Walking around the City of London on Sunday I felt like I was walking through the set for the The Crimson Permanent Assurance short at the starting of the Meaning of Life. All around me there were these tiny traditional buildings doing battle with the monsters of modern finance. It is a few years now since I last walked the streets of the city and I have to say it has changed beyond all recognition – all around the old is being replaced by the towering new and this has all really happened since the financial crash of 2009/9 – I really don’t know what that is saying?
But it isn’t just the City where everything seems to be changing. I started my day walking through the new Kings Cross. At one time this was the haunt of prostitutes and low lifes but today it is the shiny new home of Facebook, Youtube and Google (you might argue that nothing has changed but I’ll leave that to your point of view!) . Google are building their new ‘groundscraper‘ a building that is as long as the Shard is tall which when finished will be bedecked with a large urban park on its roof.
The final part of the walking tour took me to Canary Wharf, London’s Manhattan on the Thames. Strangely, the most impressive views are not the steel and glass totems but rather to look back towards the City and its transformation as old father Thames continues to flow to the sea.