other in my old manor of Brick Lane… which I never understood the logic of).
Yes, London has a night bus service, but as anyone who has stood for half an hour waiting for one, only to have the driver pretend not to see them and drive straight past will tell you, it isn’t really anything to boast about… Even if the driver does stop there’s no guarantee of an event free journey home.
Most neighbourhoods will even have a couple of local shops selling overpriced groceries (although generally none of the stuff that you might actually want), and I’ll bet you can get a ‘massage’ or ‘sauna’ around the clock in most areas, but I would argue that these things do not make a 24 hour city.
A 24 hour city should function as a city 24 hours a day, not have a few concessions to being 24 hour. In short, the main street of a 24 hour city should have a three story 24 hour book-store!
Like this one… And if you’ve been reading my other posts then you won’t be surprised to find that this isn’t the only branch of this bookstore on the main street which is open 24 hours (although as far as I know it is the only one which has three floors).
Part of this 24-hour-ness is by necessity. Saint Pete settled on a number of islands connected by bridges and during the night these bridges are opened for passing river traffic, meaning if you are out partying late and get stuck on the wrong island you may have to keep yourself busy until around 5am or later.
I guess another part is probably because of White Nights during which it never gets fully dark for part of the summer, which in turn leads the Piterburgers to stay out late and party hard… even through the winter (when the river is frozen, so I guess the bridges don’t open).
But so much of this city (and not just bars, clubs, shops and restaurants on the main street) is open 24 hours that it really puts London to shame. And of course, some of it is so random that you question the logic behind it.
It’s a 24 hour flower shop… you know, for if you get lucky in a bar or club, but the lady (who is in this case obviously a real ‘lady’), insists on receiving flowers if you are to get ‘really’ lucky??
Or something? I honestly don’t know. I haven’t been able to work it out. Just accept that 24 hour London sucks and Saint Pete really is a 24 hour party person…
Incidentally it’s my first DJ gig this evening (oh yes, I sometimes like to play a tune or two to an assembled crowd), and I’m guessing it could be a late night, so I may just head off to bed for a while before I go.