Watching a City Come Alive


A few weeks ago I sat early one morning watching a city come alive. The city was London and when I first walked a few blocks to a coffee shop the streets were somewhat silent and the people few. And then, almost on cue, a red bus appeared, people got off, and the city woke up. People with briefcases and cell phones were already doing business. Young people on bikes were speeding down the street. Apartment dwellers were coming out of their row homes.Newspapers were unfolded and read. I heard conversations about world and local politics. The outside tables soon filled up, and I got into a discussion with a few others about the weather and the United States (by and large, I found most Brits still like us, though they don’t always like our policies). And I thought to myself: This is how a city should look when it wakes up, unlike others where I have been where the streets are empty and the sounds of silence and fear hang in the air. Maybe this is one way to measure a civilization–how one feels early in the morning sitting in a coffee shop waiting for the city to wake up?

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Filed under John C. Morgan

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