London is a very different place to Mexico City. It lacks the sense of community that exists in Mexico. Camden just can’t pull off ‘bohemian’ like Coyoacan. And the colours and contrasts of the Distrito Federal simply have no comparable rival this side of the pond.
But London does ‘grand’ on a scale that I am sure would leave most Chilangos breathless. The seemingly endless streets of imposing, solid and striking Victorian architecture. Mexico City might be bigger, but when you’re comparing the central parts that a tourist would want to see, London is by some margin the bigger.
You could walk across DF’s Centro Historico in a leisurely afternoon stroll. It’d take a day or two to do the same in London. And whilst the world’s richest man might reside in Mexico City, and whilst there are some seriously expensive places there, it doesn’t smell of money like London smells of money.
I spent last Saturday walking around Victoria and Belgravia smelling other people’s money. Or at least smelling what they’ve spent it on. Perhaps a cake at Peggy Porschens. Peggy will give you a class on making a tiered wedding cake for about £1,000. If that’s too rich for you, then a few hours in her cookie class will set you back just £270. In Mexican money that’s about $20,000 and $5,400, respectively.
If smelling cakes isn’t your thing, then how about burned rubber? The streets are positively littered with Ferraris, Bentleys, Lamborghinis and Porsches. I imagine Peggy the cake maker drives a Porsche. The one in the photo below was parked nearby, so perhaps it was hers. Whoever owns it, I got a good photo out of it. I thank him or her for the opportunity to smell his or her money, and photograph it too, to boot.
A lot of this money is new money. Earned by working hard in the city’s financial centre. Profiteering from the poorer members of society through outrageous bank charges, or simply taking it direct through tax funded bail outs. One way or the other.
Not that I begrudge a person making it to the big time and being rewarded accordingly. I’d just like to see renumeration in general being a little more fairly spread out, and for the tax office to get a little more of the revenue they need for the aforementioned bail outs, from the source of the problem. Oh, and of course for me personally to get a bit more! Till then I will trudge the streets looking at other people’s money.