London: First Impressions

London is incredibly diverse. That was the first thing I noticed. Being taught how America is a "melting pot" my entire life, and living in an area where you don't see much color, London caught me off guard. I noticed this trend on my visit to Amsterdam as well. The ad agency I shadowed was almost entirely made up of immigrants. The incredible mix of culture is such a valuable thing to me. The value to a culture-rich city is something that takes months or even years to fully experience.

The London dress code consists of plenty of blazers. The business vibe is very apparent. The younger crowd seems to be into more sporty apparel. My ears have been picking up a lot of fantastic house music. An interesting Caribbean vibe exists as well, which makes for a neat blend on the streets.

The pace is fast everywhere you go, except when you sit down. The restaurants are insistent on taking their time. People sit in the park or go to the pub in the middle of the day. On the streets or in the tube however, people push past you and say a polite "sorry".

Success might be a motivator, but I think there is a deeper motivation behind why people here work so hard and do what they do. They value family and sport and their Country and their Queen. They continually lead as a world power and a major global force, while managing to keep it all together.

Between the US and what I've gathered from my trip to Amsterdam, London seems to fall somewhere in the middle. Its an incredibly beautiful city like Amsterdam, but it contains a busy and bustling scene like New York. I cannot wait to further explore both London and the rest of Europe. Judging by what I've seen so far, only incredible things are ahead.

Shawn McKay