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The Yanks Are Away, So The Brits Will Play: Bisnow U.K.'s Reasons Why London Is Better Than NYC

    It is 4 July, a day of patriotic celebration in the U.S. marking the country’s independence from the yoke of British tyranny.

    It also marks one year of Bisnow launching in London, perhaps an equally momentous milestone.

    Most importantly, it means Bisnow’s top brass in the U.S. have a long weekend holiday. So while they are probably downing weak beer and hot dogs while wearing Uncle Sam outfits, Bisnow London undertook a completely scientific analysis of the pros and cons of London and New York, the totemic global cities of the two countries.

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    Londoners like to complain about the transport system, and it is true that the Tube is very, very expensive, but London’s transport infrastructure knocks that of New York into a cocked hat. At least London Underground has an electronic information system — every time you take the subway in New York it seems like a journey into the unknown. There are mythological labyrinths that are less confusing than the Port Authority bus station. And Heathrow airport has its problems, but at least it is possible to get there by public transport in less than three hours, and it has had building work done in the past 30 years.

    London 1 - 0 New York

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    Housing and Living Costs

    This is a tough one to call. This may come as a major surprise to Londoners who pay an eye-gougingly high proportion of their monthly income on rent, but the cost of renting an apartment is much lower in London than New York — between 22% and 45% less, depending on where in the city and how many bedrooms you want, according to Numbeo. But house prices in London are around a third higher, and the cost of a mortgage is lower in New York on average. Given the overall cost of living is lower in London — you’d need about £5,500 in NYC to buy what £4,500 gets you in London — we’re giving this one to London.

    London 2 - 0 New York

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    Eating and Drinking

    This one is not really close. New York has twice the number of Michelin starred restaurants as London, so it wins at the top end. Delis may be on the decline, but at the mid and bottom end too, the range of incredible ethnic eateries, street food and takeaway joints in New York — at very reasonable prices — is a gourmet’s delight, and something London is only just starting to match. 

    London 2 - 1 New York

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    Entirely subjective with no definitive answer. How to compare the gothic splendour of the Palace of Westminster with the Art Deco grandeur of the Chrysler building? But while London might have more beautiful individual buildings that span a longer history, nothing is as iconic as that New York skyline.

    London 2 - 2 New York

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    Bond Street, London

    America has much more retail per capita than the U.K., which is entirely befitting of the society which invented the notion of consumerism standing in for a sense of self. And yet, London takes second spot in MasterCard’s list of global retail and leisure spending, ahead of New York. Although frankly both should be ashamed of coming in behind the leader, Bangkok.

    London 3 - 2 New York

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    Investor Interest

    In spite of Brexit, London remains a bigger draw for global investors than New York, according to CBRE’s Global Investor Intentions Survey released in March. New York still pulls in a higher volume of investment capital, but London is where they want to be. Whether that is still the case now the British population decided they would rather have no government than any of the choices offered remains to be seen.

    London 4 - 2 New York

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    Energy and Dynamism

    The Yanks Are Away, So The Brits Will Play: Bisnow U.K.'s Reasons Why London Is Better Than NYC

    In spite of all of the elements outlined up to now, nowhere can beat New York for dynamism. It can be unforgiving and physically gruelling, and of course London has an incredible buzz, but there is an energy coursing through the streets of New York that nowhere else can match. George Gershwin summed it up better in Rhapsody in Blue, and Garry Winogrand in his photography, than anyone ever could in words.

    But bad luck, New York, that was the last category and you still lost.

    Final score: London 4 - 3 New York

Related Topics: New York City, London