I've never been much of a city person. However, London maintains this intriguing balance between the historic and the modern which has me captivated.
I see it in the traditional brick exterior of our hotel building, contrasted with the sleek, posh purple carpet and white marble of the interior. It's in the contrast between an elaborate, organized public transportation network, and the uneven, cobblestone streets closed to vehicular traffic. It's the 10-pound note featuring an image of the Queen on one side, and Charles Darwin on the other.
I've always imagined (and probably romanticized as well, but who doesn't do that?) the settings of the classic English works I love — books by Austen, Dickens, and clearly, Shakespeare's dramas as well — and many feature London integrally in their stories. For me, this city combines the history of those books with my imagination of them, and brings in the modern, progressive aspects of today's society as well. The mix is unbelievable.